Over the coming weeks Ms. Niccoli's first graders and Mr. Brad's preschoolers will be joining us on our science expedition in Antarctica. While we (a science team from various parts of the world) work in sub-freezing conditions and sleep on ice for several weeks on end, the students will be enjoying the adventure from their warm and cozy classrooms. Feel free to follow along on our adventure together.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read a little about our science team.

Satellite image of Antarctica, courtesy of NASA. The blue dot is McMurdo. The red dot is our field area on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Answers to Your Questions

Thanks for all of your great questions, kids! In fact, they are such great questions that we want to make sure everyone else hears them too.

Question: Have you seen any penguins yet?

Answer: Nope. No penguins yet. We have seen seals, skua, and krill. We'll do a blog on Antarctica wildlife later - we're still holding out hope that we'll see a penguin soon.

Question: Have you stayed warm in Antarctica?
Answer: Yes, actually. When we wear the right clothing we stay really warm. "Big Red", our coats, are very warm. However, it is much warmer here in McMurdo than where we will be later this week, so we'll have to let you know how warm we stay there.

Question: Which boots did you get?
Answer: In our earlier blog, we told you about the three boots we could choose from: white bunny boots, black moon boots, and blue smurf boots. We all chose the blue smurf boots. They are the warmest.

Question: What time is it in Antarctica?

Answer: Right now it is 11:00, Tuesday morning in Utah. It is 7:00, Wednesday morning in McMurdo, Antarctica. Antarctica is quite big, and it is the only place where all the different time zones come together. When we go out to do our science, we will be far from McMurdo. Out there, it really won't matter very much what time it actually is - it's light all day and all night. We will just work during the warmest hours and sleep during the coldest.

Question: Is it hard to sleep with all the light?

Answer: Yes! It is as bright at in the middle of the night as it is in the middle of the day. We often work until very late at night, but it feels like it is still the middle of the day. It definitely makes it hard to relax at night and go to sleep.

Question: Are you getting excited to do the science?

Answer: Yes, yes, yes!!! We are so excited. We have finally done all of our training, fixed all of the equipment, and gathered all of our gear together. It took us more than a week of working everyday all day to get ready to go. On Thursday - which will be Wednesday for you - we are scheduled to fly to the West Antarctica Ice Sheet Divide to begin the real work. Hopefully the weather will be good or we'll have to wait.

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