Polar oceanographer Kevin Arrigo discusses the often regarded-as-alien environment of the polar regions, the future of environmental awareness of the oceans, and a breaking discovery that may change the way scientists view the Arctic.
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Dr. Arrigo and his students use a combination of laboratory and field studies, remote sensing, and computer modeling techniques to study how anthropogenic and atmospheric forcing controls the flux of CO2 into the oceans and ocean sediment. In particular, he works to understand phytoplankton dynamics in regions ranging from the Southern Ocean to the Red Sea. He is interested in the role these organisms play in regulating the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the ocean, as well as in how they help structure marine ecosystems. He works with colleagues in fields as diverse as molecular biology, glaciology, and physical oceanography to develop a comprehensive understanding of how these ecosystems operate and how they may respond to environmental changes–past, present, and future.
Lucas Oswald is an Earth Systems major at Stanford. He grew up in Santa Barbara, loves to travel, and is currently working on organic farms in Peru. He has written for the Stanford Daily News and pursues his love of photography in his free time.