An oceanographic cruise aboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman along the Aleutian Islands and in the western, northern, and central Bering Sea (Figure 1) took place August 2–29, 1991. This was a cooperative project between American and Soviet researchers, and operations were conducted in both the U.S. and Soviet economic zones. The expertise of the various researchers contributed greatly to the success of the project.
This cruise was the first major field work carried out in this region as part of NOAA's Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI). Previously, FOCI studies have been conducted in the Gulf of Alaska, especially in Shelikof Strait [Reed et al., 1988]. The main goal of FOCI is to gain understanding of the effects of the biotic and abiotic environments on commercially important fisheries. The work described here was largely concerned with ocean circulation, especially flow through the deeper Aleutian Island passes and the continuity of circulation over the central and western Bering Sea. Our results will be used in conjunction with numerical models and studies with satellite altimetry.