Ethan Campbell, 2016, Geosciences

I spent four weeks this summer aboard the South African research icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II, sailing from Cape Town to the Antarctic winter ice edge. In collaboration with recent graduate Preston Kemeny ’15 and a host of multinational oceanographers, I took part in sampling the frigid waters of the stormy Southern Ocean. We collected seawater from various depths and locations by lowering sampling bottles to the seafloor three miles below, and also filtered surface water continuously to collect particulate matter. Back at Princeton, I will analyze a subset of the seawater samples for nitrate isotope ratio; these data will form the basis for my senior thesis, advised by Professor Daniel Sigman. This upcoming project will explore wintertime nitrogen cycling, which influences summertime biological productivity and thus the air-sea exchange of CO2. On the ship, Preston and I also contributed to a separate project, led by CSIR-South Africa and Stellenbosch University, involving intensive trace-metal-clean sampling for dissolved and particulate iron. In all, the cruise, as well as the month spent preparing for it at Stellenbosch University, allowed me to experience handson oceanographic field and lab work for the first time. I am grateful for the tremendous opportunity.