18 February, 1998
Hello from the Ross Sea! Today, for the first time in several days, we saw the sun! It was a wonderful feeling to have the fog finally lift and see it shining in the beautiful blue sky. We also saw (and went through) lots of ice. I really enjoy seeing the ice, but when we have thick pack ice like we did during part of today it sure messes up the Bathy-2000 and Multibeam data. In addition, the deep tow is fixed but we couldn't tow it because of the ice. We went near Drygalski Ice Tongue this evening and it was awesome. We weren't close enough to take good pictures, but I was amazed at how far this "tongue" of ice extends from the land. We are now headed farther south. The night crew hopes to take a couple of Kasten cores and possibly do some deep tow. Tomorrow, we'll finish collecting data and then transit to McMurdo Station.
In today's journal, we're going to look at the three scientists who work the night shift. Tony Rodriguez is 26 years old and he grew up in Westport, Connecticut. He graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York (where Ian is going) in 1994 with a B.A. in Geology. Tony's first introduction to geology was during his freshman year in college when he took a class in oceanography. He was undecided about his major for a long time, but finally decided upon geology when something actually had to be put in writing. His choice turned out to be a good one! For his undergraduate research project at Hamilton, Tony came to Antarctica with Dr. Anderson and worked on the geochemical analysis of core samples. He is now attending Rice University and working on his Ph.D. with Dr. Anderson in Geology and Geophysics. Actually, Tony is working on many small projects for his dissertation, but he is primarily focusing on coastal geology and the fluctuation of sea level over the last 18,000 years. Here in Antarctica, he is comparing several banks in the Ross Sea and the Cape Adare area. Tony and his wife, Patricia, have been married for about 6 months. They first met while they were attending Hamilton College in New York. Tony enjoys all kinds of water sports, going to the beach, and watching movies. He plans to graduate in the spring of 1999 and hopes to teach Geology at the university level and have a research program in coastal processes.
Julia Smith Wellner is 27 years old and she is from Sacramento, California. Julia graduated in 1992 from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in Geology. She knew that she probably wanted to major in science, but she wasn't sure about exactly what area of science. In the fall of her sophomore year, Julia spent a semester at sea. Upon her return, she declared her major in Geology. She earned her M.S. from the University of Alabama in Geology and started working on her Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. After deciding that she would prefer a different school and location, she transferred to Rice University in Houston, Texas. For her research, she has two primary projects. The first one is offshore Louisiana where she is looking at the last complete cycle of sea level changes. Here in Antarctica, she is looking for evidence that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet overrode the Transantarctic Mountains during the last glacial maximum and grounded in the Pennell Coast area. Julia plans to graduate in the year 2000 with a degree in Geology and Geophysics. Currently, she is interning in the summer with oil companies. In her "spare time," Julia enjoys attending yoga class and working in her garden. She first met her husband, Rob Wellner, at the University of Alabama. They have only been married for 3 months, and he is a geologist who works for Exxon.
Ashley Lowe is from Lincolnton, North Carolina. She is 23 years old, and she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in Geology in 1997. It was at UNC that she first met Michelle Fassell. Although it took Ashley a while to actually declare Geology as her major, she has always enjoyed that parcticular field of science. As a child, she had a rock collection and all of her science fair projects always centered around geology. She began college as an Environmental Science major with a concentration in Geology. After her sophomore year (and before she even took a Geology class), the Environmental Science program dropped its Geology concentration. Ashley talked to members of the Geology Department and decided to declare it as her new major. After one class, she knew that she had made the right decision. For her Senior thesis, she worked with her professor to look at long lines of depressions in the Blue Ridge Mountains and helped him classify these lineations as fractures. She always wanted to attend graduate school, but the right opportunities didn't seem to fall into place after her graduation last spring. After talking to Michelle, she called Rice University and talked with Dr. Anderson. He wasn't able to take another graduate student for this school year, but he offered her a job as his assistant for one year and then she will begin working on her Master's Degree at Rice University in the fall. Right now, two of Ashley's primary jobs are helping Dr. Anderson publish a book and working on a web page for the department's Gulf of Mexico research. For her Master's thesis, she plans to continue her research in Antarctica.
Tomorrow afternoon or evening we are expected to pull into McMurdo Station. Tomorrow's journal will discuss Dr. Anderson, Stephanie Shipp, and myself. I hope to be able to write at least one more arcticle from McMurdo Station on the 20th. If weather keeps me in McMurdo Station any longer than that, I will continue sending journals for as long as I can! Right now, I am expected to fly back to Christchurch, New Zealand on February 21. Please remember that after 11:00 p.m. on the 18th, you need to send any email to the following address: <email@example.com>. Tune in tomorrow to hear about the rest of the scientists on our cruise! Until then . . .
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