--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
June 3, 2010
Contact: Tatiana Brailovskaya, Director of Communications, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences 207.633.9633 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chemistry on Ice: Bigelow Laboratory Begins 2010 Café Scientifique Series on June 15 in Boothbay Harbor
WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME – Bigelow Laboratory Senior Research Scientist Dr. Paty Matrai will discuss the challenges of monitoring atmospheric chemistry over shifting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean at the Laboratory’s first Café Scientifique gathering of the summer on June 15, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Opera House in Boothbay Harbor.
Last fall, Matrai and her collaborators from the United States, Canada, and Germany successfully deployed the first in a series of autonomous, ice-supported instrument platforms—called “O-Buoys”— to measure changing atmospheric conditions over the Beaufort Sea, at approximately 76N, 138W. Two additional O-Buoys were deployed this spring in Hudson Bay and in Canadian Arctic. On-board computers transmit data via satellite daily to the Laboratory for analysis; data are shared weekly with the international community.
“In addition to monitoring weather conditions, O-Buoy’s chemical sensors measure atmospheric ozone, bromine monoxide, and carbon dioxide, which are key indicators of greenhouse gas levels,” says Matrai. “This is the first time scientists have been able to continuously monitor the composition of the atmosphere from the sea ice over the Arctic Ocean.”
Matrai holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology from Universidad de Conceptión in Chile, and a Master of Science degree in oceanography and Ph.D. in biological oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her research focuses on ocean and atmospheric interactions, and the physiological ecology of phytoplankton as both a source and a sink of carbon dioxide.
The Laboratory’s Café Scientifique gatherings are informal conversations about scientific issues and society, current research, and the latest news from the field. The cafés are free, open to the public, and a cash bar is available. Bigelow scientists have been hosting talks with the general public since the beginning of the Laboratory’s residence on the Maine coast in 1974. The Café Scientifique movement itself began in 1998 in England, and has spread quickly throughout Europe and the United States. There are over 150 science cafés organized over 42 countries. After June 15, the Laboratory’s 2010 Summer Café Scientifique gatherings will be held at 6 p.m. every Tuesday from June 29 through August 24 at the Opera House. The full schedule and program are available online.
Established in 1974, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is a center for global ocean research. An independent, nonprofit research institution, the Laboratory is supported by federal research grants and private funds. The Laboratory’s research focus ranges from microbial oceanography -- examining biological productivity in the world’s oceans at the molecular level -- to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive interactions between ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions. These programs have taken Bigelow scientists around the world to every ocean and the polar seas.###
Photo caption: O-Buoy deployment in the Beaufort Sea. Photo courtesy of Paty Matrai.