We are physical scientists who study the high latitude ocean, ice, and atmosphere, as well as the ways each of these interacts with each other. We use innovative methods to collect and analyze data from remote, challenging regions where few or no measurements exist, and use these data, models and theories to unravel the inner workings of the climate system. We engage in rigorous, fundamental research that is attentive to the needs of society. We are driven by scientific curiosity, a sense of wonder and awe for the natural world, and a commitment to document and understand the rapid, ongoing climate change in the polar regions.

This blog is about polar science and unlike our scientific, peer-reviewed papers, is intended to be understandable and accessible by everyone. In it, we tell stories about science—our own and others’. We describe what we know, what we don’t know, how we try to find answers, and how we sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. Our goal is to engage and inform people on the science of the polar regions and the gradual accumulation of knowledge that informs national and international policy decisions as well as everyday decisions by people around the world.


Greenpeace in GreenlandFiamma Straneo

I am an oceanographer with a passion for the high latitudes oceans, atmosphere and ice and a keen interest in understanding the changing climate of the subpolar and polar regions. My research involves collecting data from challenging and under-explored environments, using research and fishing vessels, helicopters and autonomous vehicles, and interpreting it with the help of models. Recently, I have focused on the flow of warm Atlantic waters towards the Arctic, its impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and the global ocean circulation.

mandresMagdalena Andres

I am a physical oceanographer interested in feedbacks between large-scale, open-ocean dynamics and the processes at the margins along shelves and coasts.  I use traditional instrumentation in non-traditional ways to building on my research in ice-free regions and obtain time series from the high-latitude ocean where ice ups the ante, both in terms of the science questions and the measurement challenge.

Nick Beairdnbaird

I am an oceanographer interested in the circulation and processes of the high latitude ocean. I recently finished my Ph.D. focusing on the flux of dense water from the Nordic Seas into the North Atlantic, a critical part of the oceanic overturning circulation. My field work used slow-moving, but efficient, underwater gliders, another interest of mine. My current goal is to understand more about the fate of freshwater streaming off Greenland: How to measure it, where it goes, and how it interacts with the subpolar North Atlantic circulation?

Mattias CapeCape_Sermilik

I am a biological oceanographer fascinated by high latitude marine ecosystems. I’m particularly interested in the way the physical environment (atmosphere, ocean, ice) influences phytoplankton primary production and community composition, and how these various components of the Earth System interact. My research intertwines ship-based field work in both Antarctic and the Arctic along with lab analyses and satellite data processing. I’m currently studying the consequences of melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet for coastal ecosystems.

Joleen HeiderichJoleen2

I am a graduate student in physical oceanography who is interested in high latitude oceanic processes and the changing climate at the poles. Lately, I have investigated the flow of warm Atlantic water on the East Greenland continental shelf and its potential to melt a marine terminating glacier.

Rebecca Jacksonbjackson

I am a graduate student in physical oceanography at MIT & WHOI, studying Greenlandic fjords where glaciers meet the ocean. I investigate ocean currents and heat transport in these fjords, with the goal of better understanding how the ocean affects the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Andrée Ramseyaramsey

I have the coolest job in the world, no pun intended. I process, analyze, and organize data collected from a variety of instruments that measure currents, temperature, and conductivity at single depths or throughout the water column. I also develop Matlab routines to read, convert, organize, and analyze the data into usable structures and files. My job is constantly changing and offering new challenges as new techniques are developed to measure the ocean’s physical characteristics. The importance of accurately measuring the ocean’s properties helps us understand the physics of the ocean and its role in our changing environment.

Nat Wilsonnwilson

I’m a graduate student studing the connections between ocean properties, ice shelf geometry, and shelf cavity circulation using a combination of satellite-derived data and numerical models. In the past, I’ve been involved in scientific work oriented around mountain glaciers in the Yukon Territory, ice-ocean interactions in the Canadian Arctic, and paleoglaciology in Patagonia.

Distant Bloggers

bhardenBenjamin Harden

I am a high latitude oceanographer and meteorologist. I work mainly around Greenland and am particularly interested in the role that winds have in driving the circulation of vital currents along the coast. As part of this, I am involved in investigating how winds can drive warm waters into fjords and aid the melting of glacial tongues.


Ken Mankoff

I study ice sheet hydrology and near-ice oceanography using a combination of observational fieldwork, low-cost robotic vehicles, remote sensing, and novel sensors and algorithms. My research spans the path a drop of water can take, from the time it melts on the surface (or at the base) of the ice sheet, flows through and under the ice sheet, to the time it leaves the system exhausted into a Greenland fjord or under an Antarctic ice shelf. This freshwater flux is increasing in the warming climate. Downstream, the meltwater modifies fjord properties and coastal seas, changing oceanic and ice conditions.

Marilena Oltmannsmoltmanns 

I am a graduate student who studies strong winds blowing off the Greenland Ice Sheet and their impact on the glaciers, the circulation and sea-ice. I work with idealized models, atmospheric and oceanic data and reanalysis products from the large weather forecasting centers.


Clark Richards

I am an oceanographer interested in physical processes at high 
latitudes. Some of my current work involves the transformation of warm
 Atlantic water into cold dense layers in the ocean, and the processes 
occurring in the ocean that may contribute to melting of glaciers in 
Greenland. I’m from Canada’s East Coast, have two kids, and I love a 
good winter snowstorm.