Fieldwork and Expedition Under Very Special Circumstances
Fieldwork is a challenging part of many research projects and expeditions in areas of the world that have been little explored so far. The MOSAiC Arctic expedition in 2019/2020 was very special: It was the largest research expedition to the Arctic ever and one of humanity’s greatest efforts to understand the Arctic climate system and how changes will affect the rest of the planet. The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) led the expedition during which the research icebreaker Polarstern was frozen in Arctic sea ice and drifted with the transpolar drift across the North Cape to Fram Strait between Greenland and Spitsbergen.
Anja Sommerfeld was the Alfred Wegener Institute’s project manager for MOSAiC, and she was actively involved in the development of the idea into an amazing project. Being part of the research team meant, for example, spending several months in complete darkness. Anja had never been in such a situation before and did not know how her mind and body would behave under these special conditions.
Anja will share her experiences while living and working under very special circumstances and her tasks during the expedition at the interface between coordinators, scientists and logistics. Furthermore, she will talk about the career path that brought her to MOSAiC and project management, which initially had more to do with luck than skill.