Friday, November 30, 2012

A new field season! (2012-2013)

I gearing up for my third field season working in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in the Transantarctic Mountains. This year, our crew will be Eric Sokol (myself), Kevin Geyer, and Jeb Barrett. During a normal work day back in the United States you will find us somewhere in Derring Hall, which houses the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. During the field season you will find us at McMurdo Station on Ross Island in Antarctica or somewhere in the Dry Valleys.  Jeb is a soil scientist who has been conducting research in the Antarctic Dry Valleys for over a decade. Kevin is a PhD student and this will be his third season in the Dry Valleys.

We are part of a larger group of ecologists and environmental scientists and engineers who study polar deserts in Antarctica as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation in the United States.

This season, I will begin my travels on Dec 6, 2012. I should at McMurdo base in Antarctica on Dec 13, 2012.  I will be there until Jan 30, 2013. Please feel free to post questions at any time. I will be checking the blog regularly and I will answer questions as best I can.

In other news, some scientists from the MCM LTER have been in the news recently because they have found microbial life in Lake Vida, which is really cold and really salty and covered year-round by a lot of ice.

Here's a link to an article about their findings.