Today I want to feature the research of Marissa Goerke, a research associate at Palmer Station. Marissa’s office is in the Terra Lab. The Terra Lab is uphill from the remainder of Palmer Station, thereby providing for a wider view over of the Palmer area. My dramatic sunset photo from day 27 was taken from there also.
This lab is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, all operated by Marissa. She is involved in 14 projects, including projects from the National Science Foundation (NSF - the federal agency that funds my project) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Several projects are part of a global network, such as the global seismograph network (which registers earthquakes all around the world).
Other projects require air sampling (see left photo below for an example of a bottle that will store air). Antarctica is isolated by an entire ocean (the Southern Ocean) from the rest of the planet. Thus, air samples should be the cleanest anywhere in the world, and thus particularly valuable for science! Some of the air samples will be analyzed for carbon dioxide, oxygen or halocarbons. To view some of the data she collects, see this NOAA page. Another project uses a very low frequncy (VLF) antenna, which enables you to “listen” to lightning all around the world (see right photo below for the device)!
Aside from that, Marissa also helps collect and organize the long-term data sets at Palmer Station. She has a treasure trove of data, some of which I have used (e.g., weather data or the coordinates of where the glacier edge was at different time points). She is quite a multi-tasker, being able to juggle the various projects. Thanks, Marissa!