Advisory Committee for Polar Programs Members Bios
Dr. Meredith Nettles is a Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Her research includes studies of the earthquake source aimed at improving understanding of the tectonic deformation and evolution of plate boundaries, volcanic systems, and continental margins; geophysical investigations of glacier and ice-sheet dynamics focused on understanding interactions across the ice-ocean-atmosphere-solid Earth system; and tomographic studies of the structure of the Earth that provide constraints on models of the state and evolution of the crust and upper mantle. She is also interested in the development of modern seismic and geodetic instrumentation and observing networks, and quality assessment, archiving, and curation of the data and data products they generate.
Dr. Philip Bart is a Professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University. His research focuses on reconstructing the past oscillations of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and geomorphology of the continental shelves. The reconstructions aim to establish the timing, rate, duration, and progression of past oscillations in the extent and volume of the ice-sheets. Phil's recent work focuses on the retreat in eastern Ross Sea for the time that has elapsed since the last glacial maximum. These projects use high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, chirp, seismic reflection data that is ground truthed with sediment core. His group's current projects investigate how, when and why the Ross Ice Shelf unpinned from Ross Bank, a shallow submarine bank just north of the Ross Ice Shelf calving front. Understanding the paleo-record of unpinning history is important because at present, analogous ice-shelf pinnings (called ice rises and rumples) buttress the offshore flow of ice and hence help maintain the current extent and volume of the ice sheet.
Dr. Ryan E. Emanuel is an associate professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Emanuel is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist with expertise in hydrology and ecology. His work includes numerical modeling, remote sensing, and fieldwork to understand how vegetation and terrain affect hydrological and biogeochemical processes in natural and human-altered landscapes. He has led research efforts in the southeastern US, in the Rocky Mountains, and elsewhere. Emanuel is an enrolled citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and he also works to illuminate impacts of environmental change on Indigenous communities and to identify barriers and solutions to Indigenous participation in environmental governance.
Emanuel has received awards for service to Indigenous communities from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and from the United Tribes of North Carolina. He is the recipient of North Carolina State University's annual sustainability award and the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network's annual award for academic research.
Emanuel advises the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs on environmental justice policy, and he has held positions on local and statewide advisory boards for American Indian education. He serves on the academic advisory council of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and on the diversity and inclusion advisory committee of the American Geophysical Union. He formerly served on the education and outreach committee of CUAHSI, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. Emanuel holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in Geology from Duke University.
Dr. Allyson Hindle is an Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She was previously a research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Her research expertise is in comparative physiology and biochemistry of organisms that naturally possess extreme traits. This work has primarily focused on cardiovascular regulation and hypoxia tolerance of marine mammals, to define physiological limits for wild species and to uncover new strategies for human critical care. Her interest in human health and performance in extreme environments has led to co-founding an early-stage health technology company with the mission to improve healthcare in remote locations and crewed spaceflight. She has participated in numerous field projects to study marine mammals in both Antarctica and the North Pacific, but also works to develop in vitro and genomic-based approaches that enable further study of geographically remote animals in the laboratory.
Steve Iselin is from Racine Wisconsin and is a diehard Cheesehead. He obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps in May 1980. He served 20 years Active Duty in positions of increasing responsibility. From 2000-2002 Steve led the Plexus Scientific Corp. facilities consulting practice, supporting NASA and The Smithsonian. From 2002-2018 Steve served as a Navy civil servant, holding positions including Executive Director (2007-2014) at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment (2014-2018). In 2018 Steve and his wife relocated to Eden Prairie, MN to work on their grandparenting skills. From 2010-2013 Steve helped establish and served as the 1st Board Chair for the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Dr. Vera Kuklina is a Research Professor at the Geography Department, George Washington University. She received her PhD (kandidatskaya) in social, economic, political and recreational geography from the V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in 2003. Vera was born and raised in a remote Buryat village, and has extensive experience of the field studies with indigenous people and other remote communities. Her research interests include urbanization of indigenous people, traditional land use, socio-ecological systems, cultural geographies of infrastructure and remoteness. The results have been published in Polar Geography, Geoforum, Sibirica, and numerous Russian journals. Dr. Kuklina currently leads a project, entitled "Informal Roads: The Impact of Unofficial Transportation Routes on Remote Arctic Communities." This project is aimed at detailed interdisciplinary analysis of the overall impact of informal roads on Arctic environment and economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of local communities.
Dr. Kristin O'Brien is a Professor in the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, AK. She is an integrative comparative physiologist and biochemist who studies how fishes respond to abiotic stressors in the environment. Much of her work has focused on the thermal plasticity of Antarctic notothenioid fishes, including one of the most charismatic and fascinating members of the fish fauna, the Antarctic icefish. Using the temperate stickleback fish, her laboratory investigates how fish regulate metabolic remodeling in response to temperature to better understand the limits of thermal tolerance. An NSF CAREER award laid the foundation for her career integrating research and teaching, and fostered a deep respect and appreciation for rural Alaskan communities and indigenous knowledge. At UAF, Kristin leads efforts to increase diversity and inclusion, and enhance undergraduate and graduate training in science. She earned a B.S. in Zoology from Duke University, a PhD in Zoology from the University of Maine, and was an NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Dr. Jessica O'Reilly, associate professor of International Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, is an anthropologist who studies the science and politics of climate change, in Antarctica and among climate experts internationally. She is the author of The Technocratic Antarctic: an ethnography of scientific expertise and environmental governance (2017, Cornell University Press), and a co-author of Discerning Experts: understanding scientific assessments for public policy (2019, Chicago University Press). Her current research project, an interdisciplinary social science analysis of the production of knowledge in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is supported by the National Science Foundation. Dr. OâReilly serves as an advisor to the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) and the United States delegation to the Antarctic Treaty meetings, and regularly observes the conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Dr. Mary-Louise Timmermans is the Damon Wells Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Yale University. Her research focus is polar oceanography and climate. She analyzes observations from icebreaker surveys and an ice-based network of drifting ocean-profiling instruments to understand how the ocean relates to Arctic sea ice and climate. This includes studies on the changing large-scale circulation of the Arctic Ocean, heat transport to and within the Arctic, sea ice-ocean interactions, and energy dissipation in the polar system. Prior to Yale, she was an assistant scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and is currently an adjunct scientist at WHOI. She earned her PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University, UK.