“Ancient Air” & “Core Science”

International Innovation

August 22, 2012

Two articles in International Innovation feature Thayer School of Engineering Professor Mary R. Albert, Thayer ’83, and the work of her polar ice sheet research team.

Professor Mary Albert Professor Mary Albert

In the article entitled “Ancient Air,” Albert explains that they are investigating the nature of “firn,” a term for Arctic snow that continually accumulates over hundreds of thousands of years, as “an archive of past atmospheric composition, and the relationships between the physical structure of the firn and gas trapping process.”

Ice core climate science, Albert says, “is a young field, starting roughly half a century ago, and many important discoveries have been made.”

In a second article, entitled “Core Science,” Albert talks about the National Science Foundation-funded firn metamorphism project and the invaluable experience it offers Thayer School students. “This project into firn metamorphosis has been able to employ a number of students, providing the theses for two graduate students, as well as exposing undergraduate students to research and providing them with practical experience,” says Albert, adding that an important aspect of the project is encouraging the next generation of researchers.

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