From the Arctic, to Missoula


Four days, numerous engaging presentations, and a lichen field-trip later, the Northwest Scientific Association conference is quickly coming to an end.

It has been a stimulating experience in the snowy mountains of Missoula, MT. While most of the conference was spent attending presentations about forest responses to climate change, disturbance, botany, and fire ecology, several hours were allotted for the poster presentation. As this year’s central theme was dedicated to the transitioning forests of the Pacific Northwest, I expected to be the only representative of the Polaris contingent.  Delightfully, amidst the throng of enthused scientists, appeared a previous participant of Polaris. Enthusiastically, we reminisced about conducting terrestrial and aquatic surveys, living on a barge, and being immersed in a Russian culture.

Limestone lichens in Missoula, MT

As we pondered our Arctic experiences, I was once again reminded that while Arctic research is conducted in the northern latitudes, it has broad implications for the world.