OASIS: Barrow 2019

Ocean - Atmosphere - Sea Ice - Snowpack (OASIS)

Ocean - Atmosphere - Sea Ice - Snowpack (OASIS) was an international, multi-disciplinary program focusing on understanding the chemical and physical exchange processes that occur between the ocean, atmosphere, and cryosphere, and on understanding the impacts that these exchange processes have on tropospheric chemistry, climate, and the biosphere.

Details of the OASIS program, and of the Barrow 2009 field campaign can be found at OASIS Home.

Barrow 2009 - Scientific Overview and NCAR Participation

In Winter/Spring 2009 (end of Feb. to end of April), scientists from NCAR (Atmospheric Chemistry Division of ESSL, and the Technology Development Facility of EOL) participated in a major field campaign at Barrow, Alaska. This campaign was the most detailed study to date of the exchange processes occurring between the atmosphere and the cryosphere, and their impact on tropospheric chemistry and composition. The aim was to significantly advance our understanding of the overall oxidative capacity of the Arctic troposphere, of surface ozone and mercury depletion events, and of the nature and importance of aerosol production in this region.

There was a significant global modeling component to the OASIS study, which examined the impact of OASIS exchange processes on air quality and climate in the Arctic region.

Participants in the Barrow 2009 campaign included scientists from Canada, England, France and Germany, as well as from NCAR, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Villanova University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and University of California – Davis. There were approximately 25 separate instruments in operation at the field site, nine of which were operated by NCAR scientists. The NCAR deployment focused on measuring concentrations and fluxes of key chemical species active in the Arctic boundary layer photochemistry, including HOx, NOx and NOy, PANs, O3, halocarbons, organics and aerosols, as well as driving environmental factors such as actinic flux. The inclusion of HOx and aerosol measurements, in particular, represented a significant addition to previous campaigns of this type.

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach activities associated with OASIS-Barrow 2009 were coordinated with other participants in the field study (e.g., UC-Davis, Purdue University, Georgia Tech, and Environment Canada). Highlights included the following:

  • The participation of a Denver-area high school teacher in the field program. The teacher came to Barrow for a week, and was involved in data collection and analysis, communicated with classrooms via webcam, and developed chemistry / physics / environmental science curricula based on Barrow activities.
  • The participation of a SOARS protégé (Talea Mayo, who worked with Lee Mauldin and colleagues on measurements of OH and OH reactivity).
  • The participation of NCAR scientists as lecturers in a graduate-level course, offered at UC-Davis and other institutions.
  • Participation in local outreach programs, including “Schoolyard Saturdays”.


Contacts: Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling (ACOM) at NCAR