Postcards from The Field

Hallo Everyone The South Of Germany Was Worked

Hallo everyone!The south of Germany was worked over by the Alpine glaciers in thelast Ice Age. Away from the mountains, they carved out so-calledoverdeepened valleys on the plains, which were subsequentlyrefilled by glacial sediments.In this picture you can see my two colleagues carrying out activeshear-wave seismics on top of one of these overdeepened valleys todetermine the exact structure of the valley fill, prior to drillinga borehole into the valley in autumn of this year. What was reallyhandy was the fact that the ploughed field is frozen solid, so thatthe seismic source is well coupled to the ground, even if we haveplant the geophones and push the seismic source through the snow!- David Tanner, Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, Hannover,Germany

In Support Of The Southern Ocean Clouds

In support of the Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation, Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES), the NSF/NCAR HIAPER GV research aircraft samples conditions in cold clouds. Based in Hobart, Tasmania, research flights of 8-hour duration measure cloud and aerosol properties as low as 500 feet above the surface. Subfreezing cloud temperatures and the presence of supercooled liquid present a potential aircraft icing hazard. The Mission Coordinator (shown above) monitors ambient conditions and works with the crew and Mission Scientist to ensure that the aircraft operates safely while achieving the scientific objectives of the flight.

Greetings From The Maya Underworldmy Name Is

Greetings from the Maya Underworld!My name is Emiliano Monroy-Rios and my current research involves water-rock interactions and geochemistry of coastal carbonate aquifers. I’m employing technical cave diving to get access to the geology of the marvelous underwater cave systems in the Yucatan Peninsula.The photo depicts sampling rocks from a cave in the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula with my advisor Patricia (Trish) Beddows.

I have been collecting hand-size specimens of carbonate rocks from underwater caves, dry caves, outcrops and quarries to perform stratigraphic correlations and geochemical analyses. The samples are analyzed for elemental chemical composition, stable carbon and oxygen isotopes, lithology and fossil content. This information, together with the aqueous chemistry, will improve our understanding of the nature of the water-rock interactions in karstic coastal systems.

Blood Falls Spills Its Subglacial Iron Rich Brine

Blood Falls spills its subglacial iron-rich brine into the western end of Lake Bonney, emerging from the end of the Taylor Glacier, Taylor Valley Antarctica. The McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project has been studying the valley ecosystems since 1993.

Greetings From The Southern Ocean We Departed

Greetings from the Southern Ocean!

We departed from Hobart, Tasmania in mid-January and are out for a seven week research cruise on board CSIRO’s R/V Investigator, headed towards Antarctica. Here we are launching a weather balloon from the aft of the ship as part of the Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation, Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES). We are collecting shipborne cloud, wind, and aerosol data to be used in conjunction with airborne observations from the NSF/NCAR HIAPER GV research aircraft.

We’re also enjoying seeing icebergs and whales!Cheers,Isabel Suhr, NCAR Earth Observing LaboratoryPhoto by Jay Mace, University of Utah

Battling Biofouling While Chronicling Ecosystem

Battling Biofouling While Chronicling Ecosystem Changes in a Freshwater Estuary

Dear everyone:

At the end of the season, we are out on one of Great Lakes estuaries (Muskegon Lake, Michigan) retrieving a buoy observatory system that gathers time-series data on weather and water quality chronicling ecosystem changes such as pollution, eutrophication, harmful algal blooms and hypoxia taking place in this urbanized environment (  Each year, we face the challenge of massive amounts of biofouling.  Although wipers on the face of all the underwater sensors and anti-biofouling ablative paint on the main body of the buoy below the water line deters significant biofouling in those locations and keeps the observatory functional, the extensive mooring cables and support ropes become hopelessly colonized by dense colonies of sticky mussels and bryozoans (fuzzy extensions that stick past the mussels in the photo) – making the task of buoy retrieval and cleanup, heavy and daunting.

Bopi Biddanda

Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, Michigan, USA.

Dear Aguers Here We Are Collecting Intact

Dear AGUers,

Here we are collecting intact sediment cores from farm canals within the Everglades Agricultural Area in South Florida. In order to understand the role of nutrient cycling across the sediment water interface sediment cores are routinely collected and analysed for phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations. 


Jango Bhadha,

University of Florida

Everglades Research and Education Center.

Hey Agu Here We Are Having Fun With The Sediment

Hey AGU,

Here we are having fun with the sediment catch of the day! We have been collecting sediment samples before and after hurricane Harvey from a modern flood delta in San Luis Pass on the Texas Coast to look at grain size changes. Fall has brought sunny but crisp weather to the coast – perfect for sailing and sampling!

From the left: Rachel Clark, Delaney Robinson, Carolina Ramon & Ben Chang.



Dept of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston

Ok Everyone Thats A Wrap After 207 Days In

Ok, everyone, that’s a wrap!

After 207 days in the field, 254 flights, and data collected at 45 terrestrial sites and 24 aquatic sites, the National Ecological Observatory Network’s Airborne Observation Platform’s “peak greenness” flight campaign is coming to a close for 2017.

From the northern-most point on the Alaska coast to the Florida peninsula and everything in between, two flight crews collected remote sensing data while dodging hurricanes, witnessing the midnight sun, and taking in some of the nation’s most spectacular landscapes. Propellers failed and rodents chewed through ground cables, but the airborne operations team worked tirelessly across the continent throughout our busiest season to date!

Many airborne data products are already processed and available, with more being published all the time. Airborne data is free to request and use:

In addition to the network of NEON sites flown each year, we are excited to announce that the AOP Assignable Asset is about to come online, available for principal investigator research starting in 2018.  For more information, visit

Many thanks to NEON’s AOP team, domain contacts, science collaborators, and the numerous staff from various park agencies, non-profits, universities, and airports that helped make this all possible.

We look forward to working with you as we soar into next field season!

-Heather Rogers, Flight Operations, Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) for the NEON project, operated by Battelle.

Ironing Out The Arctic Carbon Cycle To

Ironing out the arctic carbon cycle!

To understand the role of iron in the arctic carbon cycle, the Cory Lab did extensive sampling of iron rich surface waters in the Alaskan Arctic.  Acidic, iron rich seeps draining from the Brooks Range bring reduced iron downstream into river valleys.  In rivers most of the iron is oxidized and precipitates out as iron (oxy)hydroxides.  Iron (oxy)hydroxides give the river and surrounding rocks and soils the orange- red color seen in the picture.  During storm events the precipitated iron is transported downstream out of the valleys onto the Arctic Plains, where the iron is reduced again by microbes.  Upon reoxidation, the reduced iron in the arctic soils and soil waters produces reactive oxygen species that might be important in oxidizing organic carbon present in arctic soils and soil waters.  

- Adrianna Trusiak, University of Michigan