March 8, 2017

About the Arctic and Black Sea from Miami

So last week I was in Hawaii at the Aquatic Sciences Meeting where I participated in two Arctic workshops, attended two Arctic town hall meetings and numerous sessions on topics ranging from barium (that is, the “Ba” in Breaking Bad) in the Arctic Ocean to dissolved organic matter in the Sea of Japan. In this post, I’ll give you a summary of my productive week in Hawaii, now that I’m back home in Miami.

Photo taken by me, from here.
The early-career workshop
On Sunday, February 26 — the day after I landed in Hawaii — I attended an early-career Arctic GEOTRACES networking event/workshop, which was probably the highlight of my week. When I walked into the room where the workshop was held, I immediately felt at home since so many people there were from the U.S. program, who I spent months living with aboard the Healy in 2015 (Scientists & Crew). The workshop began with introductions from the Canadian, German and U.S. programs, and was followed by the workshop participants giving one-minute presentations on their work since 2015; I learned about all of the different projects, which was super cool! For my minute, I presented pH measurements from the marginal ice zone (MIZ), pointing out an eddy that I identified while at sea, which I mentioned in my previous post. I also presented the same material at the MIZ workshop later that week.

U.S. section is in red (US), Canadian sections are in pink/light blue (CA) and German section is in Black (D).  From ARCUS, here.
Once we finished our brief intros, we broke out into small groups to discuss various things, such as trace metal and carbon cycling, anthropogenic inputs and circulation. To my surprise, one of the groups focused their discussion on the eddy that I mentioned, which resolved some of the unexplained variations in the seawater chemistry. Some of the discussions from the workshop ended up being factored into the session talks later in the week, and I actually got a shout-out from Laura for identifying the eddy, since it explained some variations in the distributions of barium that she measured. There were multiple rounds of breakout group discussions, and I had a great time talking about the CO2 system and relaying discussion points back to Ryan. Once the discussions concluded, we made some future plans and ended the workshop by taking a group photo.

The sessions

So there were a number of sessions that I attended, including two that focused on (Ant)Arctic regions. I attended a session on Polar and high latitude research as well as the session on Trace elements and isotopes in the Arctic Ocean, which included talks from the international GEOTRACES Arctic program, co-organized by Dave, Bill, Greg (Scientists & Crew). I also attended sessions on The biogeochemistry of dissolved organic matter and Organic matter cycling across aquatic gradients, the latter of which I presented my 15-minute talk in on Wednesday.

The town halls

The first town hall that I went to was on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Arctic Sciences Section, during which I learned about some of the details of submitting proposals to obtain science funded, as well as logistical details, etc. It was pretty informative, and the knowledge that I gained will likely be useful as I move forward with my career. Currently, I am supported (tuition, stipend and some research expenses) by the NSF, and the U.S. GEOTRACES program is as well.

Out of curiosity, I also attended a town hall meeting on the MOSAiC International Arctic Drift Expedition, to learn about the field program that will be conducted from Oct 2019-Oct 2020, as well as any possible opportunities for me in the future. The idea of that program is for the Polarstern to drift with Arctic sea ice across the North Pole for a full year, with scientists taking measurements the entire time (in two-month shifts). The program reminds me of the Antarctic story of Shackleton and the Endurance, which is perhaps my favorite story of all time.

In other news

So I update Arctic News whenever I see a relevant/credible news article or video that aren’t tooo sciencey/hard to understand, but I don’t include the Ant to keep it simple. Anyway, here are a few Antarctic stories that have recently stood out to me:
February 16, 2017
March 1, 2017
March 8, 2017

Ask me questions! Also, send me feedback because I have no idea how many people actually read these posts! J  (email under Ask a Question tab)