The Weddell seal population study 2014 field research team is now in Antarctica, and making preparations to set up the remote sea ice camp from which they'll be working this Weddell pupping season. The team this season includes team leader and PhD student Terrill Paterson, returning field team members Michael Yarnall and Kristie Yeager, and new field team members Kaitlin Macdonald, Jon Reese, and Eric Boyd.
The team's arrival on the ice outside McMurdo Station followed a brief stay in Christchurch, New Zealand where they were issued Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear at the Clothing Distribution Center by the United States Antarctic Program, New Zealand.
After boarding a specialized jet for the five hour trip South to the ice, the team made the best of the flight by catching up on sleep, and enjoying the view of their approach to the Antarctic Ice.
Once in Antarctica, the team was briefed at the National Science Foundation chalet, and issued dorm rooms at McMurdo Station where they will stay while preparations are made for setting up the seasonal remote sea ice camp where they will live and work during the entire Weddell seal pupping season. The team will also go through a number of training courses while at McMurdo to better prepare them for their work on the sea ice.
In our upcoming posts we will further introduce the members of the 2014 field research team, as well as introduce our theme for the upcoming Weddell pupping season, "Do Moms Matter?"
- Mary Lynn Price