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1 November, 2001

Exploring McMurdo Station

Our workload was very light today. Dan, Susan, and I went to a class on the waste management system here. Because everything has to be shipped back to the U.S. for disposal, the station tries to recycle as much as possible in order to reduce waste. Every time I throw something away, I have to be sure it goes into the right bin. The bins are divided into food waste, glass, plastic, burnable things that aren't recyclable, paper, hazardous waste, and my favorite, skua. Skuas are very similar to sea gulls. They live on the coast and they are scavengers; they will eat just about anything. So our skua bin is for giving anything away that someone else in the station might be able to use. Then it is all collected and taken over to a store, and people can go and buy it. Right now there is a good pair of blue jeans in my dorm's skua bin.

We were supposed to label the boxes that we'll be shipping our ice cores in once we're done, but there was some confusion about it so we are waiting for further orders. This gave me a good opportunity to walk around town and take pictures. The view of McMurdo really isn't very lovely. It looks like an industrial park with dirt roads, but the buildings on the inside are very nice. I hope you'll enjoy your tour of McMurdo Station with the pictures I've sent. If you would like your own souvenir from McMurdo, you can send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the postmaster here. Both stamps are regular 33-cent stamps. The postmaster will then postmark your self-addressed envelope and send it back. Then you can say you received mail from Antarctica! The address to do this is:

Postmaster

OLF, DET 4, PACAF AIRPS

APO AP 96599

Temperature: -16 C (3 F)

Wind: 8-12 knots

Wind Chill: -29 C (-23 F)


Welcome to McMurdo!!


The Transantarctic Mountains divide Antarctica in half. The flat ice in the foreground is McMurdo Sound, frozen sea ice, and is an inlet of the Ross Sea.


Hut Point, outside of McMurdo. The cross is a memorial to Robert Scott, Antarctica explorer, who died on his return trip from the South Pole. I will go out to the point the next time I have some free time.


Observation Hill, which looms over McMurdo Station. I will be hiking this at my next opportunity.


Looking down on McMurdo from a hill. Not fancy, but it does the job.


The waste bins for separating the trash. Each one has it's own color.


Crary Lab on Beeker Street. Crary holds all the offices and labs for the scientists. There is a small library that consists strictly of Antarctic holdings and there is a small computer lab.


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