US Antarctic Interview Series
Interview Series 3
Associate Professor of Research
Earth and Planetary Sciences
In this interview series, I had the pleasure of speaking with Prof. Steve Ackley, an associate professor of research at the University of Texas at San Antonio, recipient of the 2022 SCAR Medal for International Scientific Coordination, and 2023 AGU Fellow. Steve is a pioneer in the field of sea ice research and has spent his career forging international collaborations. In this interview, Steve discusses advances in sea ice research over the course of his career, his experiences in the field and with SCAR, and his advice for students interested in becoming involved with Antarctic research.
Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department
Following my interview with Prof. Steve Ackley, I was treated to a conversation with Dr. Maddie Smith, an assistant scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Maddie studies sea ice at both poles and has collaborated with Steve on studying sea ice production in the Ross Sea. In this interview, Maddie explains why sea ice is important to study, shares her experience working in the Antarctic and Arctic, and discusses future directions in polar research.
Interview Series 2
Dan P. Costa
Director Institute of Marine Science
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
For our second interview series, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Dan Costa, a renowned marine biologist and professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dan has dedicated his career to studying the foraging ecology and reproductive biology of marine mammals and seabirds and has conducted research on almost all of the Antarctic pinnipeds during his tenure. In the interview, Dan discusses his experience studying various seal and sea lion species in California, Australia, and Antarctica. He also highlights recent developments in technology within his field which allows researchers to study how seals feed and sleep within the water column. We also talked about Dan’s participation in the SCAR Expert Group on Birds and Animals, EG-BAMM which spans over 30 years of involvement.
Senior Lecturer in Marine Ecology
Centre for Ecology and Conservation
In this interview series, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Luis Huckstadt, a talented oceanographer and former PhD student of Dan Costa. I caught up with Luis over the phone while he was en route to Palmer Station in Antarctica. We spoke about his upcoming fieldwork aimed at studying how crabeater seals are able to locate food in their nearby environment. We also discussed his involvement in the SCAR Scientific Research Program on Integrated Science to Inform Antarctic and Southern Ocean Conservation (Ant-ICON) group and the collaborative work that stemmed from it.
Interview Series 1
W. Berry Lyons
Professor & University Scholar
School of Earth Sciences
For our first interview of the series, I enjoyed talking with Dr. Berry Lyons, Professor of Earth Sciences at the Ohio State University. We spoke about his career in geochemistry and the serendipitous path that brought a born-and-raised Floridian to countless visits to the Dry Valleys of Antarctica – I say countless because when I asked Berry how many seasons he’s spent on the continent and he replied with a guess of “over 15”. In the interview, I asked Berry about his involvement in the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research Program, his recent studies of proglacial streams in Taylor Valley and subglacial lakes at Mercer Ice Stream, and his pivotal role in understanding geochemical weathering rates of polar environments. We also discussed his participation with SCAR over the years, his love of SCAR's Open Science Conference, and his advice to students interested in finding their own path into the world of Antarctic research.
Following my chat with Dr. Berry Lyons I was put in contact with Dr. Melisa Diaz, his former PhD student at the Ohio State University who just started her postdoc at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Like her former advisor, she spoke a lot about serendipity and described the circuitous journey that brought her into the field of geochemistry and onward to Antarctica. We talked in detail about her paper that just came out on her work near Shackleton Glacier, a region she describes as “the most beautiful place in the world”. We also discussed the projects she’s working on at WHOI which spanned topics in Antarctica, Greenland, and even Mars.