Now Archived! PolarConnect event with Dave Jones and researcher Mike DeGrandpre from Montana discussing research aboard the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in the Beaufort Sea. You can access this and other events on the PolarConnect Archives site.
What Are They Doing?
Global warming and other climate-related processes are rapidly changing the Arctic Ocean. The carbon cycle is of particular concern in the Arctic because it is unknown how carbon sources and sinks will change and whether these changes will lead to increased greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere. Not much is known about the CO2 cycle in the central Arctic Ocean basins because nearly all measurements have been focused on the Arctic coasts during the low ice summer period. The team's contribution will be to collect shipboard CO2 data during these cruises and deploy CO2, pH and oxygen sensors on existing moorings in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Rick Krishfield.
The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly. The changes have important implications for global carbon cycling, global fisheries and ocean acidification. There are many intertwining processes, however, that make future predictions difficult. This project will make important contributions to our understanding of the global carbon cycle and ocean acidification by providing Arctic scientists with high quality carbon cycle data to use in model development and as a baseline for comparison with future carbon parameter measurements.
Where Are They?
The team will be aboard the Canadian Ice Breaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. The ship will come in and out of Kugluktuk, Nunavut in northern Canada. The ship's track will cover a portion of the Beaufort Shelf to the Mackenzie River outflow, then north into the Beaufort Sea and Canada Basin. The team will take commercial airline connections all the way to Kugluktuk. The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent's helicopter then transports scientists to the ship anchored offshore of Kugluktuk.
Mike DeGrandpre became fascinated with science and chemistry after ruining his mother’s card table with an incendiary chemical reaction at the age of 10. He enrolled in chemical engineering at Montana State University in 1981 and then went on to obtain a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1990. His research at the University of Montana was focused on fiber optic-based chemical sensors. He used this knowledge as a post-doctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to develop a successful CO2 sensor (the “SAMI”) for marine applications. He came to the University of Montana in 1996, to, oddly enough, continue his ocean-focused research. The SAMI sensor technology has been a career-long endeavor, with the development and commercialization of related sensors while also using the sensors in aquatic environments, improving our understanding of the global carbon cycle and ocean acidification. His current research is focused on the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle and development of an autonomous alkalinity sensor.