UGA Skidaway scientist prepares for Arctic expedition

An ice-breaking vessel in route to the Arctic.
An ice-breaking vessel in route to the Arctic.(Alfred Wegener Institute)
Updated: Nov. 15, 2019 at 3:55 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A scientist from the UGA Skidaway Institute is preparing for a trip to the Arctic to participate in the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) research expedition.

Post-doctoral research associate, Chris Marsay will begin his journey from Savannah to Norway in January where he will then board an ice-breaking vessel in route to the Arctic.

Once there, Marsay will collect samples and monitor the atmospheric deposition of aerosols in in the air, snow, ocean and sea ice.

“I am going to be collecting aerosol samples. We have a sampler which has a motor and we put a filter on top and we pull air through the filter. It collects any of these small particles that are in the atmosphere. We bring those back and we dissolve the filter itself and any material collected and we analyze all the elements,” said Chris Marsay, PhD.

This year-long expedition is 10 years in the making and includes 600 scientists from 17 nation with a budget exceeding $132 million.

During his time in the arctic, Marsay will have to work through constant darkness, temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the threat of polar bear attacks.

“Personally, I am looking forward to the challenge of doing work up in the arctic. It is a very challenging environment. It is a great opportunity for me to be involved in a huge project like this. I am hoping we will get some interesting data that can be a lot of use to the wider community,” said Chris Marsay, PhD

Marsay will spend two months on the vessel before returning to Savannah in March with a better understanding of deposition rates in the Artic.

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