It hasn’t been smooth sailing setting up, collecting weather data and sampling when in the field – and not just because of the unpredictable weather. Our frenemies, the skuas, have certainly increased their curiosity this season.
Our time on King George Island is coming to an end and we are wrapping up some experiments that were focusing on salt, temperature, light and water stresses.
After waking up very early (4 am!) to a calm and cool Australia Day; Tavo, Jorge (Chief of Base) and I tackled a 10 km run, which ended up more like an obstacle course on ice, rock and through snow trenches.
On the evening of Saturday 16th January many prominent international scientists (including Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and in Physics), academics, business professionals and Chilean politicians visited Base Escudero and the laboratories. This diverse group was invited to meet in Santiago, Chile for the Congreso del Futuro to talk about climate change and the challenges facing humanity today.
Sundays are days off for the chefs here at Base Escudero and so research teams can use this opportunity to show off their culinary skills. Our group stepped up to the challenge last week and cooked a delicious lunch for 30 hungry workers and scientists.
I am lucky to participate in another research trip to King George Island (KGI), West Antarctica organised by the Instituto Antartico Chileno. Last year Sharon, Andrew and I were part of a group of scientists from a diverse range of countries lead by Angélica Casanova-Katny. This time around I am accompanying Gustavo, Tavo and Marisol from USACH as part of my Endeavour program.
Dr Mel has been in Antarctica for over a week now and we are hoping there will be updates and exciting news but unfortunately the internet is slow (probably doesn't like the cold) and so she is sending messages via whats app. Luckily there is mobile phone coverage on King George Island! Looks like Tavo is on the phone in the lab here.
I might be a little late to blog about this but it has been a busy last few weeks. The Facultad de Quimica y Biologia at USACH had a successful end to 2015 and put on a lunch with finger-food, including mini empanadas (empanaditas). I attended the New Year’s fireworks at Los Dominicos, Santiago with my host supervisor’s family. We dressed up in silly hats and of course glow sticks, drank champagne and exploded the largest hand held party poppers I’ve seen. Both were fun events to cap off a great year for research and achievements.