Mission Control Saturday 2023

Ever wondered what it’s like to ‘Winter in Antarctica’ or visit the Doomsday Glacier? Find out at Mission Control on Saturday, as BAS Station Leader Mike Brian and Marine Geophysicist Kelly Hogan, delve into the depths of Polar exploration. Get hands-on with a model of the RRS Sir David Attenborough and see how the Slocum Glider dives beneath the ice sheets to collect data. Meet oceanographers, biologists and see a real piece of ancient glacial ice core. Ask all the questions about life at sub-zero that you’ve ever wanted to know.  

Dr Kelly Hogan — Marine Geophysicist, British Antarctic Survey
Dr Kelly Hogan has been studying the seafloor next to the World’s ice sheets and glaciers for the last 18 years. She has over 45 publications with more than 2800 citations, and she has spent more than 1 year on research vessels in both the Arctic and Antarctica collecting geological and geophysical data from some of the remotest parts of the planet. Motivated by the need to understand how our glaciers and ice sheets will melt in response to the Earth’s warming climate, Kelly reconstructs the decay patterns of ice sheets and what factors drove the decay. Most recently Kelly has been studying Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica (also known as the Doomsday glacier) as part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. She will also lead the first large Arctic science cruise to Greenland on the new Polar research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, in summer 2024.

Antarctica’s Meltdown: what do we know and what can the seafloor tell us?
Global sea level is now rising about twice as fast as it did throughout the 20 th Century, going up 3-4mm each year. The largest contributor to this sea level rise now comes from our ice sheets and glaciers because they directly transfer water (that was stored as ice) into the oceans when they melt.

The biggest future threat to sea level is a rapid increase in the amount of ice lost from Antarctica, which would affect the nearly 1 billion people that live within 10 m of our present-day coastlines worldwide. In her talk, Kelly will explain what we think we know about how ice sheets decay including what is happening to Antarctica, and how marine robots are providing essential clues to the fate of the ice sheet.

Mike Brian — Deputy Station Operations Manager (Rothera Research Station, Antarctica).
Wintering in Antarctica – Living and Working in Splendid Isolation

Mike is the manager of the largest British research station in Antarctica, Rothera. Having worked in a number of roles on the station for over a decade, Mike will talk about his experiences of “wintering”
in Antarctica, and about managing people in an isolated and hostile environment. He will introduce his colleague, Matt Hughes, and together the pair will host a live link up with the small team, currently at Rothera in the depths of the Antarctic winter.

Mike studied Physics at University, before spending more than a decade teaching Physics and Maths to secondary school pupils in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. During this time, as well as becoming adept at managing people (who often didn’t want to be managed) he became a keen and capable hillwalker, rock climber and mountaineer.

Numerous summers climbing in the French Alps, and ten years as a member of Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team (covering the Cairngorms from the east) gave him a firm grounding in looking after people, leaving him well qualified for work as a mountaineer in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey.

After three summers and two winters in Antarctica as a Field Guide with British Antarctic Survey, Mike took on the role of Base Commander (later renamed Station Leader) at Rothera Research Station.

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