by Suzane Jlelati, Staff Writer
In late August, Advanced Placement Environmental Science (APES) and chemistry teacher Lisa Battig will be going on a 12 day trip to study hydrographic surveys in the Arctic Circle.
The trip will be hosted by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and they are tasked with observing anything related to the atmosphere and hydrosphere, such as anomalies and chemical changes especially based upon human influences.
Hydrographic research means to take data from mapping the seafloor and islands. The reason why Battig is participating in this research is due to the polar sea ice melting. The North West Passage to the arctic will be open again, and when that is open year round, it can be used as a shipping lane. However, it can’t be used as a shipping lane until researchers fully understand what the bottom is like.
“We understand such a small percentage of what the ocean floor looks like and so this information helps ships, ship and beyond that, it gives us information about our plates so we get to understand what things look like underneath the water,” said Battig.
Battig will be on the Fairweather boat embarking in Nome, Alaska focusing on seafloor and island mapping. She will also be going to smaller boats and pursue more mapping in between. Battig will be working day and night on the boat as mapping data is recorded 24 hours a day.
“I’ve been wanting to work with NOAA honestly, almost the entire time I’ve been teaching. My first year teaching, my mentor teacher had done this and then was doing work with another organization where he was on ships and I was like, ‘I wanna do that!’. So since then I’ve been wanting to, but it’s just never really worked out till this year,” said Battig.
She applied last November and got her acceptance in February. This will be her first time doing research with NOAA but she has worked with some of their other programs before in a much general sense.