University of Vermont
Hello, my name is Tom Neumann. I am a research assistant professor at the University of Vermont in the Department of Geology. Eric Steig (from the University of Washington) asked me to fill in for him this year, as he was unable to make the trip. Dan Dixon and I will be collecting snow samples and short ice cores for chemical analysis. When we're not out sampling, Dan and I will help out with the day to day activities on the traverse. Eric Steig and I are primarily interested in the stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen in the snow samples Dan and I will collect. The isotopes preserved in polar snow are used to help understand how climate has changed in the past. By restricting our analysis to near-surface snow samples (which fell in the recent past as snow), we will study how climate has changed in the past few centuries.
I moved to Burlington from Seattle Washington with my wife Maureen. We met in graduate school at the University of Washington, and moved east in 2001. In graduate school, I originally focused on ice flow and ice dynamics, but later expanded my studies to include processes happening at the snow surface. My Ph.D. project focused on how geochemical information (impurities, stable isotopes, ions) is incorporated and preserved in snow, so these snow samples we will collect on the traverse will be very useful for me.
This is my third trip to Antarctica. I first went during the 1997- 98 field season with my graduate school advisor, Ed Waddington, and another student, H.P. Marshall. On that trip, we went to a site called Taylor Dome, which is in East Antarctica, not far from McMurdo Station. This year's traverse is ending at Taylor Dome, so it will be fun to be back there again. My second trip down was with the ITASE traverse in 2001-02. I participated in the second half of that traverse. We have a great group of people for the trip this year so I'm really looking forward to the trip and participating in what promises to be a really good (if cold) time!