Kristin Laidre : Meet Kristin Laidre
My name is Kristin Laidre I'm an oceanographer, I work at the Polar Science Center in the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington. My job as a marine mammal biologist essentially involves being in the field, collecting information on marine mammals and then coming back to the office and analyzing that information, doing statistics, writing papers, making presentations. So its divided into two parts; being away from my office or being present at my desk.
In the field we have many different projects, sometimes we are focused on counting either from planes or boats, catching them and putting instruments on them or taking samples from animals that are live or have been harvested. So if I am tagging animals my responsibilities include looking out for them to see when they're swimming by, running boats, pulling them out of nets, and attaching instruments.
We put instruments on these whales in August and the animals make a very long migration south with the forming ice in the Arctic. They'll move out to a place called Baffin Bay in Davis Strait. So our plan in next March to fly out and helicopter several times from the coast, land on the ice where these animals are over-wintering both instrument more animals from the ice edge as well as collect oceanographic data like CTD from the cracks in the ice which can be used to calibrate the instruments that are on the whales right now.