Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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New blog follows Alum Brie Van Dam in Alaska

Posted: March 22, 2016

New blog follows Alum Brie Van Dam in Alaska Brie Van Dam

A new blog from Michigan Engineering follows Brie Van Dam (’07) as she manages the environmental data center at the Arctic research outpost run by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“Her calendar often has her cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to sample sites, drilling snow cores and hauling them back to camp on a sled tied around her waist, and MacGuyvering equipment to run in weather far more frigid than it was designed for,” the blog states.

Van Dam is part of the dozen or so people who stick around the Toolik Field Station through the winter.

“The road to the station can be treacherous and punctuated with avalanche warnings. Temperatures can dip to -40F—despite the recent warming trend. The sun doesn’t fully rise for months. Instead, dawn fades straight to twilight as long pink rays reach around the mountains of the nearby Brooks Range.”

“The baseline and background data she’s responsible for gathering is used by researchers at more than 100 institutions all over the world to put their projects into context. So Van Dam is an important set of eyes in the far north – a sentinel, of sorts, witnessing the evolution of the Arctic at a pivotal time in human history.”

To read the blog, click here.

To view photos, click here.

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