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  • Sarah Johnson

2023 Wooden Boat Deployment from Utqiaġvik, Alaska

Updated: Mar 7

On April 4, 2023 the Float Your Boat team deployed 396 decorated wooden boats from 16 schools and organizations 2 miles offshore of Utqiaġvik, Alaska on the Arctic sea ice via snowmobile during the IAPB Spring 2023 Buoy Deployment campaign. You can track the parent iceball buoy and the boats here at

Float Your Boat boats deployed in shape of big dipper constellation. The buoy is sitting next to the north star. Drone photo by Ignatius Rigor.

This captures the team on the sea ice, the deployed boats in the shape of the big dipper constellation and the North Star, and pans up to view the sea ice north of Alaska, and the North Pole in the distance. Drone video by Ignatius Rigor.

Deployment vehicle


Science campaign/science team

IABP Spring 23 Utqiagvik Buoy Deployment, Coordinator: Ignatius Rigor

Captain of Wooden Boat Deployment/Launch

Sarah R. Johnson, PolarTREC Educator

Deployment Date and Time (UTC)

April 4, 2023 10:30pm UTC

Location of Deployment (Lat/Long)

​71° 22' 47.064" N, 156° 36' 24.294" W

Buoy #

Iceball - 062

Boat ID #s

the list is long, if needed, inquire with Float Boat team

Decorated boats from these organizations

BCM Center for Educational Outreach/Afterschool STEM Clubs, Spring TX

Richardson High School, Richardson, TX

Centennial Middle School, Boulder, CO

Arthur St. Elementary School, Hazleton, PA

The Elizabeth English Academy, Pisa, Italy

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL

Libertyville High School, Libertyville, IL

East Brunswick Cub Scout Pack 132, NJ

Spruce Elementary, Lynnwood, WA

Creekside High School, Career Academy of Environmental Sciences, St. Johns, Florida

Tuscaloosa Academy, Tuscaloosa, FL

West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, NJ

Whittier Community School, Whittier, AK

Fred Ipalook Elementary School, Utqiaġvik, AK

The weather forecast on the morning of the deployment. Thankfully it turned out to be a beautiful sunny cold day rather than cloudy.
Satellite map from overlaid with snowmobile GPS track to site of wooden boat deployment. This location is about 2 miles in a straight line offshore on the landfast ice and only a third of mile from the drift ice. The track begins at the UIC-Science snowmobile garage at the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory site north of Utqiaġvik.

This video was made by walking from 'star' to 'star' of the constellation shape. Hopefully the decorators can find their boat in this walk along video.

boats from Whittier Community School in the Chugach School District, Alaska

boats from Liberteryville High School in Illinois, and Spruce Elementary in Lynnwood, Washington

boats from Fred Ipalook Elementary in Utqiaġvik, Alaska

boats from Aspen Science Center, Carbondale, Colorado; Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida; and The Elizabeth English Academy, Pisa, Italy

boats from Tuscaloosa Academy in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

boats from East Brunswick Cub Scout Pack 132, East Brunswick New Jersey; and Cadette Girl Scout Troop 16190 in Basalt, Colorado

boats from Richardson High School, Richardson, Texas and Shaler Area Elementary and Middle School, Glenshaw, Pennsylvania

Centennial Middle School, Boulder, Colorado and BCM Center for Educational Outreach/Afterschool STEM Clubs, Spring, Texas

Arthur Street Elementary, Hazleton, Pennsylvania; West Windsor Plainsboro High School South, Windsor, New Jersey; and The Academy of Environmental Sciences Creekside High School, Saint Johns, Florida

Jim Johnson, Senior Field Engineer at the University of Washington. Among his many jobs he supports Float Your Boat by cutting boats, branding boats, boxing and shipping boats to schools, and also shuttling them across the sea ice in boxes on a sled to deploy them too. Thank you Jim!

The 396 boats that were deployed on April 4, 2023. A couple deployed boats are missing from this photo.


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