7 April, 2001

Walter (Terry) B. Tucker III, Research Geophysicist

Specializing in sea ice studies for 30 years, Walter B. Tucker III, ("Terry" to his colleagues and friends), of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), Hanover, New Hampshire, began his career using laser profiles from aircraft to study the surface roughness of sea ice. It is this expertise that lead Terry to his later investigations assessing the thickness of ridging ice in individual pressure ridges and consequently to his more recent research focusing on the characterization of sea ice.

In 1984, Terry Tucker had the opportunity to go to Fram Strait where he collected ice cores for measurements in temperature, salinity and crystal structure. Until this time, few people had conducted crystal studies of Arctic sea ice. Because 80 to 90 percent of Arctic sea ice passes through Fram Strait, this data is representative of much of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

Throughout his career, Terry Tucker has traveled extensively in the Arctic Regions spending time at field camps researching ice properties and collecting ice thickness data. For several years, Terry collected measurements of the in-situ stress of the ice covers in addition to other measurements of ice properties. Keeping ice core property and thickness measurements as his focus, Mr. Tucker was successful in his attempts to access submarine collected ice profile data. He processed and analyzed this data in his interest in global climate change affecting the thinning and shrinking of the Arctic ice pack.

Several major field programs highlight Terry Tucker's career in sea ice research. The most recent is his ice characterization studies for the Sea Ice Trials 2000 of the new icebreaker, United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the Canadian Arctic (http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/healy). In order to define the operational characteristics of this new icebreaker, the strength and thickness of the ice was essential information. The ice properties measurements were combined with the USCGC Healy's operational data at the end of each test for assessing the performance of the icebreaker.

Another highlight is Terry's parcticipation in Project Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA, http://sheba.apl.washington.edu). In this experiment, a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, Des Groseilliers, became frozen in the Beaufort Sea and allowed to drift with the ice floes for one year. Des Groseilliers served as an operations base for camps and scientific snow and ice studies being conducted on the surrounding ice sheets from October 1997 to October 1998. An arcticle written for science teachers and students over-viewing Project SHEBA, "Year on Ice Gives Climate Insights," by D.K. Perovich et al can be found in the December 1999 edition of Earth in Space, a magazine published by the American Geophysical Union.

Terry Tucker names The 1994 Arctic Ocean Section trial (AOS-94, http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/techpub/CRREL_Reports/reports/AOS_SR96_23.pd f), the first major scientific crossing of the Arctic Ocean, as an added highlight of his career in ice research. This expedition partnered the United States and Canada in an endeavor to increase understanding of the role of the Arctic in global change and to collect baseline data on regional contaminants. This multidisciplinary experiment comprising fifty individual research programs was the first expedition of its type in North America.

Several Coast Guard expeditions to the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea and the Marginal Ice Zone in the Greenland Sea for ice coring and conducting ice property research combine as further highlights to Terry Tucker's career. For additional information, photos and Mr. Tucker's contact information at CRREL go to http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/sid/personnel/tucker.html.

Investigate the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) virtual library at http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/library/crrel_library.html for additional information and resources. THE 1994 ARCTIC OCEAN SECTION: THE FIRST MAJOR SCIENTIFIC CROSSING OF THE ARCTIC OCEAN (1996) edited by Walter Tucker and David Cate is published by U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, NH 03755. It is identified as Special Report 96-23.

By Sandra Kolb, March 2001


Walter (Terry) B. Tucker III in his office at CRREL. Photo by Sandra Kolb.


Terry Tucker (left) and Don Perovich (right) discussing the shrinking and thinning of the Arctic ice pack following a seminar presented by Terry Tucker and John Weatherly at CRREL. Photo by Sandra Kolb.


Walter (Terry) B. Tucker III in the USCGC Healy bridge during this icebreakerís Sea Ice Trials 2000 in the Canadian Arctic. Photo by Sandra Kolb.


The Sea Ice Trials 2000 of the new icebreaker, United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the Canadian Arctic. Photo by Sandra Kolb.


Patch showing the partnering of the science community and the U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Sandra Kolb.


Contact the TEA in the field at .
If you cannot connect through your browser, copy the TEA's e-mail address in the "To:" line of your favorite e-mail package.