Postcards from The Field

Hi All Greetings From Svalbard At A Latitude Of

Hi all,

Greetings from Svalbard, at a latitude of 78° North. Our cloud campaign, part of (AC)³ project, is about to come to an end. During more than 80 flight hours for each research airplane, Polar 5 and Polar 6, we have sampled very different and exciting cloud situations. While Polar 5 takes care of the remote sensing measurements, Polar 6 flies inside the clouds, mostly collocated with Polar 5. We also overflew the Research Vessel Polarstern (see photo). With only a couple of flights left, the campaign is nearly finished. We are confident that the collected dataset will take us to relevant scientific results. So far, the campaign has been awesome and it has let us experience the grandeur of the Arctic (for instance, flying above the glaciers was amazing!).

Best regards!

Tobias Donth and Elena Ruiz (University of Leipzig)

Greetings From The Ice Factory This Photo Is

Greetings from the ice factory,

This photo is from the katabatic winds of Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea, where we just completed a 65-day cruise – the first winter cruise in the Ross Sea in nearly 20 years! Katabatic winds are strong, persistent winds that lead to this area being referred to as the ice factory. We experienced hurricane force winds (over 70 knots), waves nearly 10-feet high, and lots and lots of sea ice production. This project (PIPERS; Polynyas, Ice Production and Seasonal Evolution in the Ross Sea) will help us unravel the story of winter sea ice formation and the associated production of and Antarctic Bottom Water, which drives circulation of the world’s oceans. 

Do you wish you were here?

Maddie Smith (Ph.D. student at APL, U. of Washington)

Hi To All Greetings From The Arctic We Are

Hi to all,

greetings from the Arctic. We are meteorologists from several universities and research institutes from Germany and France and are currently in Longyearbyen on Svalbard/Spitsbergen. We are working in the (AC)3-Project (ArctiC Amplification: Climate relevant Atmospheric and SurfaCe processesand feedback mechanisms) withing we are investigating the impact of clouds on the Arctic climatic system. Clouds might be one of the keys to understand the current drastic climate changes happening in Arctic. The sea ice is melting, near surface air temperatures are rising. The models don’t fully cover this. We do airborne measurements of the cloud properties with two specialized research aircraft. The aim is to improve projections of the Arctic climate system.

The picture shows a photo taken during the flight with our desired clouds over Arctic sea ice.

Best regards!

-  Tobias Doktorowski

Hello All This Year Our Department Field Trip

Hello all,

This year, our department field trip explored the Cascades of Washington. Through no foresight on my part, we ended up exploring Mt. St. Helens on 18 May, the 37th anniversary of the 1980 eruption. The scars from that day still dominate the landscape, and it was humbling to stand on Johnston Ridge and be reminded that the research and education that we do can profoundly affect people’s lives.

-Andrew Dombard, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Hi Everyone Im In Louisiana With Biologist And

Hi everyone,

I’m in Louisiana with biologist and artist Brandon Ballengée researching a book on art, culture, and climate change.  Brandon is collaborating with Prosanta Chakrabarty (Associate Professor/Curator of Ichthyology, LSU) on an interdisciplinary art and science project called Crude Life.  In its current form, the project consists of old trunks and chests containing dyed specimens and posters listing the species that have been adversely affected by, or simply gone missing since, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  

In this photo, we’re at A Studio in the Woods (Tulane University) for “Loss & Found,” an event that is part of the Annual Wetlands Art Tour sponsored by Antenna::Signals.  The portable museum is aesthetically bewitching and draws people to it.  Brandon talks with them about the aftermath of the oil spill, the 14 species of endemic Gulf fishes that have not been seen since the spill, and opens up dialogue about the ecology of Louisiana, its fossil fuel economy, and the fate of biodiversity in the Gulf.

Thomas S. Davis, Associate Professor of English, The Ohio State University

Greetings From Paradise Tiera Is Taking Notes On

Greetings from Paradise.  Tiera is taking notes on samples collected for grain-size analysis and XRF/XRD analysis on top of the fluted cliffs of the Na Pali  coast of Kauai, in a quest to understand how weathering of the basalts renders them erodible.  Friends claim we are just using geology as an excuse to go hiking in Hawaii, but we deny it.

Jerry Osborn and Tiera Naber, Geoscience Dept, University of Calgary, Alberta.

Dear All The Sun May Be Setting Over The S

Dear all,

The sun may be setting over the S Pacific, but the science will go on all night long! Our fantastic crew have just finished glider recovery and now on with our overnight CTD and sediment trap stations as we study the world’s largest Oxygen Minimum Zone.

best regards from RV Meteor,


Dear Science Enthusiasts Im Over Here In

Dear science enthusiasts,

I’m over here in Switzerland on a collaborative visit doing some mountain science with the Hydrology group in the Institute of Geography at University of Bern. Yesterday we took advantage of a significant rain-on-snow event above 2000 m to run a qualitative evaluation of water percolation though a saturated snowpack.

We hiked in and applied food-grade coloring to the surface a slightly inclined 2x2 m plot near some instrumental stations to visualize lateral vs. vertical water flow in the snowpack. It had been raining all night, but had mostly stopped when we began the test. While there were some preferential flow paths across ice lensing, the entire column except for the uphill portion indicated downhill percolation from the surface after less than 3 hours. That’s a lot of water moving inside the snow, if you look at entire slopes!


Scotty Strachan

Dept of Geography, University of Nevada, Reno USA

Greetings All Heres A Double Rainbow During A

Greetings, all!Here’s a double rainbow during a frontal shower near the Lincoln, NE airport, captured during the NASA-funded Project ACT-America (Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America) Campaign in Summer 2016.

- Sandip Pal