Thursday, September 26, 2013

Summer trip with Scripps, Woods Hole takes Mission Bay and Lincoln teachers to top of world

Steve Walters
Science teachers from Lincoln and Mission Bay high schools were part of a team of researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that spent several weeks this summer investigating the origins of a cooling period on earth that began about 13,000 years ago.

Danny Blas, marine science teacher at Lincoln High, and Steve Walters, marine biology teacher at Mission Bay High, were part of a team of researchers on-board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy collecting sediment samples on, and mapping of, the seafloor of the eastern Beaufort Sea, north of Alaskan-Canadian border.

"Science should be exciting, and being part of a large team of highly knowledgeable experts in the field makes me even more excited to share my experiences with my students," said Blas, who is serving as the project's blogger, targeting his blog to grade 11-12 grade marine science students. Walters is serving as a member of the seafloor sediment collection team.

Danny Blas
The cooling period, known by scientists the Younger Drays stadial, has been associated with sea ice in the Arctic and north Atlantic oceans, and the storage and release of fresh water from a large glacial lake in North America, yet its origin remains controversial.

Dr. Lloyd Keigwin (Woods Hole) and Dr. Neal Driscoll (Scripps), Principal Investigators for the mission, hypothesized the glacial lake (Lake Agassiz) released fresh water to the Arctic Ocean through the Mackenzie River, and if proven, the signal should be detectable in the oxygen isotope ratio in the shells of plankton found in the sediment.
The research mission ran from Aug. 14 to Sept. 9.

For more information, visit Blas's blog at