What Are They Doing?

Team researchers investigated air-surface chemical interactions in the Arctic, and how these might evolve in future climates. Their efforts were part of the Ocean, Atmosphere, Sea Ice, Snowpack (OASIS) program – an international program that involves scientists from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

To gather data, the team used state-of-the-art chemical and biological sensors, micrometeorological instrumentation, Lidars, and tethered balloons to measure chemical and biological exchanges between the atmosphere and ice, ocean, and snow surfaces. The study focused on the impacts of these chemical reservoirs on tropospheric chemistry, climate, and their feedbacks in the Arctic. By seeking the answer to key questions about the nature of these surfaces, including how, where, and which chemical substances and aerosols are processed and activated in snow surfaces, the team pursued big-picture climate issues and contributed to predictions about climate change in the arctic.

Where Are They?

For this project, the research team flew to Barrow, a small community of approximately 4,500 people on the northern coast of Alaska. The OASIS 2009 field campaign was supported through the Barrow Arctic Research Center (BARC) (www.arcticscience.org/), and the instrumentation was located a short walk from the laboratory, in the clean air research area outside Barrow.

Latest Journals

August 25, 2013 - Kangerlussuaq, Greenland Our last day in the Arctic brought us to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. I have tried for a while now to pronounce the name correctly, but am far from perfect. Phonetically it is spelled as: gang-er-loose-sue-arc. You can click on that link to hear the…
Enjoying Sisimiut - August 24, 2013 Today we visited Sisimiut, Greenland. It is a town of approximately 5,600 residents. Our tour guide, a Sisimiut native, showed us around the area. The population of this community is expanding with 100 births per year. There is a 6-month waiting list for an…
Columnar Basalt on Disko Island - August 23, 2013 Basalt is an igneous rock formed from molten lava. Sometimes it cools in a formation called "columnar basalt." It creates some very beautiful patterns in the rock. We spent the afternoon kayaking among these formations on Disko Island. Our ice…
Greenland - August 23, 2013 The Greenlandic word "Ilulissat" translates into English as "Icebergs." We experienced so many icebergs today; we could not do our planned visit to the town and the Ilulissat Icefjord. Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. In 1979 home-rule was introduced to…
Dates
-
Location
Barrow, Alaska
Project Funded Title
Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) 2009
Betsy Wilkening - Teacher
Teacher
Wilson K-8 School

Betsy Wilkening graduated from the University of Arizona in 1982 with a degree in chemical engineering, and has since worn many hats including: process and systems engineer, stay-at-home mom, pre-school science teacher, high school chemistry teacher, and currently is a 7th grade teacher. As part of her environmental, earth, and space science classes, Mrs. Wilkening’s students participate in light pollution studies, water monitoring, and go on an annual field trip to the Grand Canyon. In addition, her students have been participating in the International Polar Year since the kick-off in 2007. By working in the Arctic, she wants her students to understand the connection between our actions, arctic climate change, and the subsequent climate change in the southwest. Mrs. Wilkening commutes to school all year round on her bicycle, and, when she has time, she runs, swims, rafts, camps, hikes, plays water polo, surfs, and does triathlons and half-marathons.

Harry Beine - Researcher
Researcher
University of California at Davis

Harry Beine is an associate researcher in the Land, Air, and Water Resources Department at the University of California Davis. His current research focuses on how snow-atmosphere interactions affect global change, and he coordinates the international, multi-disciplinary Ocean, Atmosphere, Sea Ice, Snowpack Interactions (OASIS) program.

Ocean, Atmosphere, Sea Ice, and Snowpack Interactions Resources

Teacher Betsy Wilkening and researchers publish an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research stemming from their work on the PolarTREC OASIS project.

Article
Arctic
High school and Up
Download and Share

Betsy Wilkening's PolarTREC expedition with OASIS is highlighted in University of Arizona College of Engineering newsletter.

Article
Arctic
All Aged
Download and Share

Students will use marshmallows to simulate toxins in the environment. Concentrations of these toxins will be modeled and calculated as they bioaccumulate up the food chain. Methylmercury and POPs are substances that bioaccumulate in the Arctic food chain. OASIS scientists studied these in Barrow, Alaska. (See Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice and Snow (OASIS) Project at www.polartrec.com)

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
Middle School and Up
Download, Share, and Remix

Students will discover how a simple action such as turning on a television will lead to toxins in our food supply. Many of these toxins concentrate in the Arctic because of long-range transport of pollutants in the atmosphere. Scientists in the OASIS project (http://www.polartrec.com/ocean-atmosphere-sea-ice-and-snowpack-interactions) study these pollutants in the Arctic.

Lesson
Arctic
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
Download, Share, and Remix

OASIS Expedition discussed on Page 5 of district-wide newsletter that went home to families.

Article
Arctic
All Aged
Download and Share