Dr. Knut Christianson
Dr. Knut Christianson is a young scientist who recently completed his Ph.D. in geophysics
at Penn State University and is now working at St. Olaf College. He has already
been to Antarctica five times working on a number of different projects involving
precision GPS measurements, active source seismics and ice-penetrating radar. Christianson
has also done research on glacier geophysics projects in Greenland, Norway and Svalbard
where he was supported by fellowships from the Fulbright and National Science Foundations.
He has just completed two field seasons on the WISSARD project and returned from
Antarctica in late January 2012 with new radar and GPS data on the dynamic subglacial
Lake Whillans, about to be accessed by drilling next year.
Dr. Robert Jacobel
Dr. Robert Jacobel is a Professor of Physics at St. Olaf College where he teaches
in the Environmental Studies Program in addition to courses in physics. His research
utilizes ice-penetrating radar and satellite remote sensing to investigate ice masses
in both temperate and polar regions. Jacobel has been a participant in the U.S.
Antarctic Research Program since 1987 studying the dynamics and evolution of the
Antarctic ice sheets. He has been to Antarctica numerous times working on a variety
of different projects, mostly involving radar. The Jacobel Glacier in coastal West
Antarctica was named for him in recognition of his contributions to Antarctic science.
He also enjoys reading about the history of the polar regions and teaches a course
on the “literature of the poles.”
Ms. Susan Kelly
Susan Kelly is the Education and Public Outreach Coordinator for the WISSARD (Whillans
Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling) program, and also conducts outreach
programs for the WAIS Divide project centered at Montana State University. Susan
has run education and outreach programming focused on extreme environments in the
thermal features of Yellowstone National Park and is excited to expand her experience
to include colder climates.
Susan has a BA degree in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado,
Boulder and a M.S. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University. She has worked
in science education and outreach capacities for more than 20 years working with
both informal and formal education audiences. She teaches field classes for teachers
that are obtaining their Master’s in Science of Science Education program at MSU,
and was recognized for outstanding achievement in science education by the Montana
Science Teachers Association in 2007.
Dr. Jill Mikucki
Jill Mikucki is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Mikucki's research interests include the
diversity and function of microbial communities in icy environments, linkages between
microbial metabolism and contemporary and ancient ecosystem chemistry and the selection
of microbial species and physiologies in extreme environments. Jill focuses on the
microbial ecology of subglacial environments because the isolation and relatively
simple food-webs in these systems allows for the study of microbially-mediated processes
which can be difficult to identify in more complex ecosystems. Icy environments
also serve as analogs for past global glaciation events, inform exobiological exploration,
yield novel microorganisms for diversity studies and biotechnological advancement
and will help us understand life's ability to persist in cold and dark isolation
for extended periods of time.
Joseph R. McConnell
Joe McConnell studies climate and environmental history to understand natural and
human-caused changes in the Earth system. His work uses polar ice cores as recorders
of past climate and environmental change, and focuses on the relationship between
aerosols and climate change, on time scales of months to tens of thousands of years.
Such aerosols contribute to climate change and come from many sources including
desert dust, sea spray, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and industrial, agricultural,
and other human activities. They are transported in the atmosphere over large distances
from their sources in the low- and mid-latitudes to the high-latitude polar regions
where they are deposited in snow. One clear outcome of ice core studies is the recognition
that human activities have greatly altered the levels of aerosols even in the remotest
regions of Earth since the dawn of the industrial revolution.
Joe McConnell’s research group has developed and applied methods for making very
precise, high-depth-resolution chemical measurements in ice cores. He has applied
these methods to ice cores that he and his colleagues have collected from the Greenland
and Antarctic ice sheets as well as mountain glaciers, leading to monthly to annual
records of aerosols extending from today to thousands of years back in time. These
rich data provide a history of aerosol concentrations, sources, and atmospheric
transport patterns and Joe’s research group is working with climate modelers to
incorporate these historical aerosol records in the evaluation of model simulations
of past climate and the role of aerosols in climate change. The overall goal is
to better understand past natural and human causes of climate change which will
lead to better predictions of future climate.
Joe has been a faculty member at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Reno NV
since 1998. DRI is part of the Nevada System of Higher Education. He has conducted
field research in Antarctica, throughout the Arctic, and in alpine regions. He runs
a unique analytical laboratory devoted to aerosol measurements in polar and alpine
ice cores. His research group currently is involved in projects at both poles and
in alpine regions in Asia and the Americas.
For more information contact email@example.com
Underwritten in part by NSF