In 2018, I created MargoLAB with the goal of
bridging the gap between environmental science—including the study of climate
change—and everyday people by using multimedia.
My hope is that as I continue to develop it, this platform will make understanding our
changing environment more accessible by linking research outlines and publications
with other resources, such as captivating photos, informative videos, and social media
In time, I hope that MargoLAB will grow to host
the work of many other scientists, artists and journalists, making it a collaborative
platform for communicating important concepts to a broad audience.
I grew up in Iowa City, Iowa—about as far from the ocean as you can
get—and somehow managed to become an oceanographer.
In high school, I focused on art classes including stained glass, photography and
computer graphics, while I neglected math and science.
Due to my poor grades in math and science, I was not accepted into college and instead
joined AmeriCorps, volunteering with various non-profit organizations in the
southeastern United States and San Antonio, Texas.
During my first year in AmeriCorps, I was the photo representative for my team, which
provided me with the opportunity to apply my photography skills and document our
service, which I've since applied to documenting my fieldwork.
I didn't take many photos during my second year in AmeriCorps, but I did see the film
An Inconvenient Truth, which compelled me to utilize my
Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to study Earth science in Colorado,
as well as pursue my passion for rock climbing.
After a year of working and improving my grades at the local community college, I was
able to enroll at the University of
Colorado as a resident through their Continuing Education program, and one year later I matriculated into
the university as a full-time student.
Over the course of that year I became immersed in the university's
Atmospheric and Oceanic
Sciences departments, gaining my first research experience and declaring
Chemistry as my major,
which I still apply to understand our changing environment today.
During my final years in Colorado, my adventures with rock climbing in the mountains
shifted to adventures with fieldwork at sea through the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where I spent two summers as a
guest student before
beginning graduate school at the University of Miami.
In the pursuit of
my Ph.D. in Miami, my research honed in on understanding
biogeochemical processes (e.g., nutrient delivery from rivers, degradation of organic
material, and circulation pathways) in marginal seas (i.e., the Black Sea, Caribbean
and Gulf of Mexico), while also providing me with more opportunities at sea and
Through multiple visits to the (Ant)Arctic and my interest in science communication at
sea via social media, I dubbed myself the nickname Arctic Andy, hoping to engage a broader audience in understanding
environmental science and climate change.
At my current position at the University of British Columbia's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, my goal is to apply my
biogeochemical approach to understand how the coastal productivity, fisheries, and
water quality that we depend on will be affected by climate change and our mitigation
No matter where you live—whether 'home' is on the coast or a landlocked state
such as Iowa—you are connected to the ocean, either directly or indirectly via
rivers and the atmosphere.
I am interested to explore how such human connections to the ocean affect
its biogeochemistry, and vice versa—how the ocean's changing biogeochemistry
affects humans and our natural resources.
Images: I designed and created
'stainedglass.png' in 2004 during
high school, 'americorps.png' was
taken from a 2005 News-Sun newspaper, 'climbing.png' was taken by me in 2008 during a 5-day solo-clean-aid
climb of 'Prodigal Son' in Zion National Park, 'firstexpedition.png' was taken by S. Hoy in the Bransfield Strait in
2011, 'arcticandy.png' was taken by
R. Carey during the 'AA5K' on Antarctica in 2013, 'landtosea.png' is of the Mackenzie River outflow in 2017 from
This website was designed in 2014 under the support of the
National Science Foundation's
Graduate Research Fellowship Program and is maintained by Andrew
Updated 19 April 2020.