Camden Conference presents Madison Smith and the MOSAiC expedition

Intentionally freezing a research ship into the Arctic Ocean ice for a year
Wed, 12/30/2020 - 12:00pm

The Camden Conference and Rockland Public Library present Dr. Madison Smith, Thursday, Jan. 7, at 6:30 p.m., on Zoom. This event is free and open to all. Please email for a link to the Zoom.

The MOSAiC expedition was the result of decades of planning and collaboration by 20 nations to freeze a research ship into the ice of the Arctic Ocean for an entire year – the largest polar expedition in history, according to Camden Conference, in a news release. The ship served as a platform to observe all components of the Arctic sea ice and climate system with the aim of better understanding the changing Arctic.

As a member of a team of sea ice scientists during the summer leg of the expedition, Smith collected data to understand how sea ice is melting in the new Arctic. Throughout the summer, the team watched as the ice evolved from thick and snow-covered to thin and speckled with melt ponds. The data and observations will be used to improve model projections and provide insight into future changes.

During this talk, Smith will share stories of what it was like to be a part of the largest polar expedition, and provide a window into the first results on characteristics of Arctic sea ice now.

Dr. Maddie Smith is a postdoctoral scholar at the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Motivated by the loss of sea ice in a rapidly changing climate, her research uses observations and modeling approaches to understand how sea ice interacts with the ocean. Her fieldwork has taken her to the oceans at both ends of the earth, and most recently she was a participant in the summer leg of the year-long MOSAiC expedition.

Smith completed her doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington exploring the role of surface waves and turbulence in the autumn Arctic Ocean. She received her B.A. in Earth and Oceanographic Studies and Environmental Science from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, where she first dreamed of exploring the Arctic while learning about the transpolar drift of Fridtj of Nansen.

This event is presented in anticipation of the 34th Annual Camden Conference — “The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril,” filmed live at the Camden Opera House and around the world, and presented via live stream on Feb. 20-21, 2021.

The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world issues. For more information, please visit or call 207-236-1034.