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Advisory Committee for Polar Programs Members Bios

Dr. Meredith Nettles
Dr. Meredith Nettles is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Her research includes studies of the earthquake source aimed at improving understanding of the tectonic deformation and evolution of plate boundaries, volcanic systems, and continental margins; geophysical investigations of glacier and ice-sheet dynamics focused on understanding interactions across the ice-ocean-atmosphere-solid Earth system; and tomographic studies of the structure of the Earth that provide constraints on models of the state and evolution of the crust and upper mantle. She is also interested in the development of modern seismic and geodetic instrumentation and observing networks, and quality assessment, archiving, and curation of the data and data products they generate.

Dr. Douglas H. Bartlett
Dr. Douglas H. Bartlett received his Ph.D. in microbial molecular biology at the University of Illinois in 1985. After several years as a postdoctoral scholar and Research Scientist at the Agouron Institute in La Jolla he assumed a faculty position at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, in 1989, where he now holds the rank of Professor.

Dr. Bartlett has extensive experience in analyses of extremophilic microbial life in the inner space of our oceans. His research group pursues studies of the adaptations that enable deep-sea microbes to live at great pressures, up to and beyond 17,000 pounds per square inch. Much of this work utilizes the tools of genetics, genomics and functional genomics to work through the gene parts lists and wiring diagrams associated with particular aspects of microbial adaptation.

Current projects in the Bartlett laboratory include the directed evolution of microorganisms to greater tolerance to high pressure, comparative analyses among microbial populations in different trench systems, examination of pressure effects on deep-sea oil-degrading microbes, and single-cell and metagenome analyses of microbes from the deepest regions of the Atlantic and Pacific. In recent years he has spent considerable time at sea, often using autonomous sampling instruments to recover deep-sea samples. Future generations of these instruments will enable greater capabilities for exploration and sample recovery.

Dr. Aron L. Crowell
Dr. Aron L. Crowell is an Arctic anthropologist and Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Arctic Studies Center in Anchorage. His research and publications in anthropology and archaeology focus on cultural ecology, coastal adaptations, paleoenvironments, Indigenous knowledge, and colonial history. He has curated major Smithsonian exhibitions in collaboration with Indigenous communities of the North including Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska; Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People; and the current Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska. Crowell leads museum and community-based programs in Alaska Native heritage, languages, and arts and he is currently Principal Investigator for an NSF-funded study of the human and environmental history of Yakutat Bay in southeast Alaska. Crowell's Ph.D. in Anthropology is from the University of California, Berkeley and he teaches as an Affiliate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Dr. Ryan E. Emanuel
Dr. Ryan E. Emanuel is an associate professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Emanuel is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist with expertise in hydrology and ecology. His work includes numerical modeling, remote sensing, and fieldwork to understand how vegetation and terrain affect hydrological and biogeochemical processes in natural and human-altered landscapes. He has led research efforts in the southeastern US, in the Rocky Mountains, and elsewhere. Emanuel is an enrolled citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and he also works to illuminate impacts of environmental change on Indigenous communities and to identify barriers and solutions to Indigenous participation in environmental governance.

Emanuel has received awards for service to Indigenous communities from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and from the United Tribes of North Carolina. He is the recipient of North Carolina State University's annual sustainability award and the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network's annual award for academic research.

Emanuel advises the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs on environmental justice policy, and he has held positions on local and statewide advisory boards for American Indian education. He serves on the academic advisory council of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and on the diversity and inclusion advisory committee of the American Geophysical Union. He formerly served on the education and outreach committee of CUAHSI, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. Emanuel holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Geology from Duke University.

Dr. Patrick Heimbach
Dr. Patrick Heimbach is associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and fellow of the W. A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr.,chair III in Simulation-Based Engineering and Sciences. He is also visiting associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on understanding the general circulation of the ocean and its role in the global climate system. As part of the “Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean" (ECCO) consortium, he and his group are applying formal inverse modeling techniques to produce a best possible estimate of the time-evolving three-dimensional state over the past few decades of the global ocean and sea ice cover. ECCO products support global and regional ocean circulation and climate variability research. Emerging research foci are understanding the dynamics of global and regional sea level change, the ocean’s role in the Earth’s energy imbalance, the provision of formal uncertainties along with these estimates, and implications for improving the global ocean observing system for climate. Patrick is also getting involved in investigating the polar ice sheets, their dynamics, their interaction with the ocean, and their contributions to sea level rise. He is a member of the National Academies’ Ocean Studies Board and the NASEM Committee on “Sustaining Ocean Observations to Understand Future Changes in Earth’s Climate”. Patrick is co-chair of the Deep Ocean Observing Strategy (DOOS) project and co-founder of the Advanced Climate Dynamics Courses (ACDC). He earned his Ph.D. in 1998 from the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology and the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Dr. Allyson Hindle
Dr. Allyson Hindle is an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She was previously a research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Her research expertise is in comparative physiology and biochemistry of organisms that naturally possess extreme traits. This work has primarily focused on cardiovascular regulation and hypoxia tolerance of marine mammals, to define physiological limits for wild species and to uncover new strategies for human critical care. Her interest in human health and performance in extreme environments has led to co-founding an early-stage health technology company with the mission to improve healthcare in remote locations and crewed spaceflight. She has participated in numerous field projects to study marine mammals in both Antarctica and the North Pacific, but also works to develop in vitro and genomic-based approaches that enable further study of geographically remote animals in the laboratory.

Steve Iselin
Steve Iselin is from Racine Wisconsin and is a diehard Cheesehead. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps in May 1980. He served 20 years Active Duty in positions of increasing responsibility. From 2000-2002 Steve led the Plexus Scientific Corp. facilities consulting practice, supporting NASA and The Smithsonian. From 2002-2018 Steve served as a Navy civil servant, holding positions including Executive Director (2007-2014) at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment (2014-2018). In 2018 Steve and his wife relocated to Eden Prairie, MN to work on their grandparenting skills. From 2010-2013 Steve helped establish and served as the 1st Board Chair for the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Dr. Vera Kuklina
Dr. Vera Kuklina is a Research Professor at the Geography Department, George Washington University. She received her PhD (kandidatskaya) in social, economic, political and recreational geography from the V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in 2003. Vera was born and raised in a remote Buryat village, and has extensive experience of the field studies with indigenous people and other remote communities. Her research interests include urbanization of indigenous people, traditional land use, socio-ecological systems, cultural geographies of infrastructure and remoteness. The results have been published in Polar Geography, Geoforum, Sibirica, and numerous Russian journals. Dr. Kuklina currently leads a project, entitled "Informal Roads: The Impact of Unofficial Transportation Routes on Remote Arctic Communities." This project is aimed at detailed interdisciplinary analysis of the overall impact of informal roads on Arctic environment and economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of local communities.

Dr. Brice Loose
Dr. Brice Loose is a geochemist and Associate Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. He studies processes at the boundary between biogeochemistry and physical oceanography, with a strong focus on the polar oceans. One of his principal goal is to figure out how sea ice affects the polar ocean carbon cycle and how changes in sea ice will alter ocean storage of carbon dioxide and methane. This effort suffers from significant knowledge gaps surrounding the physics of air-sea exchange amongst mixed ice cover, as well as the microbiology that controls water column cycling of C1 compounds like methane. He is working to further develop ocean instrumentation for biogeochemistry. He teaches a course on prototyping, design and programming using IoT hardware and software, and he is developing optimized algorithms for processing data from underwater mass spectrometers.

Dr. Michelle Mack
Dr. Michelle Mack is a Professor in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society and the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. She is an ecosystem ecologist who studies the impacts of climate and disturbances, such as wildfire and abrupt permafrost thaw, on the dynamics of Arctic and boreal ecosystems. Her work includes two decades of field research at the NSF-funded Boreal and Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research sites. She has produced more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in high-profile journals such as Nature and Science and her work has been cited over 13,000 times. She has contributed to scientific reports for policy makers and the public, such as the US National Climate Assessment and State of the Carbon Cycle Report and the European Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Snow, Water and Ice in the Arctic Report. She graduated from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, with a concurrent BS-BA in Biology and Literature (1990), and received a PhD in Integrative Biology (1998) from the University of California-Berkeley. Her experience in the Arctic started when she held an NSF postdoctoral-fellowship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She spent 12 years on the Biology faculty at the University of Florida before moving to Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Adam Marsh
Dr. Adam Marsh is an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware with a primary appointment in the School of Marine Science and a secondary appointment in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and pursued postdoctoral research in cell biology (Univ. New Hampshire, Durham), molecular biology and invertebrate immunology (Center of Marine Biotechnology, Univ. Maryland, Baltimore), and molecular physiology (Univ. Southern California, Los Angeles). In 1993, he was selected as a student in the NSF's first Antarctic Biology Course and spent one month at McMurdo Station. This experience lead to a 20 year research program pursuing molecular genetic adaptations in marine invertebrates in harsh polar ecosystems. His primary research efforts in the last decade have focused on epigenetics of environmental imprinting in polar invertebrates. This research has lead to the development of a novel, quantitative epigenetic profiling software platform that is currently being developed for human health diagnostic assays through an early stage start-up biotech company, Genome Profiling LLC, co-Founded by Dr. Marsh and in which he currently serves as Chief Science Officer.

Dr. Patricia Quinn
Dr. Patricia Quinn is a Research Chemist at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Her research is focused on the effect of atmospheric aerosol particles on air quality and climate. She has participated in research cruises since 1986, studying a broad range of aerosol types including those found in the Arctic and Antarctic. In addition, her research group has made measurements of aerosol chemical composition at Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska since 1997. She has served as co-chair of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme's expert group on short-lived climate forcers (2009 - 2015), produced several assessments on the impacts of pollutants in the Arctic, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Dr. Sharon Stammerjohn
Dr. Sharon Stammerjohn is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her research focuses on polar oceanography and climate variability, including ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions and linkages to the polar ice sheets and polar marine ecosystem variability. She is particularly interested in the mechanisms and sensitivities driving seasonal sea ice changes, with the overarching motivation to better understand how polar systems respond to climate variability and change. Many of Sharon's research projects include interdisciplinary approaches involving data - modeling synthesis and investigations of ice - ecosystem interactions. She has extensive field experience and has been on numerous polar research expeditions. Sharon conducted her PhD at Columbia University, New York and her postdoctoral studies at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York. She previously was an Assistant Professor at University of California Santa Cruz, and currently is an Adjunct Researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.

Dr. Eric Steig
Dr. Eric Steig is professor in Earth and Space Sciences, adjunct professor in Atmospheric Sciences, director of IsoLab at the University of Washington. Steig studies the glaciology and climate of polar and alpine regions. His primary focus is the development of paleoclimate records from ice cores, and their application to understanding of Antarctic climate variability and the relationship between climate and ice-sheet dynamics. He is a former Director of the Quaternary Research Center, member of the board of reviewing editors for the journal Science, and steering committee member of International Partnerships in Ice Coring Science (IPICS) and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Initiative. He is a current member of the U.S. Ice Core Working Group.