Water and Soil Collection
the Arctic and Permafrost Regions

Why is this Important?

Globally, soils contain roughly twice the carbon (C) held in the atmosphere, with much of it locked in the frozen soils of the Arctic. Unfortunately, the Arctic is also warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. The thawing of these soils and related decomposition of their formerly frozen C represents an enormous potential source of greenhouse gas emissions. This project will help to understand the spatial distribution C and its sensitivity to decomposition and release to the atmosphere. These processes are critical to the functioning of these ecosystems and have massive implications for the future of the global carbon cycle and climate change.  Anyone planning an expedition to the Arctic and regions with permafrost or near the permafrost transition can participate in collecting data for this study.

How Can You Participate?

Volunteers will participate by collecting small volumes of water (~60 ml) and soil (sandwich bag) along transects or at points of interest.  The bottles are tiny, but need to be glass.  These will be supplied by the scientist and will be pre-wrapped with a thin layer of bubble wrap.  You just have to fill a bottle or grab a scoop of soil.  A GPS point and brief description of each sampling point would also be collected.  Samples should be kept as cool and dark as possible before being shipped to Colorado.  

How will this data be used?

This data will be used in a scientific publication.  In addition to peer-reviewed scientific publications, the scientist would like to write a story for a popular news outlet about the mix of science and adventure that went into this project.