This beautiful seal's-eye-view of a Weddell mom and pup napping by Jesse DeVoe shows the close bonding that takes place between mom and pup during the nursing period. Photo obtained under NMFS Permit No. 21158.
In our latest update from the ice, field team co-crew leader Jesse DeVoe reports that the number of Weddell pups born in the Erebus Bay study area this season has been amazing: "Peak pupping has come and gone and, man, it has been a productive year for the seals!" So many pups have been born this season that the field team is now focusing on the female pups, as they are the subject of most of the study's population and mass dynamics research. It has been a very productive season for the entire 2017 Antarctica field team!
The photo above by field team member and writer/imager Jeremy Schmidt includes the entire 2017 field team. From left to right are Jesse DeVoe, lead scientist Dr. Jay Rotella, Kaitlin Macdonald, Thomas Sutton, Aubrey Power, Shane Petch, Alissa Anderson, and Jeremy Schmidt (triggering the camera to get the shot). The team is standing in front of Big Razorback Island, with the majestic live volcano Mt. Erebus in the background.
Notes Jesse, "We have a strong and fun team this year. Everyone works hard with the mentality that they are on a team (a strong team spirit) and collecting some very cool data. In some ways, not having internet in camp has been great. There is much more interaction and discussion than otherwise, from my experience. In other ways, not so great, like in getting emails out and communicating with McMurdo support groups."
Internet connection at the remote sea ice camp has not been established this year due to the placement of the camp in front of Big Razorback Island. So it's a real treat to get updates from the ice this season!