Coast Guard IceBreaker Polar Star in McMurdo Station.



Wormherders Get Their Re-Deployment Date Bumped A Day

We were notified a few days ago that we would be delayed getting home. The reason? There were about 100 workers brought into McMurdo Station to off-load and on-load the vessel. Weather slowed them down. They normally work around the clock, which seems perfectly reasonable since there is no darkness. Sunday evening, when the winds reached dangerous levels, operations were shut down. This got them behind. When they finished, they got the first available flight off the ice. That meant we got bumped. No big deal. A one-day delay is not unheard of. After all, we have already experienced being boomeranged (our plane turned around due to bad weather) getting onto the ice. We were stranded in the Dry Valleys for three days because bad weather did not allow for our transport out by way of helicopter. This delay just means more opportunity to soak in the science and the social life going on here in this quite unique little town called McMurdo Station.

Read on to hear the answer to "Where does all the waste water (pee and poo) from Station go?"

Mike High
Waste Water Operator Mike High

Mike High, operator of the Waste Water Treatment Facility, teaches us how all of the waste water (pee and poo) is managed here at McMurdo Station. Mike will teach us the amazing science, in an easy to understand fashion, about how this waste is managed. He teaches how the many different types of science: chemistry, biology, microbiology, environmental science, has to all come together, in a delicate balance, to make this treatment facility operate successfully. Mike also gives great career advice to students who might consider a job in the waste water industry. It was pretty loud in the facility, so sometimes Mike's voice is hard to hear.

Added Bonus:

As an added bonus for checking out today's journal, I have included a re-run from a month ago when Dr. Thomas Powers (Topper) shows us what needs to be done when the poo bucket from our Lake Bonney field camp gets full. I dare you not to laugh.

McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Antarctica