15 January, 1998

Hi again!  Still waiting in Christchurch New Zealand.  The weather has 
been very bad in Antarctica, so the flights are delayed.  I have met Matt 
Thompson, a weather observer for the flights to and from Antarctica.  He 
says to "sit tight" and we will be able to fly there soon!  We spent some 
time touring Christchurch today.  We visited the Botanical Gardens and 
the Canterbury Museum.  They have an Antarctic display.   I learned that 
there are no polar bears in Antarctica - I guess I will be the ONLY bear 
in Antarctica!  

As I promised, I will introduce you to my research team mates.

John Anderson is the Chief Scientist.  He oversees the research project 
that brings us to Antarctica.  Dr. Anderson has visited Antarctica 19 
times!  He studies the history of the ice sheet that covers 98% of the 
continent!  Dr. Anderson's research shows that the ice sheet was much 
larger during the last great ice age.  Our work during this cruise is to 
find out just how much larger the ice sheet was!

 Kim Giesting is one of my teammates.  I will be working very closely 
with her.  She teaches high school science and has been selected to go to 
Antarctica as a Teacher Experiencing Antarctica!  Imagine having YOUR 
teacher selected for this adventure!  Kim is studying the ocean currents 
and how they affect the mud and sand on the sea floor.  Kim will be 
collecting water samples and 

Stephanie Shipp is a student at Rice University.  She is studying the sea 
floor of Ross Sea to look for clues about past glaciers. Much of her time 
will be spent interpreting the information as we collect it.  
Understanding how the ice sheet has changed in the past is like a 
detective story.  Her favorite food on the ship is stuffed jalapenos.  
Stephanie is my other teammate.

Julia Smith also is a student of Dr. Anderson's at Rice University.  On 
this trip, she will be studying the glaciers and their history near the 
Cape Adare are.  You may want to look at a map of Antarctica to find the 
places I mention.  Julia is trying to discover how much the ice sheet 
grew during the last ice age. It is very exciting work!

Ashley Lowe is from North Carolina.  She has been helping Dr. Anderson 
with his research for the last several months.  Ashley will be a graduate 
student at Rice in the fall.  She will study the glaciers and sea floor 
around the Antarctic Peninsula.  Ashley loves basketball.

Tony Rodriguez studies the Texas coast with Dr. Anderson.  We are a long 
way from Texas, but as the ice sheet changes in Antarctica, it causes 
changes in the ocean level all around the world.  Tony studies how the 
Texas coast line has changed.

Michelle Fassell also works with Dr. Anderson as a student.  This is her 
first trip to Antarctica.  Michelle likes to travel - this is the 
farthest that she has traveled yet!  She also likes karate!  I am hoping 
that she can teach me!

Ian Howat is a student at Hamilton College in New York.  This study is 
part of his senior research.  Like the rest of the research team, Ian is 
looking at how the ice sheet has changed in the past. He is collecting 
sediment from the sea floor to look at the record left by the big 

Once we are on the ship, we will be on 12 hour"shifts."  This means data 
will be collected around the clock 12 hours per day!   I will tell you 
more about what we do on the boat soon!

Please write me !

E. Shackleton Bear

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