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Disko Bay Ice Coring Project

A research expedition blog by Milton Academy science faculty member, Matt Bingham

A Well-Oiled Machine: Update from Greenland: Drill Site 3

Posted by on May 29, 2015

The following post was written by Luke Trusel (and edited minimally for clarification).

After several, well fed and cozy, but cabin fever-inducing days of weather delays in Qarsuut, we were off to our third and final site, Greeland Central!   The “GC” site was our first and only site of the year on the Greenland Ice Sheet, situated at 2400 m (7874 ft) elevation.  The central part of the name comes from it’s being located centrally between two sites where our group drilled shorter firn cores last year (Work at one of these sites is detailed here:

On the flight out, we savored the incredible beauty of the glacially carved coastline, knowing that we were headed for a flat expanse of white ice as far as the eye could see.  Indeed, the trip to the ice sheet was filled with beautiful views of mountain glaciers and small ice caps.  As we got closer to the ice sheet, we began to see the large and heavily crevassed outlet glaciers that drain the Greenland Ice Sheet.  We flew almost directly over Store Glacier, which terminates in a thick mélange (a dense pack of small icebergs trapped by a seafloor ridge).


Above: The heavily-crevassed tidewater margin of Store glacier in the lower right and its thick mélange of icebergs and bergy bits in the ice-covered fjord.

We arrived at the ice sheet after about an hour and a half of flying and found that the weather here was much nicer than that along the coast.  We immediately got to work setting up camp.   At this point in the field season, we were operating as a well-oiled machine.  Setting up the drill and other tents was faster than ever, and even though we were delayed getting in, we had plenty of time for Oz to make some of his now-famous bean burritos.


The GC camp after the big storm (minus the bathroom tent, which we sent out on the first flight with our ice cores!).

Drilling commenced the following day, and like everything else, core recovery and processing was smooth and efficient.   Much of my time at GC was spent on core processing – tasks involving taking each recovered ice core section, logging and taking inventory of the length, diameter, weight and other physical characteristics, and bagging and ultimately boxing the ice for shipment back to the States.

During this time spent core processing, I also got a first hand view of climate going back in time.

Melting at the surface of Greenland has quite dramatically accelerated over recent decades.  The area of the ice sheet undergoing melt has increased with some places melting for the first time in more than a century.   The volume of meltwater produced across the ice sheet has also increased, and this melt makes up about half of Greenland’s likewise increasing contribution to sea level rise (the other half is from glacier flow and calving into the ocean).

The recent ramp up in surface melt was clearly visible in the GC core (although detailed analyses are still a ways off).  As this site is located in the ice sheet percolation zone, melting at the ice sheet surface drains (or percolates) downward into the near-surface firn and then refreezes.  These refrozen melt layers are quite easily distinguished in firn as being nearly bubble-free and glass-like, whereas unaltered firn looks more like compacted, white snow.  Because warmer summers produce more melt, reading the melt layers back in time via the ice cores can provide detailed information on past variability in summer climate.  What I observed was a much higher frequency and thicknesses of refrozen melt layers in the top of our GC core (i.e., the most recent time) and a decrease in both frequency and thickness as we drilled deeper and back in time.   The core was clearly documenting the widely known recent intensification of melt across Greenland.  However, just how unprecedented are these changes?  There were certainly periods as we drilled deeper that melt again increased.  What is driving these changes in melt and therefore summer warmth across Greenland?  The answers to these questions are ones that my research seeks to address after further analyzing what the cores are telling us.


Image from the National Ice Core Laboratory’s ice core scanning system of one the previous year’s cores from the ice sheet.  In the middle of the image is the notable 2012 melt layer, stemming from a series of events in which nearly 100% of Greenland’s surface experienced melting.  (As I was pretty busy processing the ice cores in the field, I didn’t get any field photos of the ice layers.  However, we’ll be imaging this year’s cores at NICL in just a few weeks from now.)

After several days of drilling and finally reaching our goal of 100 m depth, we had a day of flights scheduled to retrieve us, our camp gear, and our extracted ice off of the ice sheet.  On our first flight of the day, we sent out our most precious and important cargo: the ice cores!  Almost simultaneously as the plane took off, a dense fog rolled in.  This prevented any further flights that day and ushered in a two-day storm.   These days were spent mostly being tentbound and building the snow walls surrounding our tents both higher and longer as the winds shifted direction.  At times the wind was so intense that our kitchen tent seemed as if it might collapse!  I couldn’t help but think this may have been one of the most intense polar storms I have experienced.  It’s hard to tell though – ice sheets can get to be very windy!  And of course, it was likely nothing in comparison to that experienced by the folks studying the firn aquifer in SE Greenland this year (link to blog:, who received 3 feet of snow in a five-day, intensely windy storm!  Luckily for us, there was a momentary calm before another storm approached, and after only two days of being tentbound, our incredible Twin Otter pilots were able to pull us out.

As our successful fieldwork campaign comes to an end, the research phase begins.  In just a few weeks we will head to the National Ice Core Laboratory, where we will begin processing the ice cores for further analysis.  In some ways, the research phase is just as exciting as being in the field– who knows what we will find and experience as we unravel the climate history stored in the ice.

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Update from the Disko Island Ice Cap and Nuussuaq Peninsula Drilling Sites

Posted by on May 14, 2015

Drill Site #1: Disko Island Ice Cap

The following post was written by Matt Osman (and edited minimally for clarification).

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

 After a pleasant, albeit unintended delay in Ilulissat, we were finally able to make it to our first field site!

Following two days of snow and clouds, it happened all at once; on the evening of April 28th there appeared a patch of blue sky on the horizon near Disko Island.  Soon after, we were approached by our two (very dedicated) Twin Otter pilots with exciting news of this being the start of a possible 6-8 hour window of clear weather to get up on to ice cap.  The pilots quickly made some calls and scheduled the airport to open at 5 AM the following morning (try making that happen at an American airport!), and following some anxious packing, a few precious hours of sleep, and a short plane commute, voila! – we were standing on the ice cap. True to the pilots’ predictions, the site’s surrounding scenery was short-lived; no more than hour after landing we were socked in with clouds and snow.

and snow The Twin Otter plane taking off after dropping us off at the Disko Island Ice Cap. Can you spot the horizon to the right of the image?  Its absence underscores why clear weather is needed for safe air travel in Greenland.  (Photo credit: Matt Osman)


By midday our camp was set up; the cook shack and the drill tent sat center stage, surrounded by our little village of personal tents and a storage/restroom tent (check out image below).

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.13.11 PM Our camp on the Disko Island Ice Cap. (Photo credit: Matt Osman)

By afternoon, Mike, our driller, had the drill set up and we were ready to get coring.  From analyses on our 2014 short ice cores and ground penetrating radar profiles, it was clearly evident (and expected) that Disko Island Ice Cap was the meltiest of all the drill sites we will visit this year.  This year’s core was no exception; within two meters we were in solid ice.  In total, we ended up drilling about 40m of core total at Disko Island (a bit less than our goal due to some unexpected circumstances!), which will give us valuable new records on the last few decades of oceanographic and climatic variability in the region. Furthermore, we are now true experts at managing our “Ice Core Extraction and Processing Line” system.

Here’s a quick tutorial of how it works:

  • Step 1) An approximately 2 meter deep pit is dug, allowing the core barrel to be rotated into the bottom of the pit where the actual borehole resides.  Mike Waszkiewicz and myself (pictured) work in tandem to lower and lead the drill barrel into the borehole.  (a)
  • Step 2) Mike uses a control box to lower the drill barrel down the borehole; the deeper into the glacier you drill the longer it takes to travel to the bottom. (b)
  • Step 3) After drilling a core section (we extract 1-meter long sections at a time), Mike brings the drill barrel back up and the barrel is rotated to the horizontal position again, ice core intact. (c)

 Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.22.57 PM(Photo credits: a & c) Dr. Sarah Das, b) Matt Osman)

  • Step 4) Mike and I bring the core barrel outside to discard the extraneous snow/ice chips and extract the ice core.  It is then handed-off to the core-processing table. (d)
  • Step 5) At the processing table, Luke and Sarah don sterile gloves and face masks to clean up the core (if necessary) and take measurements of its mass and length/width. (e) & (f)
  • Step 6) Finally, the core is bagged up and put into tubes, which are stored in special insulated boxes (not pictured). A long journey awaits the cores over the next few weeks, one that will ultimately end at the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) in Denver, CO.  Our group will travel to NICL in June to finish processing the core for chemical and physical analyses.

 Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.23.43 PM(Photo credits: d & e) Dr. Sarah Das,  f) Matt Osman)

Additional photos from Disko:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.24.11 PM  Two adjacent snow pits provide a beautiful backlit history of the last ~2 years worth of snow accumulation on Disko Island.  The snow pit depth is approximately 2.3m, down to the snow-ice transition.  In lower left Matt Osman points to an interval of snow accumulation likely occurring between two summer 2014 warm events. (Photo credit: Matt Osman)


Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.24.25 PM

(Dusk on the Disko Island Ice Cap (Photo credit: Matt Osman) 

Waiting: A Sucker for Sucker Holes

May 7th, 2015

Hurry up and wait has become the mantra to which we’ve obeyed since arriving in Greenland.  Since arriving in Qaarsut, it seems that we have spent a good portion of the last week frantically gearing up to go to the Nuussuaq field site, only to get caught holding on standby due to weather.  As I’ve come to realize, there exists a simple yet definitive hierarchy to which science adheres in Greenland. We scientists are at the whim of the helicopter/plane pilots, who control transportation in Greenland (the other, less viable travel option includes a mixture of boats and dog sleds).  The pilots, on the other hand, are at the whim of the weather; a simple cloudy day can create whiteout conditions on an ice cap, making landing impossible And what controls the weather? Seemingly, the God of Randomness; weather has proven completely unpredictable these past couple weeks, and we are often left waiting, in hopes of blue skies.  Sometimes, a spot of blue will appear – these are termed “sucker holes”, as I’m informed by Sarah (Das) and our helicopter pilot, Inge, and you don’t want to get caught a sucker for thinking they’ll last. The realistic caveat, though, is you also don’t want to get caught unprepared to go in case they do.  And so, we are left hurrying up and waiting for “optimal” flying conditions.


Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.24.41 PM

 A classic sucker hole, as viewed from above.  Here was our view from the Sikorsky helicopter on the first attempt to land on the Disko Island Ice Cap. (Photo credit: Dr. Sarah Das, @sarahbdas on Twitter)

Yet, some time off is not necessarily a bad thing, and has allotted us time to explore the villages of Kangerlussuaq, Ilulisatt, and Qaarsut, and observe some of the daily habits of their inhabitants. A consistent aspect of Greenlandic villages I find particularly aesthetic are the assortment of house colors.  In a landscape that is snowy and essentially acts as a bleached canvas the majority of the year, the colorful towns seem to me to be as much an artistic expression of the inhabitants as they are a refuge.  I have to wonder though if the house colors are coordinated among neighbors; rarely will you find two next to each other the same color.  Pink with baby blue accents is probably the most vibrant color I’ve seen; personally, I would opt for a purple house.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.24.55 PM(Photo credit: Matt Osman)

 Greenlandic sled dogs are another commonplace sight (and sound!) in Greenland villages.  They are an ancient breed, descended from the dogs brought by the first Inuit hunters to Greenland, and are considered work dogs used for travel, not pets. On Sunday last week we had a fun opportunity to join the Qaarsut locals in a village dog-sled race for small children and grandmothers on the sea ice adjacent to town.  It was a blast, and everyone was in great spirits.  After completing the race, the participants were victoriously hoisted up in celebration, as seen in the photo below.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.25.07 PM(Photo credit: Matt Osman)

 The main livelihood, and the number one export in Greenland, is fishing.  Below, Luke and our helicopter pilot contemplate a rack of dried cod in Qaarsut.  Yum.

 Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.25.19 PM(Photo credits: Dr. Sarah Das @sarahbdas on Twitter)

Drill Site #2: Nuussuaq Peninsula (Drill Baby, Drill!)

Monday, May 11th.

The Nuussuaq drill site was an overwhelming success, but it wasn’t without its difficulties and a fair bit of stress leading up to the fact.  Unlike the Disko Island Ice Cap and the Greenland Ice Sheet drill sites, the plan at Nuussuaq was to get chartered up via helicopter for daily trips ( approximately 10 minutes flight time), and to return to Qaarsut in the evenings. After nearly a week of waiting, on Thursday, May 8th the weather finally cleared and we were able to make it up to the Nuussuaqq ice cap and get everything set up.  The entire ice cap sits perched on a plateau dramatically rising from sea level to 2100m ( about 6800 feet) up from sea level, and it’s one of the more incredible landscapes I’ve ever been to; a view from the summit grants you a stunning 360˚-view with the Greenland Ice Sheet on the eastern skyline, Disko Bay and Island to the south, sea-ice covered Uummannaq Bay to the west, and a never-ending supply majestic carved peaks everywhere in between. Check last year’s posts for more photos.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.25.31 PM

 A view to the east from the Nuussuaq drill site.  The glowing white line on the horizon is the Greenland Ice Sheet. (Photo credit: M. Osman)

 Thursday’s success in getting everything set up and ready to go to drill was met the following day with poor weather, forecasted to get worse the following three days.  At this point, our team had to make a decision – the daily commute plan was no longer an option as we had only a few days left to drill at Nuussuaq, and the incoming storm system would render the site a total failure.  We had to get in at all costs and stay. At noon on Friday, a sucker hole appeared in the sky, offering one final chance at getting in.  Without time to pack all our tents and camping kits, we hastily threw together our survival kits and sleeping bags and took off.  Understanding the weight of the situation, Inge, our skilled Norwegian pilot, was as determined as us to get us on the ice.  After circling above our socked in drill site, an opening in the clouds occurred fortuitously over a nearby red flag placed in the snow the previous day, and Inge rushed in to let us jump out.  WE HAD MADE IT!

Though the following three days did indeed consist largely of snow storms and whiteout, we were able to work the entire time.  With no other tents/amenities, our lives centered around drilling; we ate, slept, and worked around the clock in the drill tent (photo below). We had originally guesstimated the depth of the entire Nuussuaq ice cap to be 140m; at the end of the third day, we had retrieved an outstanding 138.4 meters of ice core (our original drill plan allotted 5-6 work days for 100m).  Needless to say, we were exhausted. Since annual ice layers become increasingly compressed the deeper and closer to the bed you dig, our ice core may contain a history of climate substantially longer than the originally intended 300-400 year record.  I am quite excited to get back to the lab and begin analyzing the data!

One more site to go: next up, the Greenland Ice Sheet. Stay tuned!

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.25.41 PMOur sleeping bags lined up in close quarters next to the drill.  (Photo credit: Matt Osman)

 Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.25.54 PM

Mike Waszkiewicz hooking up our ice core boxes to the helicopter on our last day at Nuussuaq. They’ll be flown back down to Qaarsut and stored at -20˚C, until being transported on a cold deck flight back to the USA. (Photo credit: Luke Trusel)


Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.26.04 PM The team, relieved to be done after a tiring (but successful) three days at Nuussuaq. Left to right: Mike Waszkiewicz, Sarah Das, Matt Osman, and Luke Trusel


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Sunday 4/26/15 Update

Posted by on May 8, 2015

The following post was written by Luke Trusel (and edited minimally for clarification).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today we flew from Kanger to Disko, but had to turn around at the last minute because cloud cover obscured our site.  The pilots dropped us off in Ilulissat and then departed back to Kanger; they were on SAR duty and needed equipment that they were not carrying during our flight.  We got several rooms at the Hotel Hvide Falk with the intention of trying to catch a flight the next day in a Norlandair Twin Otter station being used by the OSU group.

Meanwhile, it was a beautiful day in Ilulissat, with clear skies, lots of sun, with a bit of a cold breeze blowing from the ice sheet.  I ate some leftover pizza I had from Kanger and set out on a hike out to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilulissat Icefjord.  On the way I was greeted by some curious and very cute sled dog puppies.

Close-up of a Sled Dog (Photo Credit: Luke Trusel)

Close-up of a Sled Dog (Photo Credit: Luke Trusel)

As I reached the crest of the hills to the south of town, I discovered a breathtaking view of the fjord and several immense icebergs grounded in the shallow water.  This view reminded me of the awe which the ice can inspire.  At the same time, seeing the size of these icebergs was a reminder of the very real impacts of a warming climate on the Greenland ice sheet.  These bergs were likely calved by Jakobshavn Isbrae, one of the fastest flowing glaciers in the world and one that is undergoing rapid retreat and thinning in response to a warming atmosphere and ocean.

A view of a fjord South of Ilulissat

A view of a fjord South of Ilulissat (Photo Creidt: Luke Trusel)

An iceberg floating near Ilulissat (Photo Credit: Luke Trusel)

An iceberg floating near Ilulissat (Photo Credit: Luke Trusel)

Satellite imagery perfectly captures the day’s weather.  In visible imagery from NASA’s MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite, we can see a long band of clouds extending up the coast of west Greenland and concentrating over Disko Island.  At the same time, clear skies surround much of Disko Bay and Ilulissat.  ESA’s ASAR radar instrument on the Sentinel-1 satellite can see through these clouds.  Here we can see much of Disko Bay showing up as dark black, indicating open water.  The cloudy section in Davis Straight is sea ice, and the bright white to the southeast of Ilulissat is the thick mélange of icebergs in Jakobshavn Icefjord. We can also see our field site on Disko Island as if no clouds existed!

Terra satelite imagery showing the clear skies around Disko Bay and Illulissat (Satellite images courtesy of the DMI (

ASAR satelite imagery showing the Disko Bay area without clouds (Satellite images courtesy of the DMI (

Our day capped with smoothies at a local café and the goal of catching the Twin Otter out of here first thing in the morning.  That goal was not met, however, and we are looking for the weather to clear – hopeful for Thursday.

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A Sunset in Kangerlussuaq, our Camp on Disko Island, and an Abundance of Thai Food

Posted by on May 5, 2015

The 2015 field campaign is on!  In the coming weeks you can follow Sarah, Luke, and Oz working on Disko Island, Nussuaq Peninsula, and the Greenland Ice Sheet to drill 3 ~100m ice cores.


The following post was written by Luke Trusel (and edited minimally for clarification).

Friday, April 24, 2015

This morning, I woke up and met Sarah Das and the rest of the 2015 Disko Bay team at 5:00 AM at a hotel near the Air Force National Guard. Our flight, “Chalk 3,” was set for departure at 10am.

National Science Foundation airplane

An LC-130 from the National Science Foundation (Photo credit: Luke Trusel)

We took a stopover in Goose Bay, Newfoundland at about 1pm. It was actually colder in NY than in Goose Bay. We had smooth flying for the next few hours. There were some beautiful views of ice along the southwest coast of Greenland on the flight. About three hours later, we all arrived in Kangerlussuaq.

View of the ice along the coast of Greenland as seen from the flight (Photo credit: Luke Trusel)

View of the ice along the coast of Greenland as seen from the flight (Photo credit: Luke Trusel)

We then boarded a small school bus for the KISS building (Kangerlussuaq International Science Support), and were greeted by the station manager, Audrey, who had a bunch of Thai food waiting for us. 


Saturday, April 25, 2015

We had an early breakfast at the new restaurant this year – it serves Thai food and pizzas, as well as some American-style breakfast.  That morning I had fried and scrambled eggs, bacon, bread and coffee.  For lunch, I had a pizza, and for diner I had curry.  Perhaps surprisingly, all of the food was very good!


KangerlussuaqKangerlussuaq at dusk (Photo credit: Luke Trusel)

Science wise, our day started with a meeting regarding field safety and communications.  We then met with our helicopter pilots to discuss plans for camp put-in on Disko Island. The pilots were excited to fly there.  We’ll be taking a very large Sikorsky helicopter that can hold 24 passengers (but only 19 if there’s no in flight attendant, apparently).

We then went to purchase some last minute perishable foods and then went to sort through our remaining cargo.  At the site, we had a dry run at setting up all of our tents.  The Mountain Hardwear Space Station tent we use to house the drill rig and processing station was huge and a tricky to set up.  However, it does sort of look like a disco ball, so it’s appropriate for Disko Island.

Setting up the tent (Photo credit: Sarah Das)

Tomorrow we’ll depart somewhere around 9AM.  The next update will be from the village Qaarsut, hopefully after having successfully collected 100 m of climate history from Disko Island.

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2015 Field Season gets started: An Interview with Luke Trusel and Matt Osman

Posted by on May 4, 2015

On April 24th, 2015, Dr. Sarah Das of WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Dr. Luke Trusel of WHOI, and MIT graduate student Matt Osman (Oz), also working with WHOI, began a month-long journey to Greenland, a follow-up trip to build upon a visit taken last April that involved other scientists, including Matt Bingham, a Milton Academy science teacher. Before Dr. Trusel’s and Oz’s departure to Greenland, we were fortunate enough to interview them to better understand the preparations and logistics before and during the trip.

Dr. Trusel, a post-doctoral scholar at WHOI in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, shared that his longtime curiosity about how the world works inspired his decision to pursue a career of science. He stated, “Going into science is just another outlet to explore things and understand something the best you can.”

Matt Osman articulated that his interest in science stems from his childhood natural curiosity of the Earth. Having grown up in a small, rural farming community in central Illinois, Osman had always imagined and contemplated the past. He is “inspired (and equal parts humbled) by the interwoven complexities of the Earth’s climate system, as well as impassioned by the increasing relevance that understanding this complexity has in our changing world.”

Dr. Trusel and Oz explained that the main goal of this trip is to collect ice cores about 100 meters long at three sites in west and central Greenland. These cores are a record of how the ice and climate have changed. Two sites will be the same as last year, the Disko Island Ice Cap and Nuussuaq Peninsula Ice Cap, and the a new drill site, the Greenland Ice Sheet “Central” site, will be located between two sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet that the team visited last year.  Compared to the ~10m cores drilled last year, these longer cores will indicate a much longer climate record, potentially extending as far back as 300-400 or more years. They will measure many physical and chemical signals, known as “climate proxies,” within the cores that will ultimately inform the scientists about “local temperature, sea ice extent, marine primary production, and atmospheric circulation” behavior.

Dr. Trusel enthused about going to Greenland for the first time. He commented, “I’m sure it will be an absolutely beautiful place and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to go. I’ve been on 5 Arctic and Antarctic research trips, but this is the first time to Greenland!” Similarly, Oz expressed excitement over the “adventurous aspect of traveling to far off and remote (not to mention beautiful) field sites,” as well as over learning first-hand the “intricacies of conducting self-supported, polar ice core research…[He’ll] have the unique opportunity to play an integral part in each aspect of the mission…Also…[He is] quite excited for a second round of winter.”

On the flip side, when asked about what they were most apprehensive, Dr. Trusel answered that he hopes he has packed all of the right gear. Oz reflected upon his nervousness to control his sweet tooth; “Since being in cold conditions 24/7 is itself an energy-intensive activity, [they] take high calorie foods, including a large [stash] of chocolate.”

To prepare, both scientists have been packing gear since winter. They devoted a week to take inventory, purchase, and pack scientific equipment, field supplies, and food to last a month, all of which, through the New York Air National Guard, they sent to Greenland ahead of time. They also dedicated time to field training, and as Dr. Trusel joked, hanging out in large freezers. “Special gear” was mainly composed of an updated wardrobe to stay warm in -30 to -40˚C temperatures, including big down jackets, waterproof pants, and big gloves and mittens. To further prepare, they trained by climbing Mt. Washington. Dr. Trusel received certification in wilderness first aid and has been working to stay in shape, as the sites will be of high elevation and extreme cold temperatures. He commented that it was a “great opportunity to work together as a team.” Similarly, Oz renewed his NOLS Wilderness First Responder certification, and he explained, “it is requisite that [they] also all be versed in basic mountaineering, glacier travel, and cold-weather expeditionary skills, as [they] will be camping on the glacier for extended periods of time.”

Once there, the team will have rather limited access to basic luxuries, like Wi-Fi. They will have wi-fi at the ends and middle of the trip when based in villages, but there will not be Internet access at the field sites. However, they have a satellite phone available at all times. In regards to connection back home, Dr. Trusel plans to communicate through the satellite phone and to send online updates when granted Internet access. Oz anticipates the use of intermittent email communication. He added, “This blog will be nice.” When asked about being away from responsibilities on the home-front, Dr. Trusel noted that his wife will have more house and dog duties, and Oz remarked that his biggest challenge would be missing and making up a month’s worth of coursework at MIT—(and as he jested, seeing “if [his] aloe desk-plant can last a month unattended).

To conclude, when we asked if they would like to add anything else, Dr. Trusel encouraged that we “study earth science because you get to go to some of the most amazing places!” To complement, nicely along the lines of our thoughts, Matt added, “Stay posted!”


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Disko Bay Project at AGU

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014

Several members of the Disko Bay team presented preliminary findings yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco.  According to their website, “With nearly 24,000 attendees, the AGU Fall Meeting is the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world.”  The poster, Using Coastal Ice Cap Records to Investigate Maritime Climate and Ice Sheet Processes in West Greenland, was on display in the Moscone West Poster Hall from 1:40-6:00 PM non Monday.

Other team members will also be presenting on related work at AGU:

Laura Stevens et al (including Sarah Das):  Hydrologically Induced Basal Slip Triggers Greenland Supraglacial Lake Drainages

Ashley Stevens, et al (including Karen Frey, Sarah Das, Matt Evans, Ben Smith, and Luke Trusel): Assessing the influence of sea ice conditions on outlet glacier retreat in Disko and Uummannaq Bays, West Greenland

Kenneth Mankoff, et al ( including Sarah Das): In-Situ Observations of a Subglacial Outflow Plume in a Greenland Fjord

Luke Trusel, et al (including Karen Frey and Sarah Das): Divergent trajectories of Antarctic ice shelf surface melt under 21st century climate scenarios

Other work being presented by each of the PIs or their students can be found here:

Karen Frey

Sarah Das

Benjamin Smith

Matthew Evans 




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