Science Support and DAta


The mission of STARC (Ship-based Science Tech-support in the Arctic) is to plan, coordinate and deliver science technical support onboard research ships in the Arctic. STARC is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) - Office of Polar Programs and is a partnership between Shipboard Technical Support (STS) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and the Oregon State University (OSU) Marine Technician Group. Both SIO/STS and OSU/MTG have a long history of providing comparable support on research ships in the U.S. academic fleet.

Since a portion of NSF funded shipboard research in the Arctic occurs on board the USCG icebreaker HEALY, STARC coordinates with NSF, USCG and the US academic community to provide for the operation, maintenance and upgrade of installed science equipment . STARC sails three technicians for 24/7 underway support of the Science Systems aboard USCGC HEALY.

Technical support for non-NSF-funded cruises on HEALY is provided by STARC through a reimbursement process that is managed by NSF through agreements established with each funding agency. Please contact Dr. Frank Rack (NSF Office of Polar Programs, Arctic Research Support and Logistics) at (703) 292-2684, or email for more information

The main contact for STARC is Brendon Mendenhall with Scripps Institution of Oceanography; he can be reached at (858) 822-6912 or email


U.S. Coast Guard C4IT Polar IT maintains and operates computing resources onboard the USCGC HEALY. These include:

    • Satellite Internet service, with limited coverage area
    • Low-bandwidth email service outside the satellite Internet coverage area
    • Ice imagery and weather product delivery
    • Public workstations with Internet access (when available)
    • Multi function printer/scanners
    • Large format printing
    • Onboard email
    • Stratum 1 time servers
    • And more.

Science party members may connect equipment to the onboard network but security requirements apply.

Please contact with any questions.

Data Policy

Healy routinely collects underway bathymetry (single beam), sea surface temperature, conductivity and meteorological data, which, along with navigation data, are not considered proprietary. In the absence of other guidance from the funding source, the chief scientist may place a two-year proprietary hold restricting access to other data collected by Healy (including but not limited to: multibeam, sub-bottom, ADCP, CTD and XBT/XCTD), otherwise the data will be made publicly available expediently. Before debarking from the ship, each chief scientist will receive a copy of the cruise data on digital media, which will include data from all of the vessel’s shipboard data acquisition systems.

All underway data systems will be operated (and data archived) up until the end of each cruise leg when the ship is anchored, or docked (or enters a foreign EEZ without a research clearance) (science seawater may be shut down in harbors). The exact definition of "end of data collection" for each leg will be reviewed with the chief scientist by the on-board support personnel.

Requests for additional copies of the digital data set should be made by the Chief scientist during the cruise planning process. It may not be possible to create additional copies if requested during a leg. PI’s funded by NSF are required to submit data copies to the National Archives (Policy for Oceanographic Data, NSF 94-126). The Office of Polar Programs also has a data policy.