By Jeff McQuaid

Trip preparations (inaugural posting!)

Satellite image of McMurdo Sound: our proposed sampling stations are in yellow

Well, we have less than a week left, and we are finalizing and shipping the chemicals and equipment we will need for sampling below the sea ice in the Ross Sea. We have already shipped out several hundred pounds of gear, and more await us in storage down at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Expedition scientist Jeff Hoffman has already left for New Zealand, and I am still in the process of wrapping up lab work here in San Diego before I fly down to Christchurch, New Zealand and meet up with the rest of the team. I checked the weather on the McMurdo Webcam, and the temperature is well below zero: -13 degrees Centigrade, which is about 8 degrees Fahrenheit. Chilly! So I think I should pick up a few more warm items heading out of town on Friday...

In the posts ahead I will introduce our project and team members and describe what it is we hope to accomplish and why we need to travel all the way to Antarctica to do it. In the meantime I would like to post a satellite image which Mak Saito, our collaborator and co-investigator on this grant, sent to us last month. The satellite image details the various sampling stations we hope to occupy while traversing the McMurdo Sound and southern Ross Sea, and gives you an idea of the scope of our three week project. For the adventurous out there, you can find further images and maps of the area by searching for McMurdo Station in Google Earth.

More posts to follow, so stay tuned!

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Going west!