There are certain regions of our study area that are a little more difficult to access and navigate due to varied ice type, structure, and dynamics, and this is where we call in FSTP (pronounced ef-stop; Field Saftey Training Program; a dedicated group, composed mostly of mountaineering guides in places like Alaska and the Tetons, to help science groups remain safe in challenging circumstances). This may be the only project in the world that calls in mountaineers to help with marine seal research! Two areas that FSTP has joined us, is North Base and South Base of the Erebus Glacier Tongue. I missed North Base earlier this week (not everyone can go!), but I got to go to South Base with Darren.
|This is the very armpit of the ice tongue, and is incredibly garbled with glacier ice. Nearby this jumble, are the seals.|
|In the canyonlands. Every seal in our study area has to be tagged...and this is where they can bring us. You may wonder how we knew they were here...well, we use helicopter recon flights to find the seals we can't see, and then we go get em.|
|Mass of ice broken off the island nearby the ice tongue...we call it "New Jersey"|
|South Base "Cleaners"|