PAOC Spotlights

A Passion for Life on Ice

Fri October 14th, 2011
Helen Hill

Alison Criscitiello is a fourth year Marine Geology and Geophysics student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. Her principal interest is in glaciology, in particular validating a potential proxy for Antarctic sea-ice extent based on ice-core composition. Each winter for the past 2 years Alison has travelled to Antarctica to drill. In this interview Alison describes her work and her passion for life on ice.



Chilly work - Alison with signature frozen eye-lashes - image: A. CriscitielloMost recently Ali has been at the National Ice Core Lab (NICL) in Denver, Colorado processing the ice cores she drilled last season in West Antarctica. NICL is the largest ice core processing facility in the US. Essentially a huge clean lab kept at -30 degrees, it has lots of different saws in it for cutting ice. Alison went there with a couple of colleagues to saw and sub-sample their cores for future chemical analysis. She says that since she usually works on a much smaller scale at WHOI, it was an invaluable experience to process ice in the larger and more extensice facility NICL provides.

Alison is a 2010 DOE Graduate Fellow. Based at Woods Hole, her advisor is Dr. Sarah Das