Feb. 7 Science Series Lecturer to Discuss Living & Working in the Arctic

NEWPORT NEWS, VA, Jan. 19, 2012 - The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility hosts its next Science Series lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 7, with a discussion about carrying out research in a freezer - the extreme cold of the Arctic.

Guest speaker Victoria Hill, an oceanographer with Old Dominion University's bio-optics group, will talk about the work she and colleagues have undertaken to try to explain why ice near the North Pole is melting faster than scientific models had predicted.

In her talk, titled "Living and Working in the Freezer" Hill discusses the lack of data on the early spring in the Arctic - due to the extreme cold that makes it difficult to survive, let alone conduct science. From March through late April 2011, scientists from around the world braved deadly cold temperatures in the high Canadian Arctic in the name of science.  

At the Catlin Arctic Survey group's floating "ice base" off Ellef Ringnes Island, the group investigated how organic material in fresh water near the surface of the ocean may be trapping heat from the sun, causing the upper ocean layers to warm. This is a new area of research and this mechanism represents a key uncertainty in accurate modeling of ice thickness and upper ocean heat content, according to Hill.

The lecture is free and open to students and adults with an interest in science. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m., in the CEBAF Center auditorium located at 12000 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, and will last about an hour. Seating in the auditorium and overflow area is available on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to about 300 people. People arriving once capacity has been reached will be turned away.

All those under age 16 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Everyone over 16 is asked to carry a valid photo ID. Security guards may perform ID, parcel and vehicle checks.

For directions and additional information about Jefferson Lab public lectures, visit: http://education.jlab.org/scienceseries/index.php or contact Christine Wheeler, email wheelerc@jlab.org or call 757-269-7560.

A live video stream is available for those not able to attend the event. Lectures are added to the video archive for on-demand viewing upon approval from the presenter.