This research project on the Greenland ice cap examined the air trapped in firn (old snow that has recrystallized into a more dense substance through the weight of the overlying snowpack) for clues to past climates. The unique characteristics of firn allow the sampling of large quantities of pre-industrial air to explore anthropogenic effects on the atmosphere. While in the field, the team conducted a variety of snow measurements; post-field analysis of the data enabled a better understanding of past climates and the impact of human activity on the Earth's atmosphere.
The team traveled to Summit Station, located at the peak of the Greenland ice cap atop 3200 m of ice. Summit is a scientific research station sponsored by the National Science Foundation that supports a diversity of scientific research, including year-round measurements of air-snow interactions that provide crucial knowledge for interpreting data from deep ice cores drilled both at Summit and elsewhere. Learn more about Summit at the Summit Station website
Jo Dodds has taught earth science at O'Leary Junior High School, Twin Falls, Idaho, for the past 22 years. Ms. Dodds loves teaching about our dynamic Earth, especially volcanism, seismology, plate tectonics, the environment, and life in extreme environments. Some of her other interests includes birding, cross-country skiing, and traveling, especially to areas of active volcanoes and glaciers.
Mary Albert is a senior research engineer at the U.S. Army ERDC Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab in Hanover, New Hampshire and a Professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Dr. Albert's research interests include snow physics, heat transfer, and snow-air interactions on the Greenland Ice Shelf. Dr. Albert hopes that this PolarTREC experience will motivate students for careers in science, math, and engineering.