Monday, October 12, 2009

Life in McMurdo

Hey guys!

I hope all is going well back in the States. The last few days have been focused mainly on adjusting to McMurdo life and preparation for our field deployment to the Dry Valleys. We've had briefings on everything from sorting trash and protecting the environment to operating Vietnam-era HF radios. I'll give you a quick tour of some of our activities.

As you can see here, all trash at McMurdo is sorted so that as much as possible can be recycled. Because of how remote it is, we have to conserve as much as we can while minimizing waste at the same time. Shipping in fuel, food, and supplies is very expensive and can only happen a few months out of the year. Also, all garbage eventually has to be shipped back to the States to be processed. As a result, McMurdo is one of the most effcient towns in the world: sixty-five percent of all trash in McMurdo is recycled!!

The next few weeks, our team will be in the field chainsawwing more ice samples from the glacier. Beforehand, I need to prepare some buffers and reagents that we will use during our upcoming analyses.

This is a time lapse video created by Tim Brox. He is another undergradute on our team majoring in Physics at Montana State University. The food pull is where we select and package the food we will eat while in the field. This includes everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The only thing we don't bring to the field is water, which we "make" in the field by melting pieces of the glacier.

Myself at the edge of town looking across the sound to Antarctica! Keep in mind, McMurdo is located on Ross Island in the Ross Sea. Technically, one could say that McMurdo is not actually on the Antarctica continent. The temperature tells me otherwise.

Finally, I leave you with a picture of myself and the two P.I.'s (Primary investigators) of the project. On the left is Mark Skidmore, in the center is myself, and on the right is my PhD advisor during graduate school, Brent Christner.