Guest Blogger

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On the Surface, Feeling Further Away from the Ocean than Ever

My German colleague and I could conceptualize five kilometers horizontally—the same as her bike ride to work, the same as the first ever race I ran. Neither of us could quite grasp what flipping 5 kilometers 90 degrees might mean, as our pump continued on its 3-hour vertical journey to that depth.

by |February 8, 2016
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In Isolation, Community

Being aboard a ship is isolating—but for a scientist, it’s not lonely.

by |January 19, 2016
Temperature departure from average for Dec. 25, 2015. Note the swath of red colors across the eastern U.S. indicating much warmer than average temperatures. From University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute.

It’s Beginning to Look Not a Lot Like Christmas

Much of the eastern two-thirds of the United States was balmy on Christmas Day, with high temperatures more than 20°F above average from Texas to Maine. According to NOAA, 789 daily high temperature records were tied or broken on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the continental United States. What’s behind this unusual weather?

by |January 8, 2016
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All I Wanted for Christmas Was for These Pumps to Work

We’ve just completed our first full station and are remarkably pleased with the results. We collected 8 seawater samples to measure helium isotopes; 20 to measure thorium and protactinium isotopes; 7 in-situ pump filters; 1 box core of the ocean floor; and more.

by |December 30, 2015
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Doing Science When There’s No Science to Be Done

With an abundance of time and a dearth of work, we have begun to devise ways of doing science before we can actually do science at sea. Among other things, we set up an imaging system to take pictures of particle filters we bring back from the deep sea.

by |December 22, 2015
The planned cruise track of the FS Sonne. The stars are stations that will be sampled during the UltraPac cruise. In color is the bathymetry of the seafloor.

Day 2: What Am I Doing Here, Anyway?

The South Pacific Gyre is the most nutrient-poor region in the ocean, and the waters are the clearest in the ocean. The sediments accumulate below the water at rates as low as 0.1 millimeter per thousand years. So, 10 centimeters of seafloor are equivalent to one million years of material deposition in the South Pacific.

by |December 21, 2015
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Facing the Challenges for Women in Science

Women scientists in the developing world face particular challenges tied to their societies’ cultures and institutional norms. In this video, five women attending an agricultural science conference last June in Zimbabwe talk about some of these challenges.

by |December 21, 2015
Stepping aboard. Photo: Frankie Pavia

Setting Sail? Plan for the Unexpected

In the weeks before departing for my first scientific cruise, everyone I knew who had ever been to sea gave me some form of the same advice: Nothing ever works the way you expect it to work at sea.

by |December 18, 2015
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Uncloaking the Secrecy Behind Large-scale Land Deals

Large-scale investments in agriculture and forestry have far-reaching implications for the lives of affected individuals and communities. They are also an integral part of efforts by national governments to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve the governance of land resources.

by |December 17, 2015
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The Changing Climate of Security

In the November Democratic presidential primary debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the greatest threat to national security was climate change. But is there actually a link between national security and climate change, and if so, what is it?

by |December 9, 2015