People often ask me why I like to paint ice. My father, Seelye Martin, is in large part responsible. He’s a professor in oceanography with the University of Washington and studies sea ice and satellite remote sensing. When I was young, he embarked on several cruises to the Arctic and shared stories of the ice, animals, and darkness. I remember talking through radio-patch phone calls and at home, his two large parkas fill the hall closet. Well, my father is at it again, in the midst of an adventure and wonderful project. He’s down in Punta Arenas, Chile, working as chief scientist for the NASA mission Operation Ice Bridge. With a DC-8 aircraft converted for research, the team is bridging the gap in measurements left from the dying satellite ICESat over regions of West Antarctica and the Peninsula. Flying as low as 1,500 ft. over the ice to collect data, the scientists are using tools such as laser altimeters, a gravimeter, and ice penetrating radar.
Learn more about Operation Ice Bridge!