Montag, 4. Mai 2020

BBC Future Gallery

In December last year I got the chance to collaborate with BBC Future to create a slideshow gallery about "What Christmas is really like at the North Pole". It contains photos from the first leg of the MOSAiC expedition by several photographers including Esther Horvath and me. The slideshow addresses the working conditions in the Arctic sea ice in winter, the difficulties as well as some of the joys.
Check it out here.

























This was all possible thanks to:







Everything I write here reflects only my personal experiences, opinions and beliefs. You can find the official website of the MOSAiC expedition via the following link: https://www.mosaic-expedition.org.

Sonntag, 19. Januar 2020

Part II // Meeting »Home«

I remember when I first saw our ship - the glorious Akademik Fedorov.
It was after our outreach talk in the planetarium,
where we could see it arriving in the harbour.
It looked so tiny making its way through the water.
Suddenly the whole Arctic expedition thing seemed less like a fantasy.




























The next day we got to try our polar clothing. The people in charge were two German guys:
an elderly white haired man, who seemed to be annoyed by the pure sight of us and a tall guy
with a kind smile. They really tried their best to provide fitting suits, jackets and boots
for us, but they weren’t always successful. It felt like an eternity to go through all the
things that we were provided with, but you could feel a wave of excitement being triggered
for all the adventures to come.

I ended up with a slightly too tight suit – bigger sizes weren’t available anymore, but I made sure the pants and jacket would fit. So that I wouldn't be cold on the ice. There was only one moment when I really regretted not getting a suit that fits.

Guess who is me in the group picture on the right...

Being the only person on a group photo in orange, while everybody is wearing red, makes you stick out quite a bit. I look ridicoulosly enough like the teacher of the class. The upside of this? I was never cold, not once, on this whole trip into the Arctic.

The fitting happened in the harbour and gave us the opportunity to see both ships up close, Polarstern and Akademik Fedorov. I remember me thinking how incredibly big it was.

It made me feel both impressed and a little intimidated.

On Friday the 20th of September we got to say Goodbye to Polarstern and the expedition members of the
first part of the expedition at the Farewell event. But even though it was planned as a joined farewell,
we did not leave until the next day. Still, we got to board our vessel, our new home for the upcoming weeks.

Our first lesson onboard: Things never turn out the way you expect!


Check @the.answer.is.north for more photos on Instagram.


This was all possible thanks to:







Everything I write here reflects only my personal experiences, opinions and beliefs. You can find the official website of the MOSAiC expedition via the following link: https://www.mosaic-expedition.org.

Freitag, 3. Januar 2020

Part I // Preparing for the Arctic

My personal journey began in Berlin, Germany. I arrived in Tromsø on the 16th of September a couple of days before boarding the Russian research icebreaker Akademik Fedorov. I met my first fellow MOSAiC school participant Igor on the bus to the campsite, where all participants would stay in cute little red cabins to get to know each other. We were welcomed by a warm icebreaker party with a barbecue and some drinks. That was when we met the remaining MOSAiC school students and our amazing organizing team: Josefine Lenz from AWI Potsdam and Thomas Rackow (@polar.thomas) from AWI Bremerhaven.

The following so-called Dry Days were filled with safety training, lectures and presentations, including an introduction to MOSAiC by the project manager Anja Sommerfeld and the project leader Markus Rex, but also about conflict management, indigenous people in the Arctic region and already some outreach talks to middle school students.

Lecture-wise I was especially happy about the lecture on “Social-ecological systems of the Arctic Yakutia in the context of global change” by the Yakutian geographer Stanislav Ksenofontov. For natural scientists like me it is easy to just focus on the how and why of climate change, but it is crucial to also think about the impact it has on indigenous communities. So in the spirit of MOSAiC we already started out really interdisciplinary!

We talked about what challenges we were expecting for living for six weeks in a very confined space with a lot of people with almost no communication to the outside world in the middle of the Arctic. You can guess, we had a lot. Most of our fears turned out to be harmless in the upcoming weeks.

We also got to speak to real expedition experts to get some last minute tips, like always carry some snacks in case of sea sickness. That actually helped me a lot – this way I didn’t even have to take any sea sickness medication. My roommate sadly wasn’t that lucky. Also we learned to always bring something to share. Especially good chocolate, tea and coffee are very beloved goods. What I later learned onboard: it is nice to have little presents, e.g. from your home region or country, to give away to the people you met and liked on board as a little thank you. Especially Russians seem to have this tradition and since I really appreciated it, I plan to adapt it in the future.






















The MOSAiC school participants.

Check @the.answer.is.north for more photos on Instagram.


This was all possible thanks to:







Everything I write here reflects only my personal experiences, opinions and beliefs. You can find the official website of the MOSAiC expedition via the following link: https://www.mosaic-expedition.org.

Mittwoch, 27. November 2019

Part 0 // Back Home

...from my six week trip to the Central Arctic as part of the MOSAiC expedition!

While we are back in our cozy homes and the sparse winter daylight, the German research icebreaker Polarstern is just at the beginning of its one-year long endeavour. The transit to the Central Arctic, the search for a suitable floe for Polarstern and the set-up of the Distributed Network, also called leg1a, is over. This part of the expedition, where I had the privilege to be a part of, finished in the last October days with our safe return to Tromsø, Norway.

When we left Polarstern, darkness had fallen: Polar Night. The sun had already stopped showing us her face some days before, lurking just below the horizon, leaving us with some leftover light to set up the last remaining instruments of the Distributed Network. You do not realize how much you miss the sun until you get to see it again. You can't help but stand outside, all excited and happy, and glance at it for hours.

Now, for the people on Polarstern, there is no light but the moon and the headlamps and spotlights from the ship to breach the complete darkness. This, highly dynamical ice, polar bear visits and temperatures way below -20°C make it really difficult and sometimes even dangerous to work on the ice.

Check out https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org for daily updates on the MOSAiC expedition and the people onboard Polarstern, working in this harsh but beautiful environment we call the Arctic.
























The RV Akademik Fedorov, my home far from home, in the vanisihing light of the Central Arctic
just before the beginning of polar night.

In case you are wondering: I am currently in the state of going through all the material (photos, interviews, videos,..) I produced - which is a lot - and the selection process. I am planning on making a book about my experiences on this expedition.

Check @the.answer.is.north for more photos on Instagram.


This was all possible thanks to:







Everything I write here reflects only my personal experiences, opinions and beliefs. You can find the official website of the MOSAiC expedition via the following link: https://www.mosaic-expedition.org.


Samstag, 4. Mai 2019

Dummy Award // Kassel reloaded

Hey there,
as you all know it took my a while to finish the series "Charon". Hence I wanted to see it printed and bound and everything. So to have a good reason to print it, I decided to participate in the Dummy Award this year and I was so happy when I got the news:

My little booklet "Charon", which was printed on the amazing environment-friendly gras-paper by die grasdruckerei, is on the shortlist of the Dummy Award 2019 in Kassel. The shortlisted photobooks will be exhibited at several international photo-events.

You can check out the whole series on my homepage.

Mittwoch, 1. Mai 2019

MOSAIC

Hey there,
I have great news! I am one of the fortunate 20 who are allowed to join the MOSAIC school 2019. What the hell is MOSAIC? you might justifiably ask and I want to shortly introduce this amazing project to you:

We currently have a huge problem in climate modelling: the climate change in the Arctic region is not fully reproduced by modern climate models.

Why is this problematic?
The global climate is strongly affected by Arctic sea ice loss and the changes in the Arctic climate system. So without understanding what is happening in the Arctic, there is huge uncertainty in predicting and understanding what is happening on a global scale, e.g. your home country.

Why is the Arctic region so poorly modelled?
This is mainly because there are so few measurements. The Arctic is - as you can imagine - a very remote location and there are simply no people living ON the sea ice in the middle of the Arctic who could do regular measurements. There are some measurement-sites like in Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard but this is on land. Also because of the lack of measurements some processes in the Arctic are still not sufficiently well understood. So what we modellers want and need are consistend year-round measurements of all the different processes happening in the Arctic. This is where the MOSAIC expedition comes into play.

What is the MOSAIC expedition?

It is a one year long expedition, where the icebreaker RV Polarstern will be frozen into the sea ice and drift with the ice across the central Arctic. The expedition will start in September 2019 and will set up a big network of observational sites inside an area with a radius of ca. 50km around the ship. Additionally there will be research aircrafts and helicopters complementing the research of the network. Therefore there will be in-situ observations of the atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, the Arctic ecosystem and its bio-geochemistry. MOSAIC concentrates on the processes which couple these elements.

Picture from https://www.apecs.is/events/upcoming-event-highlights/mosaic-school-2019.html

As you have probably guessed by now: this expedition will provide the climate modellers and other polar scientists with extremly valuable data for further research, helping the understanding of Arctic climate change and sea ice loss. Which will improve global climate predictions as well as weather predictions, which in turn will for example help with safety and decision making for maritime operations. If you want to read more about this expedition visit https://www.mosaic-expedition.org.

What is the MOSAIC school 2019?
The MOSAIC partners and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) had the awesome idea to offer the MOSAIC school 2019 on board of the RV Akademik Federov. The RV Akademik Federov is the support icebreaker of the expedition, transporting scientists, material and clearing the way for the smaller RV Polarstern in the Arctic ocean. The 20 early career researchers (Master and PhD students) will join the first leg of the expedition for 1.5 months. This means we start our journey together with the RV Polarstern, have lectures on board about the different topics MOSAIC is interested in, help set up the observational network on the ice and then go back home and tell everyone about the project.

You can find more information about the MOSAIC school here: https://www.apecs.is/events/upcoming-event-highlights/mosaic-school-2019.html.

Of course I will bring my camera along this expedition and I am planning to do a project about it.

Freitag, 2. November 2018

Butterland

Dear readers,
an exhibition, where my book E38-15 will be on display, is coming up:

















\\ Butterland – Delusion of Photography \\
an exhibition of the Master’s program Photographic Studies at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund.

Exhibition Opening
29.11.18 - 18:00
UG im Folkwang
Museum Folkwang
Museumsplatz 1
45128 Essen


The exhibition will be open from 29.11.18 – 13.01.19. More information available here.

Sadly I will not be able to join the opening, but I am definitely going to visit the exhibition at some point!