What is IPY
In temperatures far below zero, with ice needing to be chipped off their instruments, the team set to work. Bart and Co-PI, Jonathan Tomkins, describe their research - and the students tell of what feels like "the worst game of tug-of-war, evah..." as they man- (and woman-) handle the muddy core tubes to get at their precious samples. Not everything goes exactly as planned. The jumbo piston core comes up bent, but they recover and get good data.
Students on Board
Set sail with LSU geology professor Phil Bart and a team of students - both undergrads and graduates - on board the NATHANIEL B. PALMER. See what they saw as they left McMurdo Station, and voyage the Ross Sea, to study evidence left by ancient ice sheets which may help predict the rate and extent of future sea level rise. Philip Bergeron, one of the undergrads, reads a page from his journey detailing their scientific adventure.
The Traverse Begins
After three weeks of hectic preparation, including placing brand new Norwegian and US flags - and decals for NSF and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) - on the tracked vehicles, the traverse rolls out on November 16, 2007, heading for South Pole, more than 3,000 kms away. NPI's Jan-Gunnar Winther thinks a successful traverse will be a historic milestone in both exploration and cutting-edge science. The train of heavily-laden sleds passes spectacular mountain scenery as it climbs away from Troll Station up to the flat, white polar plateau. At their first science stop, researchers Mary Albert, Tom Neumann and Lou Albershardt dig a snow pit, and explain why they are sampling seasonal layers and photographing ice crystals - in part to gather "ground truth" to calibrate NASA's satellite observations of the vast and little known East Antarctic.