The Beaufort Sea benthos is virtually unstudied with respect to prokaryotic community structure and composition. There have been just four studies in the past few decades that have sequenced and assessed bacteria in this region. All four studies focused upon subsurface sediments ( > 20 cmbsf ).  Therefore the overarching goal of this chapter was to provide a first look at bacterial and archaeal community structure and composition in surface sediments ( upper 1cm ) over a broad spatial scale from the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope.  Submission of this manuscript is pending.