Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

The Sociology of Sea Ice Visualizations: 14 preliminary swaths 

Mark Vardy

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University 

Representations of sea ice occupy an unique location at the intersection of multiple flows of knowledge and power, including the politics of contested geopolitical, Indigenous and scientific priorities. At the same time, the Enlightenment model of the relation between science and society – i.e., that science discovers the truth of the world for decision-makers act upon rationally – does not have universal legitimacy, and the concern with rapid climate change necessitates an updated conception of the role science can play in formulating ethical and agile responses to climatic changes. For this talk, I first outline the motivation for my sociological study of sea ice, and then I report preliminary findings from initial research interviews I conducted with the Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis team at NSIDC. Through the sociological analysis of the production of sea ice visualizations, I advance an empirically robust and theoretically sound interpretation of the relation between scientific knowledge, ethics and action. 



Wednesday, September 7, 2016
11:00 am to 12:00 pm




  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public


RL-2 (on East Campus) room 155