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Rearcher Bryan Reeves (foreground) and Capt. Mark Schrader examine a research buoy that is recording ice and weather conditions in the Arctic Ocean during their voyage through the Northwest Passage on the sailboat Ocean Watch.

Around the Americas is a 25,000-mile expedition around North and South America to draw attention to the changing conditions of the oceans.

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The Ocean Watch crew of four professional sailors, a scientist and an educator recently completed the deployment of three NOAA Global Drifter Program Buoys.

Each buoy is equipped with sensors to measure air pressure and surface temperature — data widely used by both weather and ice forecasters. The buoys are tracked by satellite and weigh about 45 pounds, according to representatives from Around the Americas.

This is one of eight science projects planned throughout the 13-month Around the Americas expedition, focusing specifically on the polar regions of the 25,000-mile circumnavigation of North and South America in order to highlight changing conditions of the oceans.

Ocean Watch is a converted 64-foot sailboat that serves as a research platform to collect data and test new field methods. Ten scientists from seven institutions have placed instruments on board the ship to collect the data contributing to the understanding of the changing atmosphere of the ocean. Ocean Watch will continue to traverse the Northwest Passage, en route to Resolute Nunavut.

Daily reports of their progress and information are available at www.around

Sailing editor Dieter Loibner wrote about Around the Americas in the August issue of Soundings. To read the full article, visit, keyword: Schrader.

This article originally appeared in the Connecticut & New York Home Waters Section of the December 2009 issue.