Researchers from Alfred Wegener Institute, Hemholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research visit KU CReSIS

News

By Vicky Diaz-Camacho
Summer 2014

Researchers from Alfred Wegener Institute, Hemholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research visit KU CReSIS

 Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute

(ABOVE) Polar 5 with nose boom for tubulence measurements in the atmosphere. Photo: Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute

The former deputy director and an engineer from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Hemholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research visited the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets this August as part of a collaborative effort between the two polar research centers.

The Alfred Wegener Institute, or AWI, is the national polar research center of Germany and plays an extensive role in the country’s research efforts. Martin Gehrmann, AWI engineer, has been working with the former deputy director Heinz Miller since mid-2007.

“Everything went [well],” Gerhmann said. “The visit was regarding equipment to be installed and detailed [with CReSIS engineers.]”

This year, Miller was the first CReSIS All-Hands presenter of the fall semester. He outlined the institute’s research objectives and how the research contributes to general science. The German research program focuses on three things, Miller said: climate evolution, economic relevance and the key role of planetary environment.

 Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute

(LEFT) Canadian crew operating the Polar 5 for the Spring 2014 mission. Photo: Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute

AWI was founded as a national polar research institution in 1980 and is 90 percent funded by the Federal Government of Germany. Its objective is to identify the key processes responsible for recent climate change. The institution now has four locations and maintains close connections with many universities internationally.

“[Miller] has fostered work within the polar research field and collaborative work with CReSIS researchers,” said Prasad Gogineni, CReSIS director.

To date, AWI research has accrued 310 days at sea, 27 Arctic expeditions and 29 Antarctic expeditions. Its research via the Polarstern cruise has been running since 1982. The center also does meteorology, geophysics and atmospheric chemistry.
Recent highlights in their research are ocean acidification, which is part of national and European programs, ocean warming and its effect on organisms and Antarctic sea ice.

 Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute

(RIGHT) Sea ice physicists measure ice thickness with the aircraft Polar 5. Photo: Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute