A lot of people have expressed interest in my upcoming trip to the Arctic Ocean. This blog will update friends and family on what I’m up to, where we are, what I’m eating, what I’m reading or anything I feel like rambling about.
Before I continue, let me provide some quick background information.
On August 9th, I, along with 49 other scientists and 70-some Coast Guard crew members set out from the Alaskan port of Dutch Harbor aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy. Our mission is to study trace metals in the Arctic Ocean. This research cruise is part of the GEOTRACES Program. GEOTRACES is an international program seeking to better understand the cycling of trace metals in the ocean.
I will be working alongside two other smart and awesome scientists, Carl and Katlin. Together, we make up Team Mercury. While aboard the ship, we will analyze mercury in seawater and ice. We will also collect sediment, DNA and particulate matter (similar to dust, but in water instead of air) to analyze when we return home.
We will spend 65 days aboard the ship, returning to port on October 12th. Our goal is to reach the geographic North Pole by September 15th. If we do not reach the North Pole by the 15th, we must turn around to ensure we have sufficient supplies to continue sampling during our return trip. Whether or not we make it to the North Pole depends on the amount of ice cover at the pole. Below, I’ve posted our planned cruise track. All of the red dots indicate sampling stations.