Justin LaPierre from Sandia National Laboratory describes the operation and maintenance of ARM instruments deployed on the North Slope of Alaska with Under Secretary Dr. Geraldine Richmond.
Thanks to the hard work of many people, Dr. Geraldine Richmond traveled to western Alaska and to the North Slope in late May. It was her goal to listen and learn about the many challenges being faced by native communities due to climate change. The Under Secretary was able to do that in the villages of Kotzebue and Utqiaġvik, AK where she heard about coastal erosion, flooding, thinning of sea ice, and how these conditions were impacting the lives of people living in remote communities. While in Utqiaġvik, she was also able to learn about research being supported by the Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program including visits to fields sites maintained by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program and by NGEE Arctic on the Barrow Environmental Observatory. Mark Ivey (Sandia), Matt Heavner (Arctic Energy Office), and Stan Wullschleger (ORNL) hosted the two-day visit. Dr. Richmond was complimentary of how ARM and NGEE Arctic were bringing the people, capabilities, and sophistication of the national laboratories to the Arctic. She was hopeful that other opportunities, both by DOE and in collaboration with other federal agencies, might emerge in the future.