The Weddell seal research field team in Antarctica has now occupied the remote sea ice camp, and has begun flagging safe routes and tagging the first pups of the season.
Ph.D. student and field crew co-leader Terrill Paterson reports, “We are headed out to occupy camp this morning. … It may be a few days before we are able to email any more information. The Comms department still has to get up to Crater Hill and prepare it for use this season. We have a satellite phone, radio phone to town, and VHF radios in camp this season."
The field team has begun flagging safe routes to various Weddell pupping colonies. In the photo below, research field team member James Waxe can be seen drilling in bamboo flagged poles on the team's travel routes.
Dr. Jay Rotella reports, "The team was storm-bound 1 day and worked to flag routes out to major colonies during some tough but safe weather. Several pups have now been tagged and the big weeks are just ahead. Co-PI, Dr. Robert Garrott, will head south this weekend and be with the team in time for the big birth pulse that peaks at the end of October. It will be a few days or more before we have new photos because the camp doesn’t have their internet connections set up yet for the season. They do have several other sources of communication, however, in keeping with safety protocols."
Here's a short video from a previous season of the McMurdo Comms techs working at the sea ice camp to get the satellite internet system installed: