University of Southern California

January 2010 Archives

Burrowing Worms

Kelly Dorgan, January 31, evening — I am an oceanographer/ecologist interested in how animals like worms and clams that live in muddy and sandy sediments interact with their environment. To put it simply, I study how worms burrow in mud.Marine...

Antifreeze Fish

Nishad Jayasundara, January 30, evening — In 1967, two young scientists, Stanford University graduate students who had spent a winter together doing research in Antarctica, published the article “Temperature Tolerance of Some Antarctic Fishes” in the prestigious journal Science. They...

A Student Looks Back

Dafne Eerkes-Medrano, January 30, morning — This Antarctic experience has influenced me on many levels, both as a person and as a scientist in training. On a basic level, it has provided insights into conducting science in polar settings. I...

Rounding the Home Stretch

Deneb Karentz, January 27, evening — I don’t think that anyone wants to think about leaving, but it is time for the participants to start preparing to go home. The return flight to Christchurch will leave in a few days,...

Lovely Seaweeds

Judith Connor, January 27, evening — Seaweeds: the lovely, fluid ocean flora. Each expedition compels me to learn more about them. What makes the Puget Sound in Washington such a rich haven for species of algae? How closely related is...

A Neapolitan at McMurdo

Mario De Stefano, January 26, morning — Neapolitans are not just Italians; we are the most complex Italians. The strange fusion of Greek, Roman, Arabic, French and Spanish cultures makes us just that way: complex. Neapolitans everywhere in the world...

Growing Ice on a Sponge

Dennis Evangelista, January 25, afternoon — When setting about to write this post, I recalled a nuclear engineer who once told me to explain complicated things as though I were relaying them to my grandmother (or “lola,” as Filipinos say);...

Splashes of Color

Tara Gianoulis, January 23, morning — There are many misconceptions about Antarctica. The first image that springs to mind is of penguins and ice and snow, but Antarctica is not only ice, and penguins live pretty much only along the...

Being a Brit in the Antarctic

Robert Ellis, January 23, early morning — Traveling over 18,000 kilometers (as the crow flies, according to a Scott base sign; obviously I didn’t fly on a crow, so it was probably much further!), stopovers in New Zealand with unexpected...

In the Footsteps of My Great-Grandfather

Joshua Osterberg, January 22, late night — Yesterday we had the privilege of stepping where legends had stepped, literally. We visited Robert Scott’s 1910 hut at Cape Evans, a structure eerily stuck in time. It stands today as it did...

Remembering Robert Scott

Tim Healy, January 20, late night — The short history of humanity on the southernmost continent breathes through McMurdo Station every day. It is impossible to ignore and not be touched by the stories that, in effect, led to everything...

Two Students Check In

Johanne Lewis, January 20, morning — Today marks the halfway point of my time Antarctica. Where did the time go? When I think back on the last 12 days, they seem like a whirlwind of training courses, lectures and adjusting...

Always a Diver, Never a Tender

A couple of days ago, I helped my friend Judith Connor, one of the NSF Antarctic Marine Biology program instructors, on her first scuba dive in Antarctica. That’s a bit of change for me, since I’m usually the person who...

A First Dive

Judith Connor, January 19, early morning — The International Antarctic Biology Course has kicked into high gear now. At any hour of the day (there is no night this time of year), one finds Tara or Idan or some other...

Posing Penguins and Diving Whales

Mark Brown, January 17, early morning — The intensity of the shared experience in Antarctica makes for the formation of strong personal bonds. This is my fourth trip to the continent, and, as has been the case previously, it isn’t...

Exploring the Ice Edge

Blaire Steven, January 16, evening — Today I stood on the edge of the world... well, the frozen world, at least. Every year Antarctica goes through a phase of sea ice expansion and contraction. Sea ice dynamics are an important...

Hunting Seaweed, Dodging Penguins

Mark Denny, January 15, afternoon — When I think of Antarctica, I first think of ice and snow and freezing cold water. As a zoologist, I then find my mind turning to the unusual animals that live in that environment:...

Six Feet Under, on Purpose

Wes Dowd, January 15, early morning — The allure of Antarctica for a biologist is simple and compelling: Life here exists under extreme conditions and has been isolated in many ways from the rest of the planet for millions of...

Brushing Up on Survival Skills

Judith Connor, January 11, just before midnight — Every morning after breakfast in the cafeteria, we’ve had an 8 o’clock lecture on the top floor of the Crary Laboratory building at McMurdo Station. The room has a spectacular view across...

Been There, Still Amazed

Alison Murray, January 10, early morning — Someone asked why I was standing in line to look out the porthole window on the plane coming down to Antarctica, since I had been here so many times. “It always amazes me,”...

Finally on the Ice!

Jimmy Lee, January 8, evening — I’m happy to report that the class has finally made it to Antarctica. Their plane landed on Friday afternoon at the Pegasus airfield near McMurdo Station. The airfield is built directly on top of...

Thinking Ice, Not Feeling It Yet

Judith Connor, January 8, early morning — Ice… back in New Zealand, I couldn’t stop thinking of it, even as we waited out the Antarctic storm. I met with some of the students and instructors on a garden patio in...

Adventures in the Air

Scott Applebaum, January 7 — Today ended where it started, at the Commodore Hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand, not on the ice as I had hoped for and expected. After a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call, several hours of preflight briefing,...

There Will Be Penguins

(Editor’s note: As of January 5, bad weather was still keeping the expedition from landing on the ice. Another attempt is expected January 6.)David Ginsburg, January 5 — Christchurch… I’m still only in Christchurch… Every time I think I’m gonna wake...