As one of the first to step onto the ice, I felt like a lunar explorer who didn't know what the surface would feel like under my feet!And, I knew that with every step I was standing where no human had ever stood before.

    On Friday the Oden was tied to an ice floe and for the first time, teams were able to stand on the ice and collect samples as we floated on the ocean that was almost 2 miles deep beneath us. And, then we were visited by seals and penguins and whales, oh my!

    A crabeater seal welcomes the science teams to HIS sea ice floe!
    This seal did not seem to mind the fact that his floe was being used as a scientific field station with a 13,000 ton ice breaker roped to it and teams of humans working 25 meters away.

    First, someone must
    Co-Chief Scientist, Katarina Abrahamsson from Sweden and US graduate student, Kevin Bakker are lifted from the Oden to the ice by the crane. Kevin walked on the snow-covered surface and then used a hand auger to drill through the floe. The ice was about 3 feet thick and determined to be safe for the research teams.

    Cutting samples from a sea ice core
    After a large hollow drill is powered through the ice a 14cm diameter cylindrical ice core is removed. Kevin uses a handsaw to cut the 1-meter core into 10cm sections. Tish takes the ice sections and places each into plastic bags for analysis in her labs aboard the Oden. Some of the sea ice is light brown due to a layer of living algae and bacteria. These sections will be carefully melted so that the community of living organisms can be studied.

    Student Experiment is a Huge Success!

    Congratulations to Eric and Jon!

    Yesterday offered me the first chance to test the underwater video camera system that was designed and created by two ninth grade students at Liverpool High School. Check out my Oct 8th journal for a complete description and a short video in which Eric and Jon explain how they solved a problem that the ice researchers posed to me. The underwater video camera is attached to a pole that allows me to push it through a hole in the ice and then control the angle of the camera's view. The underwater camera then feeds an image through a cable to a hand held camcorder above the ice. The US Ice Research Team leader, Dr. Tish Yager, was very pleased with the quality of the images and how well they showed us what we could never have seen before. The bottom of the ice is very irregular. Even more important, it showed how the communities of ice algae and bacteria are distributed in the ice. These biological communities appear brown in the ice and they are a primary source of food for the local food web. This is also the living stuff in the ice that the team has come so far to study. The photo below was taken from the video and it is important to note that I did not use the camera's light system. This it the natural colors of the ice and water based on sunlight coming through the snow and ice.

    Our first view under the sea ice!
    I was able to test the camera arm created by Liverpool High School students, Jon and Eric. It worked perfectly! I attached my underwater camera to the pole that the students had created and I was able to push the camera through a meter of slush filled seawater in one of the 14cm diameter ice core holes. When I pulled up on the flexible plastic strip that runs through the pole and connects to the camera, I was able to angle the camera up and down to examine the bottom of the ice floe. These images gave the scientist a better understanding of the condition of the bottom of the ice. Notice the brown regions in the ice that show where the algae and bacteria live.

    The Mighty Oden!
    Looking up at our home-away-from-home. Compare the person on the ice to the two people on the rail outside the bridge windows. You can see the window of my cabin on the 3rd deck. It is just below and to the left of the

    Flags of the Day

    The following members of "Team Oden" created the flags below:

    The ARCUS Staff, Fairbanks, Alaska Camp Talooli, Lake Temalo Pirates, Pennellville, NY Athens Montessori Orange Class, Athens, Georgia Athens Montessori Middle School, Athens, Georgia The Expedition Earth Science program, Liverpool 9th Gr, Liverpool, NY Alex and Zach, Athens, Georgia Cottage Lane Elementary School, Blauvelt, NY Camp Talooli, Lake Temalo Pirates, Pennellville, NY

    Flags on Ice!
    PhD student, Alex Mass helped me to capture the underwater video and then she held up today’s flags.

    Photo of the Day!

     Mr. Peneston rests on the sea ice like a seal!
    After about 5 hours of data gathering on the ice, I took a 5-minute break. With the air temperature just about the freezing point and almost no wind, the weather was so great and our safety suits were so warm I was able to work without gloves or a hat. However, to protect us from the intense UV rays from the sun we continued to wear sunscreen and polar sunglasses.

    A Reminder,

    Be sure to go to the Live From IPY section and register to participate in our first live webinar from the Oden that will take place this coming Monday!

    A Gift,

    As a teacher and camp program director who has participated in many Live from IPY web conferences, I have created a document for teachers and others who are planning to participate with their classes on Monday. It is a series of tips and suggestions for how to prepare yourself, your students and your equipment. The document is attached to the bottom of this journal post.

    A Warning,

    If you enjoyed my Crazy Teacher Video last week. Watch for short videos starting tomorrow of penguins, ice-drilling scientists and a video shot underwater, beneath the sea ice!

    An Apology,

    Again, I am still couple of days behind in responding to your questions in the Ask The Team forum. I will work hard today to get to all of them.

    Take care, have fun & make memories,

    Jeff Peneston

    Weather Summary
    Very light breeze Overcast Skies, Light Snow
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