Why did the tower need to be raised? Was it at risk of getting buried, or does it need to be a certain ideal distance above the ground to operate effectively? Do the towers ever have to be lowered?
Why did you need the super accurate GPS? Was there something aside from the tower that was hidden beneath the ice?
And how fast can the weather change? If help is a 45-minute helicopter flight away, can a nasty storm crop up faster than help can be dispatched to your location? I assume that's not guaranteed, hence the survival bags. What's inside them?
Sorry for the barrage of questions—no need to answer all of them if you're needed on the front lines to help fend off the penguins.
Adrianna, I've been in a helicopter before, so it wasn't a big deal. I really enjoyed the flight! It is much different than flying in an airplane, the only thing that can be weird is that sometimes you have to sit facing the rear of the helicopter, and I prefer to set facing the front. Other than that, it was a beautiful flight!
Burke, My phone will take pictures (if I keep it warm!) but it won't work as a telephone. There is no cell phone service here at all. Other than that, my phone will do everything else (that doesn't require a cell or internet connection). Thanks for reading my journals and taking the time to ask a question!
Camden, Mt. Erebus (named after the Greek god of primeval darkness) is 12,448 feet high. By the way, it was named in 1841 during an expedition led by Sir James Clark Ross, who named it after one of his ships, the H.M.S. Erebus, which is a fitting name for the volcano, don't you think? Mount Erebus is the most southerly active volcano on the planet!
I really enjoy your posts. The pictures and descriptions of your work are great. Your feeling of being alone and far from civilization is similar to when I have been standing on top of a 14K peak alone and seeing no other human on the horizon. Kind of cool and kind of scary.
Burke, I am so glad that you asked the questions! You and your questions are the reason that I am doing this. My job is to be a good communicator of the science I am doing and to be approachable to students like you. The fact that you feel comfortable enough to ask questions is a positive sign for me that I am effectively doing my job here. So, I thank you for asking the questions!
Lynne, Yes, it WAS cold out at the site of the Sabrina AWS. It was at 84˚ South Latitude so it was pretty close to the South Pole. Generally, the further south and the further from the open ocean a place is, the colder it is. The temperature there was about -18 with a wind chill of about -40˚. It started out pretty nice (cold, but not much wind) but the longer we were there the colder and more windy it got!