Meet the Team

Gordon Bromleyimg_3541

Our trusty team lead! Gordon is a Research Assistant professor at the University of Maine, where he got both his Master’s and Ph.D.. Broadly, he focuses on “the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of climate change, as well as its impacts on society and ecosystems.” More specifically, he uses surface exposure age dating and other analytical techniques to learn about how glaciers have responded to climate change in the past. The 2016 season was Gordon’s 7th season in Antarctica. Gordon also works in Scotland and in the tropics (yes, there are glaciers in the tropics). Check out his page on the UMaine website, as well as his artwork!

Greg Balcobig_balco_g

Also a co-leader of this team, Greg is our in-house cosmogenic nuclide expert out of the Berkeley Geochronology Center. He can answer almost any question known to man! The 2016 season was Greg’s 10th (ish) season in Antarctica. Greg keeps a highly technical blog about cosmogenic nuclide geochemistry, and has pioneered several online data repositories for surface exposure age data. Unfortunately, we missed him in the field this time around. But you’ll still see him in some photos from McMurdo and from the 2015 field season.

Maggie Jackson

Maggie is a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth “interested in Version 2the mechanisms that impact climate and climate change and how these shifts may be reflected in the glacial record.” Her life interests include “ice hockey, languages, television, holiday edition Reeses cups, politics.” Her mind is a vault; when we can’t remember exactly when that darn Pliocene epoch actually occurred, Maggie comes to our rescue! We’re not exactly sure how Maggie became a part of our team, but we’re sure glad to have her. The 2016 field season was Maggie’s 3rd in Antarctica. Her current Ph.D. work “involves reconstructing past glacier extent in central Africa in order to determine the timing and magnitude of past change.”

Allie Balterdscn1555

Primary author of this blog! Allie works with Gordon at the University of Maine to delineate the extent of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) during the Pliocene, a period ~5 to 2.5 million years ago when temperatures were significantly warmer than today (a.k.a. the project this blog is all about). She will also be joining Gordon in Scotland this March to do more glacial geology research. On her days off, Allie enjoys running, snowboarding, hiking, and binge watching Netflix. One time, she lived with reindeer herders in Norway!

Holly Thomas

Also a blog author! Holly, an undergraduate Website_bio_resize-225x300.jpgat the University of Maine, was with the team for the 2015 field season. She works with Gordon on this Antarctic Pliocene project, as well as in Scotland. Holly is a pro with the hammer and chisel, a deft boulder sampler. When she’s not solving the biggest questions in glacial geology, Holly can be found traipsing up Mt. Kilimanjaro, where she has led groups of high schoolers in their quest for summits and clarity. Holly is also a self-described connoisseur of peanut butter. She can “describe almost any variety and make recommendations based on an individual’s personal preferences.” We definitely missed Holly this field season, but were glad she was able to answer our calls from the field and add wit to this blog!

Chris Simmonsmichaelbrown_20140708_4594

Chris is our mountaineering guide. If you didn’t already know, Antarctica is filled with ice which can be crevassed and dangerous. We needed Chris to guide us through any of these dangerous areas, and thanks to him, we had two incredibly safe seasons! Chris also guides on summits in the Cascades (he is based in Seattle), Europe, South America, and Asia. When asked why he is a mountain guide for a living, he states, “I guide because I can’t not be in the mountains; I love these places too much to stay away, or to keep them to myself.” Check out his website!