I am currently a PhD student in the Earth System Science department at the University of California, Irvine. My research involves the use of ice cores from the poles, both Antarctica and Greenland, to study the ancient atmosphere. In our research group at UCI, the focus is mainly on trace gases - gases found in the atmosphere in trace amounts such as parts per billion or parts per trillion level (thousands of times less than the current level of CO2 ) . I obtained my B.S. degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University in May 2013.
From November 2014 to February 2015 and again in November 2015, I was at the South Pole as part of a science team drilling a new ice core. This new ice core, called the SPICE (South Pole ice) core, reached a final depth of 1,751 meters (5,744 feet!). The SPICECORE provides roughly 50,000 years of climate records and is the first deep ice core drilled at the South Pole. Much of this website documents my time and experiences in Antarctica as well as explains the many ways in which ice cores help scientists better understand the complex climate system called Earth.
I am actively involved in outreach programs aimed at educating young students on climate and earth science in hopes of empowering them to make educated decisions about the earth's future. My long term goal is to work in academia.
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments.
The photo on the right is a picture of me in the SPICECORE drilling tent holding a 1-meter long section of the SPICECORE. These 1-meter long pieces are packed into insulated boxes which are then shipped back to the United States.
Nicewonger, M. R., K. R. Verhulst, M. Aydin, and E. S. Saltzman (2016), Preindustrial atmospheric ethane levels inferred from polar ice cores: A constraint on the geologic sources of atmospheric ethane and methane, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 214–221, doi:10.1002/2015GL066854.
Aydin, M., J. E. Campbell, T. J. Fudge, K. M. Cuffey, M. R. Nicewonger, K. R. Verhulst, and E. S. Saltzman (2016), Changes in atmospheric carbonyl sulfide over the last 54000 years inferred from measurements in Antarctic ice cores. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, doi: 10.1002/2015JD024235.
Aydin, M., T. J. Fudge, K. R. Verhulst, M. R. Nicewonger, E. D. Waddington, and E. S. Saltzman (2014), Carbonyl sulfide hydrolysis in Antarctic ice cores and an atmospheric history for the last 8000 years, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, doi: 10.1002/2014JD021618
NICL In-Depth: Cold and SPICE-y
"Going Deep" - Antarctic Sun
"SPICE-ing it up" video
"Scientists drill first deep ice core..." - UC Irvine News
University of Washington press release
ESS Winter Newsletter
CBS Denver: How Scientists Use Ice Cores To See Nearly 1 Million Years Of Past Climate
The Loh Down on Science: Icy Hot
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.