Coast Guard Lieutenant Caroline Bell was selected by the USCG to earn a Master’s degree in Oceanography. In 2006, she graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S in Marine Environmental Science. Since then Caroline’s varied experience within the Coast Guard includes being stationed on a 210′ cutter out of Cape Canaveral, FL, assigned to the Academy’s Admissions office as a recruiter, and most recently stationed at Sector Hampton Roads in Virginia working in the Command Center.
Working with PSC’s Ignatius Rigor, Caroline is studying landfast ice break up along the north shore of Alaska. From data collected by several GPS buoys that were deployed on the ice in late winter/early spring over the last 10 years, she is analyzing when the ice began to break free, trying to determine what physical factors are most important and cause the break up, and comparing these results with past studies to determine any significant changes.
Caroline gained an interest in the Arctic over the past few years with decreasing ice extent, new shipping lanes beginning to open, and increased Coast Guard attention to the region. She learned about the Polar Science Center through researching the UW’s oceanography program, a popular graduate school of Coast Guard officers.
Caroline is very interested in helping to shape the Coast Guard’s role within the Arctic region, when she returns upon completion of her degree summer 2017.