Polar Scientist in the Spotlight
Learn about all sorts of careers that polar scientists have as we explore their different research areas through the featured Polar Scientist of the Month.
Erin PickettGraduate Student Researcher, Oregon State University
What do you do?
During the field season, I work with a team of seabird biologists at Palmer Station and we monitor local colonies of breeding seabirds. This involves lots of boating and hiking on and around a handful of islands in the vicinity of Palmer Station. One of our main projects involves putting satellite and dive tags on Adelie and gentoo penguins to collect data on where they are foraging and how deep they are diving. Back in the office, I process this data and use it to answer questions about the foraging strategies of Adelies and gentoo penguins, e.g. do they have different ways of locating and obtaining prey?
What is the best thing about your job?
Working in remote and wild places.
What is the most important tool you use for research?
In the field: my rain jacket. In the office: my coffee mug!
Why is what you do important?
Understanding the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems is critical to conserving and protecting them in the future.