Alison Agather (’15): Doing geochemistry at the top of the world Posted on February 4th, 2019 by

(Alison was a Chemistry and Environmental Studies major with a Geology minor.)

In the summer of 2015 I sailed in the Western Arctic Ocean to study mercury chemistry and cycling in the ocean. Spending 64 days at sea on a Coast Guard icebreaker is both exhilarating and exhausting, as the unique Arctic scenery and charismatic wildlife sightings usually outweighed the long days in the ship-board lab.

This project part of my dissertation and a subset of GEOTRACES, an international program investigating the sources, cycling, and sinks of trace elements and their isotopes in the ocean. This is an important task, not only to better document oceanic processes, but also to have baseline data before more climate change occurs. 

Photos of me were taken by Bill Schmoker. Here’s a link to his blog post about Team Mercury. He has a lot of great blog posts about the trip.


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