Meet the Scientists: Dr. Alex Fraser
Dr. Alex Fraser on the helo deck of the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer in East Antarctica.
Post-doctoral fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
What do they do?
Alex’s main research focus is on sea ice and coastal
which are key areas in driving thermohaline circulation of the ocean.
On this research expedition he will be working with [Dr. Williams]
on the sea ice observation project using UAVs to survey sea ice and ice
How did they get where they are now?
Alex has always been interested in science. He remembers entering—and
winning $50—in a science fair back in the 5th grade. At university he
studied computing and earth sciences. During this time a lecturer at his
school spoke about Antarctica. Intrigued, Alex made an effort to do an
honors project with the professor. Eventually he went on to earn his PhD
at the University of Tasmania and then went on his first Antarctic
He’s been involved with the sea ice observation project for some time.
He even tested out the drones, observing northern sea ice in Japan, when
Dr. Williams brought them out on a visit.
Favorite part of the job
Alex’s favorite part of science is when you have an idea that you've
been working on for some time and the data you collect finally confirms
it. It’s incredibly gratifying. He also loves going out in the field to
see Antarctic sea ice in person. Every time he sees the ice it helps him
refine and perfect his sea ice models.
In his spare time on the ship he’s been playing Kerbal Space Program (a
computer game that allows you to design and fly space ships).
Advice from Dr. Fraser
In school, do as many different science subjects as you can. It will
help you in any field you choose. And learn to program—that will help a