Polar Science Team

Oscar Schofield

Distinguished Professor and Department Chair

Josh Kohut


Grace Saba

Assistant Professor

Growing Need for Polar Science

Polar regions play an integral role in regulating the Earth’s climate and have a major influence on biogeochemical cycles. Both the Arctic and Antarctic are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The loss of sea ice and permafrost and the collapse of glaciers as a result of climate change will impact the rich diversity of biota in these ecosystems as well as sea level rise. Our department has a very active polar research program, supported by multiple NSF grants, and involving many students from various disciplines. Rutgers scientists are engaged in both Arctic and Antarctic research using both regional and global climate models and via large collaborative efforts including the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research program, and utilize fieldwork opportunities in these regions to enrich undergraduate and graduate education.


Oscar M. Schofield, Deborah K. Steinberg, and Scott C. Doney. 2021. WAP-1D-VAR v1.0: development and evaluation of a one-dimensional variational data assimilation model for the marine ecosystem along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Geosci. Model Dev., 14, 4939–4975. DOI: 10.5194/gmd-14-4939-2021

Meredith, M. P., Stammerjohn, S. E., Ducklow, H. W., Leng, M. J., Arrrowsmith, C., Brearley, A. J., Venabkes, H. J, Barnham, M., Melchiorr, Wessem, J., Schofield, O., Waite, N. 2021. Local- and large-scale drivers of variability in the coastal freshwater budget of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Geophysical Research. DOI: 10.1029/2021JC017172

Saba GK, Bockus AB, Shaw CT, Seibel BA (2021) Combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperature on feeding, growth, and physiological processes of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 665:1-18. DOI: 10.3354/meps13715

Brown, M. S., Bowman, J. S., Lin, Y., Cassar, N., Schofield, O. 2021. Low diversity of a key phytoplankton groups along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Limnology and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11765

Schultz, C., Doney, S. C., Hauck, J., Kavanaugh, M. T. Schofield, O. 2021. Modeling phytoplankton blooms and inorganic carbon responses to sea-ice variability in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Journal of Geophysical Research. Geosciences. DOI: 10.1002/essoar.10505538.1

Nardelli, S., Cimino, M., Conroy, J. A., Fraser, W., Steinberg, D., Schofield, O. 2021. Krill availability in Adelie and Gentoo foraging regions south of Anvers Island, Antarctica. Limnology Oceanography DOI: 10.1002/lno.11750

Gutt, J., Isla, E., Xavier, J., Adams, B., Ahn, I., Cheng, C., Colesie, C., Cummings, V., Prisco, G., Griffiths, H., Hawes, I., Hogg, I., McIntyre, T., Meiners, K., Pearce, D., Peck, L., Piepenburg, D., Reisinger, R., Saba, G., Schloss, I., Signori, C., Smith, C., Vacchi, M., Verde, C., Wall, D., (Dec 2020). Antarctic ecosystems in transition – life between stresses and opportunities. Biological Reviews, Cambridge Philosophical Society. DOI: 10.1111/brv.12679

Conroy, J.A., Steinberg, D. K., Thibodeau, P. S., Schofield, O. 2020. Zooplankton diel vertical migration during Antarctic summer. Deep Sea Research II DOI:10.1016/j.dsr.2020.103324 PDF

Hunter-Thomson, K., Kohut, J., Saba, G. 2020. Empowering Students with Polar Science Through Real World Data. Current: The Journal of Marine Education 34(1): 13-18.

McDonnell, J., Hotaling, L., Schofield, O., Kohut, J. (2020). Key concepts in polar science: Coming to consensus on the essential polar literacy principles. Currents: Journal of Marine Education. 34(1): 2-8

McDonnell, J., Schofield, O., Bean, C. 2020. Bringing long-term ecological research (LTER) at Palmer Station Antarctica to your classroom. Currents: Journal of Marine Education. 34(1): 15-17

Virtual Meeting on Behalf of the National Academy of Sciences | Jan 8, 2021
Oscar Schofield Mid-Term Assessment of NSF Progress on the 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research
Virtual seminar at the University of Connecticut | Sept 18, 2020
Oscar Schofield Ecological Change from Algae to Penguins in the Rapidly Changing West Antarctic Peninsula
4 year review of the West Antarctic Working Group | Sept 16, 2020
Oscar Schofield West Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc RWG
Earth and Planetary Sciences Lecture series | Sept 2, 2020
Oscar Schofield Ecological Change from Algae to Penguins in the Rapidly Changing West Antarctic Peninsula
Virtual Science Symposium for the West Antarctic Peninsula as part of Southern Ocean Observing System | July 28, 2020
Oscar Schofield Polar food web resilience in the face of a shifting climate
SOCCUM Annual Team meeting (virtual meeting hosted by Princeton) | June 17-19, 2020
Oscar Schofield Optics and Primary Productivity in Southern Ocean
Oscar Schofield Polar Food Web Resilience in the face of a Shifting Climage
PhD Dissertation Defense (virtual meeting hosted by Rutgers) | May 28, 2020
Michael Brown Drivers of phytoplankton dynamics and corresponding impacts in biogeochemistry, along the West Antarctic Peninsula
LTER Annual Science Council Meeting | May 5, 2020
Oscar Schofield Polar food web resilience in the face of a shifting climate


Congratulations to Dr. Schuyler Nardelli for successfully defending her dissertation, “Seasonal dynamics of plankton ecology in coastal Antarctica.”<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic …

Join Rutgers oceanographer Oscar Schofield as he chats with researchers aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer as they study the marine ecosystems of …