Expedition 1: Meet the Scientists

Meet Charles Rodda and Kit Hamley, two University of Maine students conducting a research expedition to the high Andes Mountains of Peru. Charles is a glacial climatologist who has studied the climate conditions during the past collision of North America and Europe (around 400 million years ago) through both computer models and fieldwork in New Hampshire and Norway. Kit is a paleoecologist and archaeologist from Montana. She is studying an extinct species of wolf that lived in what are now the Falkland Islands. Learn more about Charles and Kit.

While in the field, they will be visiting two glaciers (the Quelccaya Ice Cap and Nevado Osjollo Anante) to collect ice core samples in order to gather information on Peru’s past climate. More specifically, they will try to better understand sudden changes in climate and their connections to storms during El Niño events.

Though their scientific backgrounds differ, this is not uncommon in the world of scientific research. Increasingly, scientists from different disciplines are collaborating in research efforts to further their own fields, and to contribute their knowledge to other areas of science.

What do you think?

Here are some questions to discuss with your class, or to investigate on your own!

  • What other types of scientists do you think might do research work together? Why?
  • If you were a scientist, what might the benefits be of collaborating with scientists who have different areas of expertise than that of your own?
  • What is an ice core?
  • How are ice cores collected?
  • How do ice cores provide information about climate history?
  • What does the past climate have to do with the climate now and in the future?
  • What is El Niño, and what does it have to do with the climate?

Have more questions?

Don’t miss your chance to tweet with Charles (@UmaineFARRodda) and Kit (@UmaineFARKit) live from Peru Wednesday, March 11 at 1:00 PM EST.

Follow the adventure on Twitter (@UMaineFAR)!

Visit the Follow a Researcher® website.