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What Are They Doing?

Photo Courtesy of Mosaic
Photo Courtesy of Mosaic
The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) will be the first year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring the Arctic climate system. The project has been designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutions, under the umbrella of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), led by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and the University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).

MOSAiC will contribute to a quantum leap in our understanding of the coupled Arctic climate system and its representation in global climate models. The focus of MOSAiC lies on direct in-situ observations of the climate processes that couple the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, bio-geochemistry and ecosystem. MOSAiC observations will be specifically designed to characterize the important processes within the atmosphere-ice-ocean system that impact the sea-ice mass and energy budgets. These include heat, moisture, and momentum fluxes in the atmosphere and ocean, water vapor, clouds and aerosols, biogeochemical cycles in the ocean and ice, and many others. The MOSAiC project has it's own website here.

Where Are They?

Photo Courtesy of Mosaic
Photo Courtesy of Mosaic
In September 2019 the German research icebreaker Polarstern will depart from Tromsø, Norway and, once it has reached its destination, will spend the next year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in the ice.

Graphic showing the location of the ship.
Graphic of ship location.

Expedition by the numbers (from MOSAiC website).
An infographic about the MOSAiC expedition.

Latest Journals

Winds, Waves, and Winter I wrote the first version of this Journal Entry on September 24, 2019 as we were transiting across the Barents and Kara Seas to the sea ice edge. Our latitude at the time was 78 degrees, 50.3102 minutes North and longitude was 058 degrees 21.3999 minutes East. It was…
Being on a Russian ice breaker has been a truly unique experience. One of the most fascinating parts has been learning about the history of Russian Arctic science. I had no idea that USSR/Russian scientists have been leading drift expeditions on the Arctic sea ice for decades! The first Russian '…
As promised, I've been adding photos I took during the expedition to previous Journals. Check out 'Hey Bear!' for some new photos of polar bear guards and beautiful arctic landscapes. Earlier, Catherine asked about coring rock, sediment, or ice sheets. As a reader of PolarTREC journals, Catherine…
Note: Now that I'm back home, I still have a lot to share! I'll be writing new journals about the science of MOSAiC every week or so, and updating photos on prior journals with ones taken during my PolarTREC Expedition. This week, revisit my September Equinox journal for updated photos. After…
Ship-based, Arctic Ocean
Project Funded Title
MOSAiC International Arctic Drift Expedition
Katie Gavenus - Environmental Educator
Environmental Educator
Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies

Katie Aspen Gavenus grew up in the not-quite-Arctic town of Homer, Alaska. She is an environmental educator and program director for the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. She recently completed a master's program in science education through IslandWood and the University of Washington and is committed to making science education - and education more broadly - locally relevant, culturally sustaining, inspiring, and empowering. She believes science education should be a collaborative effort between learners, educators, researchers, knowledge-bearers, and community members.

She enjoys learning, kayaking, picking berries, hiking, catching salmon, playing soccer, growing food and tide pooling. She makes good soup and is perfecting a yeasty-biscuity bread recipe. Her favorite type of plankton is ctenophores/comb jellies and she has a tiny scar from being bitten by an intertidal worm.

Anne Gold - Director, Education and Outreach Program
Director, Education and Outreach Program

Anne is the Director of CIRES Education & Outreach at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she focuses on science education for educators, students and the general public around climate and general geoscience education. She is interested in understanding and studying effective ways of teaching and learning and is dedicated to grounding her education work in solid research and evaluation. She is a climate scientist by training with a doctoral degree in Paleoclimatology from the University of Regensburg in Germany.

MOSAiC Resources

Live event on 14 October 2019 with PolarTREC educator Katie Gavenus aboard the Russian R/V Federov as part of the MOSAiC Expedition. Katie spoke with and answered questions from students at Brevig Mission school in Alaska.

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Article from local Homer, Alaska station KBBI about Katie Gavenus' upcoming expedition aboard the RV Polarstern for the MOSAiC Expedition.

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