Antarctica: cool science in action
Antarctica responds to climate change differently from other areas of the planet. It also has a major effect on world oceans and weather patterns. The frozen continent also provides unique ecosystems for a wide range of plants and animals. The impact from climate change on Antarctica's plants and animals is the focus of much international science research. On this exciting expedition you will join a science team from Otago University to investigate plant life found inside sea ice. You will help discover how important this food supply is for marine food webs and whether animals such as penguins and seals rely on this food supply.
You will dive below the sea ice; help collect samples at penguin colonies and seal ‘haul outs’; take photos and use chemistry to trace energy from sea ice plant life all the way through food chains to penguins and seals.
Watch the introductory video below.
View the preview slideshow that gives students and teachers an overview of the field trip (PDF 1.4Mb).
You will take the 5 hour flight from Christchurch to Antarctica aboard a C17 Globemaster aircraft. After 3 days of Antarctic Field Skills Training you will be experienced and ready to join the research team at Scott Base (2km from the American McMurdo Station) in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. This field trip is not for the faint hearted as temperatures in Antarctica in November can be as low as -40°C, so make sure you're prepared for a trip of a lifetime!
Field Trip Plan - August 2014
|Saturday and Sunday 1-2 November||Jump aboard the US Airforce C17 Globemaster aircraft in Christchurch and read about the journey to the great southern continent of Antarctica in the first diary. Watch the videos about Antarctic Field Training so you are ready and equipped to safely work with scientists out on the sea ice. Read the ambassador updates and view the panoramas|
|Monday 3 November||Read the diary about the helicopter flight out to Cape Bird and watch the videos to see how the scientists take samples from the penguin colony. Read the ambassador updates and view the panoramas. Get the audioconference questons and listen to the recorded audioconferences.|
Tuesday 4 November
|Read the diary about the trip out to Cape Evans on skidoo and watch the videos about diving under the sea ice to takes photos and collect SIMCO. View the panoramas and read the ambassador updates. Get the audioconference questions and listen to the recorded audioconferences.|
|Wednesday 5 November||Read the diary about Kate's science work at Scott Base. Watch the videos about Antarctic cushion stars and urchins and the experiments which are being done on these animals. Read the ambassador updates and view the panoramas. Get the audioconference questions and listen to the recorded audioconferences.|
|Thursday 6 November||Read the diary about drilling holes in the sea ice to go ice fishing. Watch the videos to find out more about the benthic community living on the sea floor under the sea ice. Get the questions to the audioconferences and listen to the audioconference recordings. Read the ambassador updates and view the panoramas.|
|Friday 7 November||Watch the videos of Weddell seals and read the diary about how these seals fit into the Antarctic marine foodweb. View the panoramas and read the ambassador updates. Get the questions to the audioconferences and listen to the audioconference recordings.|