Maybe you noticed I haven’t been posting lately; the last few months have been a blur as the Explo team, with fresh funding from the National Science Foundation, launched a major Web project about polar research. Called Ice Stories it features the research of scientists working in the Arctic and Antarctic. We launched the site last November and equipped some Antarctic scientists with video cameras to document their work and send back dispatches.
We got first-hand reports about flooding of penguin nests from melting glaciers in the Ross Sea, heard a raging storm from a glacier camp in West Antarctica, and, in a live webcast, spoke with scientists collecting sediment cores at a sea-ice drilling camp out of McMurdo Station.
What’s really wonderful about Ice Stories is the personal connection with scientists working in such remote, challenging field sites. It’s a thrill to get a call from a glaciologist in the middle of Antarctica updating us about a close encounter with an ice crevasse (her exact quote: “one of our team discovered a crevasse with his foot”). The combination of adventure and current research in these ongoing narratives gives a real picture of what it’s like to be a polar scientist. In most cases, they’ll tell you it’s just plain fun.