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?

Photo by Bill Schmoker
An underwater view of a CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth instrument). Photo by Bill Schmoker.
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?

Photo by Bill Schmoker
The Canadian Ice Breaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. Photo by Bill Schmoker.
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.

Expedition Map

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, Beaufort Sea
Project Funded Title
An Arctic Ocean sea surface pCO2 and pH observing network
Dave Jones - Teacher
Big Sky High School

Dave has been a Chemistry teacher at Big Sky High School for twenty-some years and has served as the Science Department Co-Chair for more than a dozen years. Dave came to Big Sky High School with a B.S. in Zoology from Idaho State University (1986) and eventually earned a M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Montana (2000). He has been involved in several inquiry-based curriculum development projects and trainings. Most notable of these has been the Frameworks for Inquiry Chemistry Project with Dr. Mark Cracolice at The University of Montana Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Along with five other Chemistry teachers from around Montana, they developed a unique High School Inquiry Based Chemistry curriculum. Dave has also worked with the Center for Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Montana on air quality related projects designed to bring project based learning experiences to high school chemistry students.

Dave received the 2009 Gustav Ohaus Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the 2006 NSTA Vernier Technology Award, the 2005 Best Buy TEACH Award, and the 2005 ACS Division of Chemistry Education Northwest Region Teaching Excellence Award.

Dave’s basic science teaching philosophy is that students learn science concepts best when they can relate concepts directly to data from experiments they conduct themselves.

Dave is an avid climber, skier, and biker, and cannot bear the thought of spending his free time indoors.

Mike DeGrandpre - Researcher
University of Montana

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.

Latest Journals

My first recollection of the term reentry was that of the Apollo space missions when the capsule that returned with the astronauts inside would reenter the earths atmosphere in a ball of flames. Then later there were similar reentry events with the Space Shuttle program. There was always talk of…
Final words from Chief Scientist, cruise leader Bill Williams A big thanks to all the science team, and the Captain and crew of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. This has been a very successful 15th expedition and in very good company. Over the last month, we have covered the Beaufort Gyre with our…
First News The Louis is a fine vessel. It was designed to move through thick ice as if it were soft butter. It owes this ability to its round hull and keel-less design. This design is also its failing as far as moving through rough seas, especially when the waves are coming at the vessel from the…
First News Our track is now heading south to the MK line (see map below) where a series of CTD rosette casts are being done along the Beaufort Shelf moving from deep water to relatively shallow water. Seas are quite rough today with swells in the 2-3 meter range (and maybe bigger?). Made for an…
First News Yesterday's mooring deployment at Mooring Station D, aka CB21, was successful albeit tricky with significant swells. The mooring crew was pretty worked by day’s end. You could see noticeable grimaces on some faces as expensive research equipment clanged on the ship's hull as it was…
First News Last night's out-and back trip towards the northwest took us to a couple CTD rosette stations, CB6 and later CB19 on the return. So we are back at Mooring Station D, aka CB21, for a second try at a mooring re-deployment. Winds have dropped and seas have calmed but the skills of the…

CO2 and pH Studies of the Arctic Ocean Resources


There is a plausible explanation for how carbon dioxide molecules could interact with water molecules thereby forming a solution where the carbon dioxide is the solute and water is the solvent (as it usually is).

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When a bottle or can of carbonated beverage is opened the carbon dioxide is allowed gas to come out of solution. This is because there is a pressure differential between the carbon dioxide in the liquid and carbon dioxide in the air. The pressure in the liquid is higher than the pressure in the air so the carbon dioxide moves from high to low.

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The PolarTREC Field Experience

A Month, On a Boat, In the Arctic

I spent a month on a boat in the Arctic as part of the 28 member Science Team that lived and worked alongside the 53 member Crew of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St. Laurent, a 392 foot icebreaker out of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

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Teacher Dave Jones and researcher Mike DeGrandpre present live from Montana discussing the research that took place for 4 weeks aboard the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent looking at CO2 and pH Studies of the Arctic Ocean.

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A short newspaper article featuring PolarTREC teacher Dave Jones in the 8/8/2017 issue of the Missoulian! He will set sail on 9/6/2017 aboard the Canadian Ice Breaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent with researcher Mike DeGrandpre heading for the Beaufort Sea.

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