Another Kind of Rush in Alaska
Summer time in Alaska this year brought a rush of visitors to the ARM Climate Research Facility Barrow site. North Slope of Alaska facility manager Mark Ivey hosted two prestigious groups of visitors: a Sandia National Laboratory leadership team in June and U.S. Department of Energy management from the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) in August.Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) Arctic sites, DOE’s Sharlene Weatherwax, Gary Geernaert, and Mike Kuperberg stopped by the ARM Facility’s Barrow site, located just south of the NGEE field site at the Barrow Environmental Observatory. ARM’s Barrow site and staff share data with the NGEE Arctic program and provide infrastructure support to NGEE’s equipment while their facilities are being built. The NGEE Arctic program seeks to improve the representation of Arctic permafrost processes in coupled Earth system models. This is done through a coordinated set of investigations and model development/evaluation tasks to quantify the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems. The project will focus on interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within tundra environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation.
Weatherwax is the BER Associate Director, and Geernaert is Director of the Climate and Environmental Sciences Division in BER. Kuperberg is a program manager for BER’s Terrestrial and Ecosystem Science, the funding organization for NGEE Arctic activities. Before coming to Barrow, the group visited Council, Alaska, near Nome, where another field site will be established for NGEE Arctic. Valerie Sparks assisted Ivey, both of Sandia, with the visit from BER, along with a group of researchers involved with the NGEE Arctic program.
In June, senior leadership from Sandia visited the ARM sites in Alaska that Sandia manages for DOE’s BER. Vice President Rick Stulen and Directors Marianne Walck and Rob Leland visited Barrow, Deadhorse, and Oliktok Point. Neal Singer from Sandia’s Media Relations and Communications department joined the group and shared his experience in a news release. Jerry Peace and Ivey guided the group across the oil fields near Prudhoe Bay to the new ARM site at Oliktok Point, the site of an extended deployment for the third ARM Mobile facility. Sandia has managed ARM’s Barrow site since its installation in 1997 and recently was selected to build the third ARM Mobile Facility.