The 6th Polar Marine Diatom Workshop was hosted by Beth Caissie at the Iowa State University Iowa Lakeside Laboratory on Lake Okoboji, Iowa USA. Forty-one participants arrived from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey, UK and the USA, with 21 participants from the USA and 20 from the rest of the world. Fourteen microscope sessions were presented on taxa such as Fragilariopsis (Christina Riesselman, New Zealand, and Bank Beszeteri, Germany), Proboscia and Rhizosolenia (Ric Jordan, Japan), Actinocyclus (Claire Allen, UK), Eucampia (James Williams, UK) and Corethron (Jenny Pike, UK), with general sessions on preservation and taxonomy (Jon Warnock, USA), modern Arctic (Karley Campbell, UK) and Antarctic (Amy Leventer, USA) diatoms, Quaternary subarctic diatoms (Savannah Worne, UK, and Natalie Thompson, USA), sea ice proxies (Anna Nesterovich, USA) and polar diatom processing (Reed Scherer, USA). This workshop had a special focus on Antarctic diatom biostratigraphy in support of the recent series of Southern Ocean IODP Expeditions, led by David Harwood (USA) and Masao Iwai (Japan). Ten talks were presented during the week, and thirteen posters in the Thursday poster session. Talk and poster topics ranged from modern Antarctic diatom-tintinnid relationships (Ruth Eriksen, Australia), Arctic (Tiia Luostarinen, Finland) and Antarctic (Matthew Chadwick, UK) sea ice reconstructions to Palaeogene (Michael Harrison, USA) and Neogene (Yuji Kato, Japan) palaeoceanography.
The workshop icebreaker was held in the Shimek Building of the Iowa Lakeside Labs, talks were held in the historic (for diatomists!) Macbride Laboratory and microscope sessions in the Mahan Building. All these buildings are sat on the bank of the beautiful Lake Okiboji and days were shared with does and fawns, toads, snakes, hummingbirds, fireflies and newly fledged bald eagles. The workshop dinner was deliciously provided by the Farm to Fork Food Truck, taking place on the lawn next to Lake Okoboji. Wednesday afternoon activities included such activities as a prairie walk, paddle boarding on the lake or a visit to the local brewery. During the week, two evening diatom illustration classes were held by artist Claudia Stevens, which included diatom rubbing and making postcards! On the Tuesday evening, a group of workshop participants delivered an evening workshop and experience session for about 40 of the Friends of Iowa Lakeside Labs and the local community.
This workshop was sponsored by the US Science Support Program/International Ocean Drilling Program, the Iowa Lakeside Lab Regents Resource Center, the Friends of Lakeside Lab, Iowa State University, the International Arctic Steering Committee, and The Micropalaeontological Society. The Friends of Lakeside Lab also provided extensive logistical support during the meeting.