Antarctic Sub Glacial Lake and Stream Studies
Meet the Team
Teacher - Mike LeBaron
Michael LeBaron grew up "on science", learning everything from welding to soil sampling on the family farm that was a part of the University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station. When Mr. LeBaron began college, majoring in Geology was a natural choice, as he knew that he wanted a profession where he could work outside while continuing to learn about the world around him. He has had a variety of careers since graduating with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Geology. These have included spending many years in the oil and gas industry, working as a field geologist in Uranium and Industrial Minerals Exploration, and even a short time in the banking world. Mr. LeBaron made one last career change into teaching, opening the door for him to give back and share what he had learned over the years as a professional geologist. He teaches Earth and AP Environmental Science teacher at Lake Norman High School, bringing his various science travels and knowledge into the classroom in some pretty offbeat and unusual teaching strategies. Travels have included going to Ecuador with the North Carolina Museum of Natural History to have a firsthand look at the impacts of poverty on environmental quality, and a three-week period aboard the RV Atlantis as an observer and outreach participant in the New Millennium Observatory (NeMO) Project along the Juan de Fuca Ridge. When Mr. LeBaron is not at school or wandering around other parts of the world, he can be found traveling with his wife (also a teacher), backpacking with Boy Scout Troop 162 of Mooresville, or checking up on his two sons.
Researcher - John Priscu
John Priscu is a professor in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. His research interest lies in life associated with Antarctic ice and its relationship to global change and astrobiology. Dr. Priscu heads the Priscu Research Group.
Researcher - Slawek Tilaczyk
Researcher - Ross Powell
Ross Powell has been a professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences at Northern Illinois University since the early 1980's. His main research interests focus on processes where glaciers and ice sheets enter the sea, and his recent research has focused on Alaskan and Antarctic glacimarine processes and paleoclimate history involving underwater remotely-operated vehicles (ROV's) among other scientific tools. He has played a lead role in the ANDRILL (Antarctic geological Drilling) Program and the WISSARD program, collecting sediment cores for the first time from a subglacial lake in Antarctica—Lake Whillans. He has mentored teachers in polar field research through the Cape Roberts and ANDRILL programs in Antarctica and the Svalbard REU program in the Arctic. He is also periodically a guest lecturer at the University Center (UNIS) on Svalbard.
Where are They?
What are they Doing?
The WISSARD Project has three inter-related components:
- RAGES (Robotic Access to Grounding zones for Exploration and Science)
- LISSARD (Lake and Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling)
- GBASE (GeomicroBiology of Antarctic Subglacial Environments)
The primary goal of the first field season is testing and exploring the zone (grounding zone) just before the grounded ice of the Whillans Ice Stream goes a float into the Ross Ice Shelf, which is thought to be a very sensitive area in terms of ice sheet dynamics and its response to global warming. During their deployment, the team will use a hot water drill to melt boreholes deep in the ice stream. After the holes are melted they will test and deploy complex new monitoring and sampling equipment under the ice.
Learn more about the project at the official project website.
|Invasive Species Under Ice||Overview Antarctica is the coldest, driest place on Earth with a fairly limited number of native...||Lesson|
|Life Under Antarctica's Ice||1 June 2013||This story in Discover magazine profiles the work of the WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial...||Article|
|Really Down South||28 February 2013||Article about earth science and environmental science teacher Mike LeBaron's expedition to...||Article|
|Race Is On to Find Life Under Antarctic Ice||18 December 2012||National Geographic article about the WISSARD project that is studying subglacial lakes and streams...||Article|
|Antarctica Day 2012 with Michael LeBaron and the Wissard Expedition, McMurdo Station||3 December 2012||This one hour live event is hosted by PolarTREC teacher Mike LeBaron and his team studying sub-...||Event|
|NIU Professors From Suburbs Studying What Lies Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelf||13 November 2012||This article in the suburban Chicago newspaper The Daily Herald, describes the WISSARD project and...||Article|
|WISSARD in the Antarctic News||9 November 2012||The Antarctic Sun published this news article about the WISSARD Project that PolarTREC Teacher Mike...||Article|
|Mr Lebaron's Upcoming Trip to Antarctica||12 October 2012||The student newspaper at Lake Norman High School published an article about PolarTREC teacher Mike...||Article|
|Teacher Takes Scientific Expedition to Antarctica||19 October 2012||An article from the Mooresville Weekly, Mooresville, North Carolina, on Mike LeBarons upcoming...||Article|