Margie Turrin

Margie Turrin, is Education Coordinator at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory where she develops and runs science education projects for groups from informal community education, to K12 and undergraduate students. Her projects and publications range from engaging students and the public in the polar regions, understanding our Earth and environment, human interactions and impacts on their environment, Hudson River education, biodiversity, mapping and spatial skills assessments.

Recent Posts

Photo: Fabio

The ‘Bird’ Has Flown!

The ‘bird’ has flown! Voices are raised in celebratory cheers from the southernmost continent to across the U.S. Our first ALAMO float is deployed! Now we can begin to answer some of the big questions on this mysterious ice/ocean interface.

by |December 2, 2016
The Antarctic Peninsula looks almost like a painting in this photo as the sun settles low on the horizon. (Photo M. Turrin)

‘Ghost Ice Shelves’ and the Third Antarctic Ice Sheet

The Antarctica Peninsula has been referred to as Antarctica’s third ice sheet. Following behind the East and West Antarctic ice sheet in size, one might be inclined to minimize its importance in the effects of melting Antarctic ice, on changes in sea level and other impacts, but that would be an imprudent mistake. The peninsula is Antarctica’s most northern spit of land; like a crooked finger it stretches out beckoning towards the southern tip of South America and her warmer climate.

by |November 24, 2016
The Antarctic Peninsula has elevation rising 8000 ft. with ice covering the tops of the mountains in thick layers. (Photo M. Turrin)

The Domino Effect

Ice shelves can behave like dominos. When they are lined up and the first one collapses it can cause a rippling effect like dominos. We have seen this with the Larsen Ice Shelves. Named in series, the Larsen A, B and C shelves extended along the northeastern edge of the West Antarctic Peninsula, and covered a large swath of coastline as recently as twenty years ago.

by |November 14, 2016
Pine Island Ice Shelf

A First Meeting with an Old Friend

If you have studied the impacts of climate on Antarctica you have encountered Pine Island Glacier. Tucked in at an angle under the West Antarctic Peninsula handle, this seemingly innocuous glacier has been making headlines for years as one of the fastest flowing ice stream glaciers on Earth.

by |November 10, 2016
Break in Ice Shelf

Year by Year, Line by Line, We Build an Image of Getz Ice Shelf

Changes in Antarctic ice have been dominated by the interaction of the ice and the ocean, and because ice shelves extend out into the water they are vulnerable to melt from the warmer ocean water. Melt can affect them in two ways, through thinning along their length and through causing a retreat of the “grounding line.”

by |November 6, 2016
Crary Ice Rise, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica (processed by S. Starke)

Using LiDAR to Shine a Light on Ross Ice Shelf

LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique that uses light to develop an elevation image of the surface of the Earth. It is sensitive enough to image small items such as seals lying on the ice surface.

by |December 4, 2015
Icepod flying over the edge of the Ross ice shelf. Credit Sarah Starke

The Compact Efficiency of New Airborne Science

The latest team celebration is around the magnetometer data. Magnetics has evolved quite a bit over the years of geophysical sampling. Lamont scientist Robin Bell recalls when in the 1990s working on a project in West Antarctica that the magnetometer was towed on a winch ~100 meters behind the aircraft – now it is nearly cheek to cheek with other instruments!

by |November 25, 2015
ROSETTA's temporary home in Antarctica. (credit Matt Siegfried)

In One Simple Line of Data You Can Read a Full Story

The lines of data are slowly creeping across our Ross Ice Shelf GIS map and with each new line comes an improved understanding of Ross Ice Shelf. What can you learn from a ‘snapshot’ of data? A radar contains a nice story.

by |November 19, 2015
As the project sets out to explore the Ross Ice Shelf it seems appropriate to include a photo of Minna Bluff,  a prominent volcanic promontory that sticks out close to McMurdo. The bluff was first identified by Capt. Scott in 1902 and is mentioned often in Antarctic exploration history. (Photo Nigel Brady)

Unlocking the Secrets of the Ross Ice Shelf

The Ross Ice Shelf is much like the Rosetta Stone. The historic stone inscribed in three scripts told the same story but in different tongues, so when matched together scholars could decode an ancient language. The Antarctic Rosetta Project also brings together three different “scripts,” each written by an Earth system; the ice, the ocean and the underlying bed each have a story to tell.

by |November 13, 2015
Healy on ice

Anatomy of an ‘Ice Station’

Completing an “Ice Station” means collecting samples over a wide range of Arctic water and ice conditions. Each station means a major orchestration of people and resources.

by |October 11, 2015