Expedition Search

2007 Expeditions

Peggy Foletta
Teacher

Organization
Kingsburg High School
Kingsburg, CA
United States
Dates:
27 July 2007 to 16 August 2007
Location:
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
What Are They Doing?
The research team investigated climate variation over the past 10,000 years in southern Alaska based on information stored in lake sediments. The team monitored limnological conditions and analyzed recent lake sediment in order to reconstruct the paleoclimate of the region. The research attempts to understand modern warming in the context of long-term climate variability. The data was compared with records across the Arctic and sub-Arctic to better understand climate variation.
Sarah Anderson
Teacher

Organization
Boerne High School
Boerne, TX
United States
Dates:
28 August 2007 to 2 November 2007
Location:
Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea, Antarctica
What Are They Doing?
The research team traveled by icebreaker to the Bellingshausen-Amundsen Sea in western Antarctica. During their two months at sea they sampled sea-ice properties such as temperature, snow depth, ice thickness, meteorological conditions, ice biogeochemistry, and biology in order to investigate sea-ice processes. The researchers deployed an array of 12-14 drifting buoys that continued to measure these processes for an additional year. The research cruise was part of a larger coordinated program designed to estimate the exchange of salt, fresh water, and heat between the atmosphere and ocean, characterize the thickness and extent of sea ice, and determine if the sea ice is shrinking in this region. A cruise into the East Antarctic pack ice which took place at the same time collected similar samples, and remote sensing studies contributed additional observations before, during, and after the cruises.
Mindy Bell
Teacher

Organization
Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy
Flagstaff, AZ
United States
Dates:
30 September 2007 to 18 November 2007
Location:
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
What Are They Doing?
The research team explored remote regions of the seafloor around McMurdo Station, Antarctica with a specially developed remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for underwater research. The ROV could be deployed through a small (15 cm) hole in the sea ice, enabling access to regions beyond scuba diving depths (at 40-170 m). The researchers located historical experimental structures on the sea floor around McMurdo Station and investigated the colonization of these structures by species of sessile invertebrates. This provided an unprecedented opportunity to explore and document the rates and patterns of ecological succession from one of the most extreme habitats in the world. The team also tested protocols for conducting sonar mapping with the new ROV as a first step towards creating high-resolution, bathymetric maps of the entire seafloor around McMurdo Station.
Lollie Garay
Teacher

Organization
Redd School
Houston, TX
United States
Dates:
24 November 2007 to 11 January 2008
Location:
Icebreaker Oden
What Are They Doing?
Lollie Garay journeyed across the world to participate in a unique co-operative endeavor between the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Along with researchers, teachers, and other personnel from Sweden, and the United States, Ms. Garay boarded the Swedish icebreaker Oden in Punta Arenas, Chile and traveled to McMurdo Base in Antarctica, finally returning home via Christchurch, New Zealand. The scientific objectives of the cruise were to collect a range of data in rarely traveled areas of the Antarctic seas and coastline, including the Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and eastern Ross Seas. An international research team studied the oceanography and biogeochemistry of the region while in transit to Antarctica, with a particular emphasis on the processes that control the growth and fate of phytoplankton in the ocean. These studies added to our limited knowledge of these remote corners of the Antarctic Seas and allowed future researchers to...

2008 Expeditions

Ann Linsley
Teacher

Organization
Bellaire High School
Bellaire, TX
United States
Dates:
12 November 2007 to 20 December 2007
Location:
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
What Are They Doing?
Antarctica represents one of the most strictly-monitored habitats on Earth. In addition to the desire to protect the flora, fauna, and atmosphere of a relatively pristine environment, Antarctica serves as a baseline barometer of global pollution. McMurdo Station is the largest human community on the Antarctic continent and as part of its obligations under the Antarctic Treaty's Protocol on Environmental Protection the U.S. is developing a long-term monitoring program designed to describe the environmental conditions in and around the station and to scrutinize any anthropogenic impacts that can be foreseen or detected. Ms. Linsley and the research team conducted environmental monitoring and sampling of chemical, physical, and biological variables in and around McMurdo Station from both marine and terrestrial habitats as measures of human impact and used GIS techniques to track them over time. The results of this research helped document and minimize the impacts of future science and...
Brandon Gillette
Teacher

Organization
University of Kansas and the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)
Lawrence, KS
United States
Dates:
26 November 2007 to 1 January 2008
Location:
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), Antarctica
What Are They Doing?
Mr. Gillette and a team of researchers and technicians from the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) spent two months documenting conditions at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) divide using a variety of techniques, including weather observations, GPS, ice coring, radar, and seismic sensing. The team characterized the base of the ice sheet by determining, for example, the amount of water and sediments under the ice, which were used to help interpret ice core data. Similar measurements over time contributed to an improved understanding of, and ability to predict, the impact of changes in polar ice sheets on sea level and climate. Additional information about this project can be found at the project website.
Elke Bergholz
Teacher

Organization
United Nations International School
New York, NY
United States
Dates:
4 December 2007 to 16 January 2008
Location:
South Pole Station
What Are They Doing?
Ms. Bergholz traveled to Antarctica in 1999 as a TEA teacher to collect data on atmospheric ozone. Since then, ozone depletion and global warming have become even more urgent international concerns. Late 2007, Ms. Bergholz joined Dr. Hofmann once again at the NOAA Clean Air Facility at the South Pole Station to collect new data on atmospheric ozone, to compare with the data they collected in 1999. Ms. Bergholz and Dr. Hofmann measured the positive influences of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The group collected information on atmospheric ozone (surface ozone, total ozone, and ozone profiles), carbon dioxide, and aerosols. Comparisons were made to atmospheric data in other parts of the world in order to predict the influence that the Kyoto Protocol and other clean air policies might have.
Kirk Beckendorf
Teacher

Organization
NOAA Office of Education
Blanco, TX
United States
Dates:
21 December 2007 to 29 January 2008
Location:
Antarctica
What Are They Doing?
Mr. Beckendorf and the team worked on the Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations Project deploying, supporting, and maintaining a network of instruments that take automated weather measurements throughout the year. The data are transmitted via satellite in real-time and the sites themselves require relatively little upkeep. Since the beginning of the project in 1980, there have been approximately 100 weather stations deployed across Antarctica, largely powered through solar energy. The Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations are a very important part of many scientific projects taking place in Antarctica, as these stations provide the only weather measurements available on most parts of the continent.
Craig Kasemodel
Teacher

Organization
Central Middle School of Science
Anchorage, AK
United States
Dates:
11 March 2008 to 28 March 2008
Location:
Bering Sea
What Are They Doing?
A diverse team of researchers participated in the first of three research cruises in the spring and summer of 2008, aboard the USCGC Healy in support of the Bering Sea Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP). Scientists on board the ship documented late winter ocean conditions, studying the biological communities found in sea ice, examining the early spring plankton bloom, and investigating light penetration through open water and ice cover. Additionally, researchers examined the benthic communities living on the seafloor as well as observed an important benthic predator, the walrus. The region of the Bering Sea where the team was working is biologically rich and supports highly productive ecological communities of bivalves, gastropods, and polychaetes. These benthic communities have been changing over the past several decades, perhaps as a result of competing fish species moving north as waters warm.
Emily Davenport
Graduate Student

Organization
Western Washington University
Dates:
27 March 2008 to 6 May 2008
Location:
Bering Sea
What Are They Doing?
A diverse research team aboard the icebreaker, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Healy conducted sampling along a series of transects over the eastern Bering Sea. Research on the ship is multidisciplinary, and was part of the Bering Ecosystem Study. The scientists on board used a variety of techniques to measure the productivity of the Bering Sea ecosystem. Measurements included temperature, salinity, nutrient content of the sea water, changes in sea ice cover, and the concentration of nutrients used and released by phytoplankton. They also conducted surveys of zooplankton, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals such as walrus and seal, to assess the health of these populations. These measurements helped give scientists an indication of the status of the Bering Sea ecosystem and any potential changes occurring in the marine environment that might change the continued use of its resources, and the economic, social and cultural sustainability of the people who depend on it.