24 November, 2001
This morning, I chipped more blue ice from the transition zone. Ice must be brought in and melted down every day in order to have what is needed for washing. I also saw the little Adelie in camp again today. We do not approach the penguin, but take a moment to observe from a distance. It always catches me by surprise to suddenly see an Adelie Penguin walk by, or sleeping nearby on the sediment. It is rare to see penguins in this part of Antarctica. Many people come to Antarctica and leave without getting the opportunity to see penguins. I feel fortunate to have this as part of my Antarctic experience.
I sorted forams today, as well as took hydrology measurements with the PASCO data logger. This equipment allows me to easily take water temperature and pH of the water at three nearby sites. I have had trouble getting the needed chemicals for my hydrology study due to the September 11th hijacking, which placed restrictions on what could be brought on the plane. I hope to find a way to take dissolved oxygen with the PASCO probe, but I must find a chemical replacement for the solution that I had to leave behind. When I visited Lake Hoare at Thanksgiving, I spoke with someone involved with the LTER (Long-Term Environmental Research) project. Although, I may not be able to get a dissolved oxygen reading here at Explorers Cove, I will get data from the LTER program. It will be different from what I would get from sea water at Explorers Cove, but data from the fresh water lakes in Antarctica would be an interesting comparison for students taking hydrology measurements from fresh water lakes, streams, and rivers back home. The 5th grade GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment: www.globe.gov) team at West Elementary is taking hydrology measurements on the local creek that runs through our town in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Hopefully, they will be able to make comparisons with data from Antarctica and with a desert area in Tuscon, Arizona. The first step in learning is to observe and to investigate. By comparing data in different parts of the world, students can begin to form questions and seek answers. How can organisms living in different environments and climates thrive in different parts of the world? Comparing organisms from one place to another, as well as the conditions of the water in which they live enables scientists to piece together different parts of the puzzle. As students begin to make comparisons, they begin to find the scientists within themselves. Whether they pursue science, or not, they will become better learners and make informative decisions about their world.
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