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.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Landing in Antarctica

Tuesday, November 22

We made it! On Monday we flew from New Zealand to McMurdo, Antarctica. McMurdo is the United States Antarctica base. It’s really like a small town. This is where we will learn how to be safe when we are out on the ice, get all our science and camping equipment organized, and get ready for the big part of our journey.

We flew with all the equipment, food, and other gear in a C-17 military plane. We were strapped in along the inside walls of the plane. There were only a few tiny windows in the plane, but the Air Force pilots did let us sneak up to the cockpit to get a better view. That was awesome!

This is the C-17 military plane. It really is a beautiful plane. The Air Force pilots landed the C-17 on frozen ocean water, called sea ice. Once we landed, we rode in a huge bus designed to drive on ice to McMurdo.

In the pictures below, we are flying above a few clouds and sea ice. The sea ice has cracks in it, and you can see the ocean between the cracks. Sea ice cracks and melts during the summer months and new sea ice forms during the cold winter months. The sea ice is very important to a lot of the wildlife in Antarctica, including seals and penguins. It is also very beautiful, and, as it turns out, a great place to land a plane.

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