Mike’s Education & Outreach


Welcome to Mike’s Clubhouse for Public Outreach and Arctic Awesomeness

Contact me at: mas©apl•uw•edu

Watch the life of Dylan the Diatom


I’ve been an Arctic Oceanographer since 1987, when I moved to Seattle after getting a PhD in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA.  I work at the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington, in a group at APL called the Polar Science Center.  We are oceanographers, meteorologists, glaciologists, biologists, chemists, and engineers.  My research is focused on sea ice (the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean) and the waters of the Arctic Ocean itself.  Why is there ice over here, but not over there?  Why is the ocean cold over here, and even colder over there?  Those are the kinds of questions that I seek answers to. 

My job is super fun.  I get to go to the Arctic and walk around (carefully) on the ice, or fly over it in helicopters and planes.  I get to look at data and discover new things about the world that no one else has ever thought about.  And I get to interact with a wonderful international community of scientists.

OK that’s cool, but another thing I really love to do is to show people what I do.  By “people” I mean kids (little to big) and the general public. 

I give talks in schools around the Seattle area and sometimes beyond. 

I also give public lectures at museums, schools, libraries, and other venues. 

Watch the pictures and videos here to get and idea about what I do. I’ll have more soon. 

Watch a clip from my show I do at the Pacific Science Center: Extreme Cold

Two More Days of Polar Science Weekend!Bring the kids to the Pacific Science Center on Saturday and Sunday. Meet APL-UW's Polar Science Center arctic researchers. Learn about arctic glaciers, sea ice, sea water, underwater research instruments, measure your height with an ICESat-2 satellite, listen to whales, and more. Here's a short clip from today—part of Dr. Mike Steele's popular EXTREME COLD presentation at the "Live Science Stage."https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/polar-science-weekend/

Posted by Applied Physics Laboratory-UW on Friday, March 3, 2017


 Expert Testimony! 

Watch a video about making my UpTempo Buoys

YouTube Preview Image

Watch my Extreme Cold Show

A talk given at Green River Community College, January 2017



One note: The exact proportion of the ~ 1 degC warming over the past ~ 100 years that is natural vs. human-caused is a topic of great debate now, both within the scientific community and between “skeptics” and climate scientists.  Since this talk, I discovered that the consensus in the climate research community is this: Of the earth’s warming since 1950 (which is most of the warming over the past 100 years), it is highly likely that greater than 50% has been caused by humans.  It’s all very interesting in the details, but The Big Picture is that the consensus among working climate scientists is that humans are responsible for a lot of recent warming.  Maybe not all of it, but a lot.