Parno with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering
Laboratory in Hanover, New Hampshire, participated in a two-month
polar science cruise aboard the icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer in
support of the U.S. Antarctic Program Polynyas, Ice Production and
Seasonal Evolution in the Ross Sea.
The objective of the
science cruise was to observe the interaction between the air, sea
and ice. The observations included sea ice, ocean, snow cover and
atmospheric properties during rapid sea ice growth in the Ross Sea,
the only place on earth experiencing such a phenomenon.
The National Science Foundation manages the U.S.
Antarctic Program, and provides financial support to researchers
along with the logistics to conduct sophisticated science in the
most remote places on earth.
During the cruise, Parno was
part of the ice geophysics team, who worked to catalog and
characterize the evolution of the sea ice along the cruise track,
and provided ground-truth data for remote sensing methods and model
Parno’s experiences are detailed in a
blog, managed by Dr. Brice Loose, assistant professor of
oceanography at The University of Rhode Island.
“I feel very lucky to be a part of this immense multi-project
effort to better understand sea ice production in this area,”
reported Parno in her blog post. “Now let’s just hope that the
weather cooperates soon so we can get back out on the ice!”
“On our way to Terra Nova Bay, with clearer skies and less wind, we
were able to get in two successful ice stations,” wrote Parno on her
June 3, 2017- Researchers are lifted from the sea ice to the
icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer after placing a buoy that measures
waves traveling through ice in the marginal ice zone. The
researchers are participating in the U.S. Antarctic Program Polynyas,
Ice Production and Seasonal Evolution in the Ross Sea. Julie Parno
with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
participated in the two month program. (Photo courtesy of Julie
Parno, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center - CRREL)
“I have been part of the collective effort to complete
the ice physics station. At each station, we use a variety
of techniques to map both the surface and underside of the
sea ice with the goal of fully characterizing the ice. One
of the main campaigns I am assisting with is a LiDAR survey,
which provides us with the surface elevation over a two
dimensional grid. For this, I got to step out onto the sea
ice for the first time and I loved it!”
Prior to the
cruise, Parno and fellow Antarctic Program scientists shared
the details and goals of the trip with students. Parno
visited Gordon Creek Elementary in Ballston Spa, New York,
where she shared a slideshow and question and answer session
on the Antarctic and polar science with the second graders.
The students enjoyed trying on the extreme cold weather gear
that is issued to program participants.
cruise, Parno kept in touch with the students through a
letter providing a first-person observation of the ice
thickness, conditions and wildlife.
“The cruise was
a success,” said Parno. “Field work in this extremely remote
region of the world always presents challenges, but we were
able to collect a significant amount of data that will help
us better understand air-ice-ocean interactions and sea ice
seasonal trends in Antarctica. I learned a ton about sea ice
itself, the wide variety of instruments and methods used in
studying sea ice, and the logistics of working off a boat in
a challenging environment.”
By Marie Darling, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - ERD
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