8 January, 2003
Latitude: 77° 51’ S
Longitude: 166° 40’ E
Time of weather observation: 1:00 p.m.
Temperature: -1 C / +30.2 F
Wind speed: 3 knots
Wind Chill: -3 C / +26.7 F
Wind Direction: Northerly
Meters of ice collected: 920
By Paul Andrew Mayewski
Despite logistic challenges this season proved to be extremely successful – in fact it was about 120% successful since we managed to do extra scientific work while waiting at Byrd, complete all originally planned science goals, and add on a mini-traverse from Pole to collect data needed in preparation for future seasons. The field season was a success because despite the challenges everyone pulled together to make the trip safe, extremely enjoyable, and highly productive.
The members of the team are slowly going their separate ways. The first three team members to leave McMurdo were Brian Welch, Blue Spikes, and Jim Laatsch. Brian will we hope make it to a family reunion in Hawaii in a few days and then back to St. Olaf College to teach and begin analyzing the immense volume of radar data he collected. Blue is returning to the University of Maine to finish his Ph.D. as a NASA Earth System Science Fellow. Jim returns to finish his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College.
Gordon, Markus, Betsy and Andrea arrived at McMurdo on 6 January. Gordon is returning to the University of Maine to do his research, and may be back in Antarctica next year with Blue working on another project. Markus is returning to the University of Arizona to finish his Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry. Betsy is returning to her teaching duties and students at the Phoenix Country Day School. Andrea is staying on in McMurdo for a few weeks to work in the Berg Field Party Center and help off load the resupply vessel and then back to her home in Ely, Minnesota.
Dan, Susan, and Paul returned to McMurdo on 7 January. Susan and Dan are both returning to finish their MSc. degrees at the University of Maine. Both will write up portions of the US ITASE ice core results for their theses. Paul will return to his duties as Director of the Institute of Quaternary and Climate Studies at the University of Maine and other research projects in Antarctica and Asia.
Mark will be back in McMurdo today. He will return to his business of building ice-coring equipment at Glacier Data in Alaska.
Lynn and Carl will probably be back in McMurdo on 10 January after winterizing our two Challengers. After that Lynn will return to work with MDU Resources in Oregon. Carl will be staying on in McMurdo until October working as a mechanic in the Heavy Shop.
On behalf of US ITASE we would like to thank everyone who followed our adventures and everyone who supported us. We would parcticularly like to thank our families and friends, the Raytheon support staff at McMurdo and South Pole, the 109th Air National Guard, the Museum of Science (Boston), and the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation.
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