November 17th, 2007
York County Maine
Latitude: 43.08 N
Longitude: 70.73 W
Wind speed: 10 km/h
Clouds: partly cloudy-35%
Wind direction: West
Barometric Pressure: rising
The excitement is also rising around here. Yesterday I got my plane tickets in the mail so it all becoming very real - YEA! I fly to LA, then overnight to New Zealand. All in all it will be almost 24 hours on planes and in airports. The company that provides support for the United States Antarctic Program is Raytheon Polar Services in Denver CO and they do a great job keeping everyone informed, up to date, and arranging everything from medical tests and plane tickets to all the field supplies and field support personnel. There are field staff in Antarctica that do everything from cook, to provide safety, to drive and maintain vehicles, to give free haircuts, to assist with the science. These folks do a terrific job and the science program could not operate without them. So, with tickets in hand, all the hard work it has taken to get to this point seems finally ready to pay off.
There are no new reports from the team recently arrived at WAIS camp - which are posted at the project web site www.waisdivide.unh.edu - but I see that the weather at McMurdo Station is -8oC, partly cloudy with 15km/h winds. You can follow the weather at stations around Antarctica on http://www.wunderground.com By the middle of December we will also be posting the educational outreach links on the WAIS Divide web site. The outreach will include educational video, images, student activites and links to other educational resources, teacher workshop announcements, posters, and much more.
Once I get to the WAIS Divide field camp, I will also be blogging the weather observations I collect using a 3-D quadrat - www.tufts.edu/as/wright_center/3dqp/index.html The 3-D quadrat program was developed to help students understand earth system science and complicated topics like climate change. You can read more about 3-D quadrats on the web page and you will see how easy they are to build and install at your location. Schools in a number of locations are/will be installing 3-D quadrats and collecting observations to compare to the ones I will be collecting in Antarctica. Collecting observations in person is the first important step in understanding the natural environment.
I am just waiting for one more important item I ordered and my bags are ready to go. Though I am sure I will think of something else I forgot.