BSEE Director Visits Polar Science Center
June 14, 2012
Yesterday, BSEE Director James A. Watson met with oceanographers, mathematicians, engineers, physicists and other researchers at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center in Seattle. Discussions during the meeting focused on current knowledge gaps and planned research projects including such varied topics as seasonal forecast models, sea ice monitoring, oil spill response in the Arctic, sea ice prediction, and low temperature dispersant use. The group reviewed current arctic research while looking ahead to areas of potential collaboration between BSEE and the University of Washington.
"It is important for government leaders to interact with academia, generating new ideas and exploring new areas of potential research," said Director Watson. "The Polar Science Center stands out as a valuable source of science-based information for the Arctic and a tremendous resource not only for BSEE but for any agency working in the Arctic."
The Polar Science Center at the University of Washington conducts applied research on the oceanography, climatology, meteorology, biology and ecology of the ice-covered regions on Earth including the Arctic and the Antarctic, as well as sea-ice, glaciers and continental ice sheets. The staff is comprised of 20 Principal Investigators, 7 support staff and a varying number of post-doctoral research associates, graduate research assistants, and undergraduate student helpers. A large fraction of the research addresses the relationships between the polar regions and the global climate system. Specifically, observing and modeling the physical processes that control the nature and distribution of sea-ice, the structure and circulation of high latitude oceans and atmosphere, and the interactions among air, ocean, ice, and plant and animal life in the Arctic.
BSEE Director James A. Watson (left) and Axel Schweiger, head of the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington, discuss studies about the Arctic. Director Watson encourages continuous communication between scientists, academicians, the government, and the offshore industry to find better and safer ways to harvest energy from the Outer Continental Shelf safely.