Today our research team prepared for their trip to the Barwick Valley. If the weather permits, they will fly to the sampling site at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. They will spend the night camping in the Dry Valleys, so they need to make sure they are prepared. I also may have an adventure of my own--I will hopefully join the SIMPLE/ARTEMIS team to deploy a robot into the water which takes a variety of instrument readings. I will be leaving around the same time tomorrow and may stay until early Tuesday morning--you might not see a journal posted right away! Hopefully my team and I will have success with our trips.
A Beautiful Day
Today was an exceptionally beautiful day. The temperature reached 34 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite warm by Antarctic standards. After talking with my family back home and eating a wonderful brunch with friends, I took a walk to Scott Base to go to their gift store. Can you guess who Scott Base is named after? I'll give you a hint--you can learn about his hut here.
Scott Base is the New Zealand station, only 3 kilometers from McMurdo Station. It was built in 1956 in celebration of the International Geophysical Year of 1956-1959, an international series of research projects studying polar science in Antarctica. The station officially opened on January 20, 1957. The station has grown and now can house up to 85 people, along with lab space, technology accessibility and other amenities.
Temperatures above freezing means one thing in McMurdo Station: melting! As I returned from Scott Base I passed by many streams. They made interesting dendritic patterns in the road.
24 Hours of Daylight
I managed to film the sun and shadows over 24 hours this weekend. The view is from my lab office window in Crary.
Why doesn't the sun set here in McMurdo Station? What else do you notice about the way the sun moves around the sky? How does it compare to the sunlight where you are?
Life in Antarctica
Where do you go when you need to get a folder, tape, binder clips, glue or other supplies? Perhaps a local office supply store. Where do you go when you need to get a Tyvex suit? Not sure? Here in McMurdo Station we go to the central supply office for such items. Carl and I headed over there the other day so our research team could get Tyvex suits for their upcoming trip to the Barwick Valley. They need to wear these suits so they do not contaminate the area they will be working in, since it is a highly protected site.
Jake Kandl is the materials person who helped us at the central supply building. This is his first year in Antarctica and plans on returning. Jake makes sure everything gets stocked correctly and keeps track of the inventory in the building. He also delivers cylinders of gas such as helium and liquid nitrogen to science groups and keeps the hospital stocked with supplies. I asked Jake what the strangest supply was that he stocked. What do you think it is? Answer in the Ask the Team section by December 2nd. The best answer will receive a postcard from Antarctica!
Brought to you by...
Today's journal is brought to you by a kindergarden student from Ms. Kauffman's class at the Learning Station in State College, Pennsylvania.