Showing posts from 2011

A Photographic Ode to the Adelie

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the much adored Adelie penguin.  Over-enthusiastic.  Over-excentric.  And often very clumsy.  Everyone wishes they were one, or at least had one for themselves...



McMurdo 5k Turkey Trot 2011!

We like our turkeys cold!!  And well massaged....

Video is best viewed by watching from here!

(Sorry about the poor quality video...due to poor video and editing skills)

Lewis Bay Helo and a Nice Crack


Slugs of the Ice


McMurdo Webcam

Season Glimpse


Happy Camper 2011

Curious as to what the infamous "Happy Camper" entails?  Here's a quick peak, shot by crew member Darren Roberts, edited by Mary Lynn Price.

"Antarctic Field Prep Continues"

Rounding out the team: Mary Lynn, our fabulous videographer and videopodcaster, has arrived!  Yay! Check out her new post here!

Within the week, our crew will be entirely trained for safe living and traveling on the sea ice and our field camp will be happily situated in the "Great White."  The female seals should already be giving birth to wet, baggy-skinned pups, directly on the cold ice, regardless of the temperature and weather.  Got to hand it to them...they are some phenomenal creatures.

Icy Arrival

Departure is bittersweet.  My girlfriend saw me off, ensuring I was well supplied with a collection of home-baked cookies (which I DID share with the rest of the crew) and a bundle of great memories to reminisce on while I'm on my way.  All the flight details were just the same as always: a jumble of airports and airplanes, masses of people, time compressing and expanding depending on what you are doing or thinking.  Amidst this, our crew met in the airport of Los Angeles, Darren* and Colleen* arrived first, followed by myself, then Thierry and Mike*, and finally Jess.  (*=newbies!).  After much excited yakking, we all boarded the near-midnight plane bound for Auckland, New Zealand.

Somehow, eventually, we found ourselves in Christchurch, home of the United States Antarctica Program and the point of departure (or ICE flight) for Antarctica.  Prior to deployment to that icy place, we are required to obtain our ECW (extreme cold weather) gear, which entails dressing up in all of ou…

Packing for the ICE!

It is time again!  The southern-most mammal species in the world is calling! The Weddell seal research team from Montana State University will UNITE and DESCEND upon Antarctica for the 42nd season of population ecology research.  Our flights, from various airports, leave tomorrow, and will converge on Los Angeles, where the team will reunite and welcome its new team members.  From there, we fly to Christchurch, obtain our ECW gear (extreme cold weather gear), board the belly of a bird, and fly south to McMurdo Station on Oct 4, if all goes as planned.

This being my second year and knowing what to expect, there is a feeling of comfort in returning to this place.  Regardless of the frenzied winds and frozen extremities that accompany being present on the ice-laden continent, all I can say to those that can only ask "why?!?" is "BLEH!"  (that's the sound a Weddell seal makes when they are lounging on the ice even in the coldest, fiercest conditions...they love it…
I don't even know where to begin with this, my first post since April!  The past few months have flown by, and I hold much regret for my lack in writing.  My initial intent was to document the development and progress of Robert Garrott's new research endeavor, the Greater Yellowstone Area Mountain Ungulate Project, as well as the duties and challenges I have experienced in my position as part of the project.  Instead, I will summarize the current status and progress of the research I was/am/will be doing and then try harder in the future to write more!

During my time in Antarctica last fall-winter, Robert Garrott (from MSU, whom I have worked for in Antarctica and Yellowstone), offered me a full time position for 10.5 months as a "Research Assistant III," which I cheerfully accepted.  The position was threefold, including field work: (1) in Yellowstone during the spring performing elk population estimates of the Madison headwaters elk herd, (2) in the greater Yellows…