Operation IceBridge 2017

What Are They Doing?

Photo by Russell HoodIcebergs the size of a city block in eastern Greenland. Photo by Russell Hood. IceBridge is in its 8th year as a NASA mission and is the largest airborne survey of Earth's polar ice ever conducted. IceBridge uses a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated science instruments ever assembled to characterize yearly changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic. The research team is experiencing first-hand the excitement of flying a large research aircraft over the Greenland Ice Sheet. While in the air they are recording data on the thickness, depth, and movement of ice features, resulting in an unprecedented three-dimensional view of ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice. Operation IceBridge began in 2009 to bridge the gap in data collection after NASA's ICESat satellite stopped functioning and when the ICESat-2 satellite becomes operational , making IceBridge critical for ensuring a continuous series of observations of polar ice. IceBridge flies over the Arctic and Antarctic every year - in the Arctic from March to May and the Antarctic in October and November. By comparing the year-to-year readings of ice thickness and movement both on land and on the sea, scientists can look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the polar ice and learn more about the trends that could affect sea-level rise and climate around the globe. Support for a teacher on this project is provided through separate funding to ARCUS through NASA. More information about IceBridge can be found at the NASA project website.

Where Are They?

NASA's P-3 Orion for Operation IceBridge. Photo by Russell Hood.NASA's P-3 Orion for Operation IceBridge. Photo by Russell Hood. The field campaign for Operation IceBridge is based out of Kangerlussuaq in western Greenland, and Thule Air Force Base in northwest Greenland. Kangerlussuaq was once used as an American military base, the settlement is now Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport, and Thule is a fully operational U.S. Air Force Base, run by the Danish company Greenland Contractors. The climate in Kangerlussuaq and Thule is arctic, with temperatures ranging from -25 to 18 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Russell Glacier highlights some of the natural beauty that can be reached out of Kangerlussuaq, while Thule has lots of historical cold war Air Force sites included missile silos and ice field bases. The research team is living in the Kangerlussuaq International Science Support Building (KISS) and the Air Force Inn in Thule.

Expedition Map


Clothes Folded and Ready to be Packed
Packing is a hard job. It seems easy, but it never is. Make a list of what you need for the trip, get all of your stuff together, and as efficiently as possible pack it into a suitcase. Simple right? Not so! I have looked over my list and gotten advice from people who have been to Greenland. That should make the process easy but it doesn't. I have never been a light packer. I am the type of person who likes to be prepared for every scenario. All of my clothes are folded and sitting in my guest bedroom. Layers are essential for a place where the weather can vary. Also, inside will be heated so...
New Interview
Screen capture from my interview with Channel 10 Miami I had my first interview the other day. I have never been interviewed for TV before. I was excited and nervous the entire time. The news crew came to my school and filmed me and my second period class. The kids were wonderful and they helped to keep me calm. My students were amazing. They were much more relaxed than I was. The news crew was done filming by 9:30am and the story was on the noon newscast. I saw a little bit of it at noon but I didn't get a chance to watch the entire thing. The news station also replayed the story during...
South Florida Native
My trip is quickly approaching and I am getting more excited every day. My students are thrilled and have been joking with me about the cold weather I am about to face. A few days ago the air conditioning in my classroom broke. I don't know if broken is the right word. I think I should say it is working too well. My room was freezing for several days. I have always had a cold room but now it felt like the Arctic. Everyday my students would come in and tell me that we were in training for my trip. I am sorry that my students had to suffer the cold but I do feel better prepared to face...
On Tuesday February 5th I was given the chance to hold an Arctic Ground Squirrel. It was so cool to be able to hold it in my hands. And I mean that both literally and figuratively. The squirrel felt like she had just come out of the refrigerator. I was shocked that she could be that cold. I'm including a short video collage. Take a look. This is the first movie I have ever put on youtube. I am learning so much here. Not all of it is about science.
Fairy Tale Land
After a few long days of training I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and excited all at the same time. We have long days learning how to post journals, learning about the polar regions, and networking. I am learning so may new things and my inner nerd is doing flips she is so excited. Our group is at the University of Fairbanks Alaska. Yesterday we took a field trip to the bookstore and I learned that a Nanook is a Polar Bear and the mascot of the University. On the way back to the hotel we stopped down the road and took pictures of reindeer. Being in Alaska is like being in a different world...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

8 April 2017 to 3 May 2017
Location: Kangerlussuaq, Thule AFB, Greenland
Project Funded Title: NASA Operation IceBridge

Meet the Team

Adeena Teres's picture
Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland, FL
United States

Adeena Teres has taught science at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida for the last nine years. She received her undergraduate degree in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University.

She believes in hands on learning and teaching through inquiry and she wants her students to look at the natural world and ask questions that they want to have answered. Adeena wants her students to learn how to think critically and to be stewards of the Earth. Several years ago, she ran her first half marathon and has been running ever since. She is obsessed with Disney and has combined her two hobbies by signing up to run every race Disney hosts at the property in Orlando, Florida. She is passionate about traveling both professionally and for fun and she is ready to take on new adventures. Adeena is excited about sharing this amazing opportunity with her students.

Living in Florida, she is extremely experienced in watching snow fall in other states while she reads under the palm trees. It is her fervent desire to build a snowman soon.

John Woods's picture
SGT Inc., NASA Operation IceBridge, GSFC
Greenbelt, MD
United States

John Woods is currently NASA’s Operation IceBridge (OIB) project manager. OIB utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. Prior to working with NASA, John served on Active Duty in the Navy for 14 years as a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer. His tours included the National/Naval Ice Center and United States Naval Academy. John completed his master’s degree in Operational Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Naval Postgraduate School and bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at the United States Naval Academy.

Having deployed to the Polar Regions over 6 times, John has spent time in Alaska, Greenland, and the Southern tip of Chile for IceBridge missions. Education and Outreach has always been a passion, and introducing science of the cryosphere has always been a priority. John looks forward to working closely with PolarTREC educators in fulfilling this mission.

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Latest Comments

That was a great interview. Jason texted me 7:20 Sunday morning to tell me he saw you on a replay.
I like the idea of the flannel shirt. Maybe I'll bring my favorite pair of lounge pants. Hmmm?
I'm going all in and buying a camera. I figure it is an investment. I plan to have many more adventures.
Hi Adeena! Hey nice video AND packing job! Extra credit to your dad. My go-to item were turtle neck base layers with the neck zipper. I wasn't in Greenland, but in and out of the boat a lot, meant...
Looks good to me, but I've never been to Greenland! I know I get tired of synthetics all the time, so even though cotton is a big nono, I would probably bring my favorite flannel shirt or something...