Beth Caissie

Assistant Professor
Dept: Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
Office:55 Science

Sea ice is a defining feature of our planet. It serves as habitat for some of the most spectacular animals on Earth—polar bears, walrus, and ice seals—as well as for some of the smallest primary producers: sea ice diatoms. The areal extent of summer Arctic sea ice is currently decreasing by more than 10% per decade, so it is a priority to understand the natural variability of ice extent and its relationship to the climate system. However, satellite data of sea ice only extends back to 1978, and observations of sea ice prior to the 1970s are sparse at best. My research uses marine sediments to explore how sea ice changed in the Bering and Chukchi seas in the past, particularly during periods of climate warming.