Profiles of people around the world involved in IPY research Above The Polar Regions.
Several of these polar experts will be participating in the Above The Poles Live Events, so join in and ask them questions!
Dr. Kenneth Jezek - Observing the Poles from Space
Kenneth Jezek is a Professor at the Byrd Polar Research Center, School of Earth Sciences of The Ohio State University. He began doing Antarctic research in 1973 when he manned the cosmic ray laboratory located at McMurdo Station. Later his interests turned to remote sensing of ice sheets and sea ice. In 1997 he lead the Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project which resulted in the first, high resolution radar map of the southern continent. More recently, he has worked on innovative technologies used for creating three-dimensional images of the land buried beneath the polar ice sheets. Ken is a co-leader on the GIIPSY project which aims to assemble legacy data sets during the International Polar Year using the international constellation of Earth observing satellites.
His research is summarized here
Tamsin Gray – Antarctic Meteorological Observer
Tamsin works as a meteorologist for the British Antarctic Survey and has spent over a year living on a floating ice shelf on the coast of Antarctica. At Halley Research Station, a base built on stilts to keep it above the snow, she worked as part of a small team running experiments researching climate change and the hole in the ozone layer.
Since finishing her degree in Physical Sciences, Tamsin has been searching for the perfect job which allows her to combine her scientific interests and her passion for snowboarding. Working in Antarctica allows her to do just that.
This year Tamsin’s going to the Antarctic peninsula, one of the fastest warming regions of the planet, to carry out meteorological observations and launch weather balloons! She’s happy to answer questions about life in Antarctica as well as about her science, so feel free to contact her.
British Antarctic Survey, UK
Dr Eric Wolff - Atmosphere, Ice Cores, and Climate expert
Eric Wolff is a senior scientist at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England. He studies the chemistry of the lowest levels of the atmosphere above Antarctica, and also the chemistry of the ice beneath the atmosphere. The ice chemistry is measured in ice cores that reveal how past climate has evolved. In order to extract this information, Eric has taken a particular interest in how changes in the atmosphere get translated into signals in the ice. Eric and his colleagues have played a particular role in two fascinating aspects of the polar atmosphere: the effect of sunlight in releasing chemicals from snow into the atmosphere, and the role of sea ice in releasing chemically reactive halogen compounds (such as bromine) into the atmosphere.
, +44 (0) 1223 221491
British Antarctic Survey, UK
I studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, from where I started my career in industrial automation and project management at a pulp and paper factory. When the opportunity presented itself where I could combine my two greatest loves, science and the outdoors, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Hermanus Magnetic Observatory in South Africa needed a scientist/engineer to install and maintain their International Polar Year projects at SANAE IV, the South African National Antarctic Base in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. I left South Africa on 4 December 2007 and will only be returning home on 5 March 2009, thus spending almost 15 months in one of the most amazing places in the world: Antarctica!
Antarctica is seen as the window into geospace, the one place on Earth where we can study the magnetic field and the ionosphere without any interference from man-made sources. The research focused on is geophysical and ionospheric, with space weather applications. We measure the Earth's magnetic field and also study scintillation events that occur in the ionosphere in our vicinity. These studies aid researchers to predict and prepare for perbutations in the ionosphere, that can affect any communication system on Earth.
Please feel free to ask questions about the science & research we do, life and fun in Antarctica, Aurora Australis and living in isolation with only 9 other people for 11 months.
Prof. Michael Burton - Astronomer
I am an astrophysicist and my research career is built around exploiting new windows to explore the cosmos. I am an authority on observational infrared and millimetre wave astronomy, and have made substantive contributions to the study of the way stars form within molecular clouds in our Galaxy. I have also led the development of a new field, astronomy in Antarctica. My contributions to astrophysics have included new ways to observe and understand the behaviour of the hydrogen molecule in space, the discovery of an explosive event in the core of one of the nearest star forming regions, and the sequencing of the evolutionary stages through which massive stars pass, as they are born.
Department of Astrophysics and Optics, School of Physics, UNSW, Australia
Helen Atkinson, PhD Student, Atmopsheric Chemistry
After leaving school I did an apprenticeship in electrical and electronic engineering which led me into engineering management which didn't suit me at all! I decided to have a career change and went back to university to study chemistry. After three years I was still struggling to find a career direction, then I attended my first atmospheric chemistry lecture - suddenly it all fell into place - my engineering background, interest in chemistry and climate change, love of travelling and of the outdoors. I went on to do a masters project on iodine chemistry in the marine boundary layer at Leeds, and now continue my studies in the same field with a PhD with BAS and UEA.
I investigate biological sources of iodine emissions in the sea ice zone. Diatoms, which live inside brine channels in sea ice, are known to emit organic compounds containing iodine. Once in the atmosphere such compounds are photoloysed to yield iodine radicals which react with tropospheric ozone, destroying it catalytically. Subsequent new particle formation from iodine oxides may impact climate. I am analysing sea ice to discover if diatoms within the ice are the source of iodide oxides measured above it. I find my PhD topic fascinating as it combines sea ice physics, biology and atmospheric chemistry, and involves the study of the Arctic and Antarctic environments.
British Antarctic Survey and University of East Anglia, UK
Dr Darryn Schneider, Space Physicist
Darryn Schneider grew up on a dairy farm in South East Queensland Australia. He gained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Queensland and continued his studies in Canberra gaining a PhD in plasma physics at the Australian National University. His doctoral research was on helicon waves in highly magnetized plasmas. Helicon waves are equivalent of the familiar whistler waves that occur in the ionosphere. Darryn's first job was wintering over at the Australian Antarctic base Casey where he maintained the geophysical observatory, which had a strong emphasis on ionospheric studies.
In 1999 Darryn and his wife moved to the US and Darryn got a job with the University of Wisconsin as a winterover physicist maintaining the AMANDA neutrino telescope at the South Pole. On returning from the South Pole, Darryn was offered a position in Madison working on the new IceCube neutrino telescope. He has been working in Madison and South Pole ever since. This is Darryn's 13th trip to Antarctica and he has spent about 4 years there in total.
While in Antarctica Darryn maintains a web diary and blog.
Darryn Schneider, IceCube, Suite 500, 222 W Washington Av, Madison WI 53703, USA
Dr. Mark Drinkwater - Satellite Measurements of the Poles and Climate Change
Mark Drinkwater Heads the Mission Science Division at the European Space Agency (ESA), based at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA-ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. He has been involved in polar research since being inspired by satellite studies of snow and ice at the Scott Polar Research Institute, while at Cambridge University. Mark has a particular interest is finding ways of viewing and measuring aspects of the polar regions from space, and their relevance to Earth's climate system. He has contributed to pioneering new space missions for this purpose whilst working for NASA, and now ESA. Mark has played a role throughout the development of ESA's Ice Mission - CryoSat, and is currently leading a group of International Space Agencies to coordinate the collection of satellite data in support of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.
Contact: mark.drinkwater "at" esa.int; www.esa.int/livingplanet
Dr Evgeny Gruzinov
Evgeny Gruzinov is a leading engineer-geophysicist of the Russian Antarctic Expedition (RAE), who has been working with Drs Oleg Troshichev and Alexandr Frank-Kamenetsky, of the Arctic & Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), and Dr Gary Burns, of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), on the Solar Linkages to Atmospheric Processes (SLAP) project. Evgeny is currently based at the Russian Antarctic station, Vostok where, among other things, he operates, calibrates and services the Electric Field Mills used in the project.
Evgeny graduated from the St Petersburg University of Telecommunications in 1990, majoring in telecommunications engineering. He has also completed an MBA at the International Banking Institute and a management course at the St Petersburg State University. He has participated in both the 51st (Vostok, 2006) and 53rd (Vostok, 2008) RAE . Every day he sends data collected by the scientific instruments, via satellite, to AARI and AAD, and once a month he sends calibration data and a report to the project leaders.
Contact Evgeny via Dr Alexandr Frank-Kamenetsky –
– or Dr Gary Burns –
Dr. Robert Bindschadler
Dr. Robert Bindschadler is Chief Scientist of NASA's Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, a Senior Fellow of the Goddard Space Flight Center, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a past President of the International Glaciological Society. He maintains an active interest in the dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets, primarily on Earth, investigating how remote sensing can be used to improve our understanding of the role of ice in the Earth's climate. As the leader of 15 Antarctic field expeditions he has extensive first-hand knowledge of the hazards and challenges of working in the Antarctic environment. Other research has taken him to Greenland and various glaciers throughout the world. During his 29 years at Goddard, he has developed numerous unique applications of remote sensing data for glaciological research including measuring ice velocity and elevation using both visible and radar imagery, monitoring melt of the ice sheet by microwave emissions, and detecting changes in ice-sheet volume by repeat space-borne radar altimetry. He has testified before Congress and briefed the U.S. Vice President on the issue of ice-sheet stability and served on many scientific commissions and study groups as an expert in glaciology and remote sensing of ice. He has published over 130 scientific papers, numerous review articles and has appeared on television, radio and is often quoted in print media commenting on glaciological impacts of the climate on the world's ice sheets and glaciers.
Andrew Fleming is the remote sensing manager for the British Antarctic Survey. I am involved in many aspects of the science and operations of the organisation, mainly trying to demystify use of satellite data for BAS staff. Recent projects that have taken up far too much time include managing the Polar View project in the Antarctic and working with NASA and USGS to construct the LIMA mosaic. Beyond this I have a keen interest in all things geospatial, especially for cold places. However I principally work for my highly entertaining family and to fund an addiction to cycling and too many bikes.
Tom Gaisser is currently Martin A. Pomerantz Professor at the University of Delaware and Member of the Bartol Research Institute. He is also the current spokesperson of IceCube. Prof. Gaisser holds a Ph.D. from Brown University in theoretical particle physics. His interest in cosmic rays started when he joined Bartol in 1970 and he discovered the possibility of combining particle physics with astrophysics.
Gaisser's research deals with elementary particles in nature. Protons, ionized nuclei and electrons are accelerated in energetic astrophysical sources such as remnants of supernovas or in association with accretion onto black holes. The goal is to understand how cosmic accelerators work and to identify which are the most important for various energy ranges of the cosmic-ray energy spectrum. IceCube presents a wonderful opportunity to advance this field.
His book "Cosmic Rays and Particle Physics" was published by Cambridge University Press in 1990.
Pedro Russo obtained his university degree in applied mathematics/physics/astronomy and his Master's Degree in geophysics from the University of Porto, Portugal. Before assuming his current position, as IAU Coordinator for IYA2009, he spent one year and half working with data from the Venus Monitoring Camera onboard ESA's Venus Express. In the meanwhile Pedro has been working with different international organisations, like Europlanet (European Planetology Network), IAU Commission 55: Communicating Astronomy with the Public, EGU Earth and Space Science Informatics Division and IAF Science and Society Committee. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Communicating Astronomy with the Public journal.
1 January 2009 will mark the beginning of the IYA2009 in the eyes of the public. However this immense worldwide science outreach and education event began more than six years earlier, with IAU’s initiative in 2003. The IYA2009 aims to unite nations under the umbrella of astronomy and science, while at the same time acknowledging cultural differences and national and regional particularities. Never before has such a network of scientists, amateur astronomers, educators, journalists and scientific institutions come together. When the IYA2009 officially kicks off in Paris on 15 January 2009, it is estimated that more than 5000 people will be directly involved in the organisation of IYA2009 activities across the globe. During this talk we will outline the status of the principal projects and activities that make up the Year