In my 9-22 and 9-26 Journals, I introduced members of the Chemistry Teams. Since scientists are such a social bunch (no laughing - we're social in our own "special" ways), I wanted to introduce other scientists from other teams.

    Maria Papadimitraki - Chemistry Team

    Maria Papadimitraki
    Chemist Maria Papadimitraki prepares samples in the lab.

    Background: Home - Crete, Greece; Current Residence - Copenhagen, Denmark - Worked as research assistant in whale monitoring in Iceland; Bachelors (Greece) - ornithology (study of birds) focused on cell abnormalities caused by parasites; Masters (Copenhagen) in Oceanography and Fisheries - focused on dissolved organic matter in Arctic water.

    Why the Arctic? Maria has been around boats for much of her life and in college asked her marine biology professor how to go on an expedition on an icebreaker. She is very interested in how dissolved organic matter and dissolved organic carbon can be used to show how fresh water is being put into Arctic ocean ecosystems. These can be indicators of a changing environment.

    Best Parts of the Job: Exploration - both intellectual and geographical.
    Worst Parts of the Job: Politics - there is a very political nature to science in terms of how climate crisis is being handled by governments and we should focus not only in finding sustainable solutions but also sustainable research practices.

    Advice to 16 Year-old Self: Follow your gut, understand your limits, and be flexible. To avoid an "existential" ("Oh no, who am I and what is my meaning?") crisis later in life, you should always try to "update your personal hard drive to the latest operating system" and be realistic.

    Comfort Items for the Ship: Smoked cheese from Crete and Sage tea (hand picked sage).

    Dolly More - CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth. and MooringAn anchor or weight attached to the sea floor used to hold a scientific instrument in place. Teams

    Dolly More
    Scientist Dolly More shows off the controlled for the CTD hoist.

    Background: Hometown - Mumbai, India; Current Residence - Fairbanks, AK; Bachelors - Mumbai University - physics; Masters - Pune University (India) - atmospheric and space sciences; 2nd Masters (current) - University of Alaska Fairbanks - atmospheric science.

    Why the Arctic? Dolly has always had an interest in science and was exposed to scientists while working. She was studying the Bay of Bengal using ocean modeling to understand the ocean physics. One of her professors mentioned how the melting of sea ice affected the Indian Ocean and monsoon season, which sparked her interest. She looked at graduate programs in Australia and Alaska, but she was tired of being in the heat. Igor Polyakov is her professor this semester, and she is taking a course from him, as well as another course while she is on the ship.

    Best Parts of the Job: Finding answers - linking data to processes.
    Worst Parts of the Job: Coding Issues - knowing what you want to do while computer modeling but not knowing the exact right code to do it.

    Advice to 16 Year-old Self: Have self-discipline - don't take shortcuts, develop good study routines, don't skip over topics you're not interested in, and learn how to code.

    Entertainment for the Ship: Brooklyn 99, Pokemon (TV series), and chocolate.

    Michael Lundberg - CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth. and MooringAn anchor or weight attached to the sea floor used to hold a scientific instrument in place. Teams

    Michael Lundberg
    Michael Lundberg on the deck near the end of a very long mooring operation. It was cold!

    Background: Hometown - Melbourne, Australia but born in Pretoria, South Africa; Current Residence - Fairbanks, AK by way of Japan, New Zealand, North Carolina, Oregon, and much world traveling; Bachelors - Monash University (Australia); Masters - Melbourne University - Mechanical Engineering; Masters - North Carolina State University - Mechanical Engineering; PhD (current) - University of Alaska Fairbanks - Atmospheric Science.

    Why the Arctic? In addition to living in many different places, Michas has had many jobs - oil company worker, teacher, engineer, weather forecaster, and computer programmer. Michael's wife took a job in Alaska, and he worked for industrial companies on the North Slope. He was exposed to the Arctic but wanted to feel better about what he was doing and not destroy the environment.

    Best Parts of the Job: Focusing on earning and the lessened responsibility of being a student.
    Worst Parts of the Job: Learning sometimes feels like a job.

    Advice to 16 Year-old Self: Do what you're interested in (he would encourage his 16 year old self to consider electrical engineering) and travel.

    Entertainment for the Ship: Ping pong (Michael is supposed to be reading papers and working on his computer analyses of aspects of the Arctic Ocean, so he tried not to bring much to distract him).

    And, for those of you who are worried that the Science Party trilogy will end with this episode, fear not. Like all good Hollywood blockbuster series (Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.), what should take 3 entries will be subdivided until the entire story is told.

    Date
    Location
    East Siberian Sea
    Weather Summary
    Overcast - mostly ice cover
    Temperature
    -6.5 C
    Wind Speed
    8.3 m/s

    Comments

    Jonathan Trujillo

    DId you recognize anybody from the last time you went?
    Did you get to meet most people on the ship?

    Jonathan Pazol

    No one from the ship this time was on the ship last time, but we know a bunch of people in common. The number of people studying the Arctic and doing ship work is not that large. I have met everyone in the science party and several of the crew, but many of the crew do not speak English well, and I think they are not encouraged to socialize with the science party.

    Dulce Sanchez

    Does the water have any chemicals ?
    What proper clothes do you need to wear ?

    Jonathan Pazol

    The water that we sample is straight from the ocean, and is probably some of the cleanest ocean water in the world because we are very far from any sources of pollution, and we are taking it from very deep depths. We use other chemicals to analyze the samples for oxygen and nutrients. Just like in lab - safety goggles, gloves, and sometimes lab coats.When we sample, we wear high waterproof boots and gloves. Other than that, we generally wear regular clothes that we don't mind getting splashed with salt water.

    Sofia Diaz

    Hey, I have a question for Maria. I've always wanted to go to Greece, what is it like living/ what was it like living in Greece?

    Maria Papadimitraki

    Hi Sofia :)

    Greece is very hot in the summer (reaching up to ~105 °F) and rainy in winter. The nature is beautiful and the food really delicious. You should visit Greece!

    Best,
    Maria

    Janelle Naja

    Does the people on your team have other jobs?

    Jonathan Pazol

    Everyone in the science party is either a research scientist or a current student. This is what they get to do for a living. When they're not on an expedition, they are working at universities, analyzing data, teaching, or writing. We also have a filmmaker aboard. I am one of the few people with a (somewhat) different job.

    Maria Morales Huerta

    What made scientist Maria Papadimitraki want to become a Chemist?

    Maria Papadimitraki

    Hi Maria :)
    I am actually an Oceanographer working with water chemistry. I have a background in Biology (Bachelor) and then continued with my graduate education in Aquatic Science, specializing in Oceanography. My MSc thesis is related to biochemical tracers in the Arctic. I got excited by water chemistry since water is the most basic source of life. No creature can live without water, so I realized water chemistry is essential for studying climate change!
    Greetings from the Arctic,
    Maria

    Nicolas

    How do you whale monitor and see what whales are doing in the ocean and what is happening to their bodies?

    Jonathan Pazol

    On this ship, we are not monitoring for whales. There are other expeditions that study whales, as well as the effects that sound from ships and oil drilling operations (much closer to shore) have on whales and their behavior. If the captain sees a whale (or other animals like seals or polar bears), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (and other similar laws) take effect, where he would slow the ship down, not approach or get too close, etc. until the whale moves out of range.

    Isabella Casado

    How many people in total are in your chemistry team?

    Jackie Hernandez

    Maria Papadimitraki what is something about Greece that you love?
    How did your team get the jobs that they have now?

    Maria Papadimitraki

    Hi Jackie :)
    I love Greek food and beaches in summer!
    Each one of us in the chemistry team has her/his own story about getting their jobs. I am here, as a part of my graduate education, sampling for my final thesis project!
    Best,
    Maria P.

    Frank Aranda

    I see you are using chemicals on board, what type of chemicals are you using? What do you need to wear and do you need protective gear too?

    Jonathan Pazol

    We use other chemicals to analyze the samples for oxygen and nutrients. Other groups are using chemicals (various types of acids and bases) to test the pH. Just like in lab - safety goggles, gloves, and sometimes lab coats. When we sample the water, we wear high waterproof boots and gloves, so we don't contaminate the water. Other than that, we generally wear regular clothes that we don't mind getting splashed with salt water.

    Bryant Morales

    How cold was it there and what did you need to wear to go outside of the ship?

    Jonathan Pazol

    It hasn't been too cold - normally -6 C (21 F), but it's gotten as cold as -20 C (-4 F), but with the wind chill it's colder. When I was out on the ice, I wore long underwear, a hoodie, warm pants, and neck gaiter, a hat, double gloves, double socks (hand and foot warmers), boots, and a very think parka (check out my journal from 10/6. I wasn't cold.

    Leonardo

    How is it living in Greece?

    Diego Hurtado

    How many people in total are on the ship?

    Jonathan Pazol

    There are 24 members in the science party and about 60 crew people including the officers who run the ship, the mechanics who take care of the engines and pumps, cooks, cleaning people, and even IT people for all the computers.

    Danielle Legaspi

    What experiments have your team discovered so far? And does your CTD and mooring team measure the temperature and depth of the water?

    Jonathan Pazol

    Check out some of the earlier journals for the experiments. I am doing mostly water sampling and helping with radium collection , which involves pumping water from the side of the ship. We won't know what we've discovered until the samples are taken back to labs and analyzed, which could take some time. The CTD measures temperature and depth of the water. The conductivity is a measure of electric current , which is used to measure how salty the water is.

    Haylee Herrera

    Are there any old viruses in the arctic water?

    Jonathan Pazol

    Viruses need living host cells to live and reproduce in. They are also very sensitive to temperature, so it is unlikely that there are natural viruses here. Everyone quarantined before coming on the ship, so we don't have to worry about COVID.

    Vanessa Franco

    what is your favorite expirement you have done over there?

    how long does it take for each expirement?

    Jonathan Pazol

    My favorite experiment has been the day on the ice when I was able to be with the scientists studying ice and putting down sensors. It was quite the adventure (see my 10/6 Journal). When we sample the water, it takes 1-3 hours to collect it and then time to sample it.

    Paola Reyes

    How many people are on the ship? Was it easy to get to know all of them and work with all those new people?

    Jonathan Pazol

    There are 24 members in the science party from 4 countries and about 60 crew people including the officers who run the ship, the mechanics who take care of the engines and pumps, cooks, cleaning people, and even IT people for all the computers. It has been easy getting to know the science party because they all speak english. It has been harder to get to know the crew because many of them do not speak English as well, and unfortunately I don't speak Russian.

    Arath Orozco

    How many people are on board and on your team?

    Monserrath Ramirez

    What type of parasites can be found over there in the arctic?

    Jonathan Pazol

    There aren't really any major parasites because there aren't many hosts out in the ocean that people would come into contact with. There are bacteria in the water but they don't affect humans.