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Greetings from Antarctica!!

I made it "down to the ice" last week and am in McMurdo Station now, the largest of the U.S. stations on the continent.

In McMurdo, as well as getting ready to go into the field, I've been hanging out with the "Moulton team" - Trevor, Todd, Pratigha, and Nelia. (from left to right) I met them in Auckland, New Zealand on our way to Antarctica. The Moulton team is going to an extinct volcano (Mt. Moulton) in West Antarctica. They're studying the paleoclimate and will be doing some ice coring there. They're what we call a deep field team - really deep field. For six weeks, their main contact with the outside world will be through high frequency radios!

The Moulton Team

Dr. Todd Sowers with Penn State University is one of the team's lead investigators. On previous occassions, Todd's worked at the South Pole station as well as Vostok. Dr. Nelia Dunbar is a co-investigator. She's been coming to the ice since 1983 and also does research on Antarctica's most well-known active volcano - Mt. Erebus. Mt. Erebus is one of the only volcanoes in the world to have a permanent lake of molten magma. Its 1000 degrees Celsius temperature lies in sharp contrast to Erebus's cold exterior.

Anne Dal Vera
and Karen

Pratigha (or P-man as we sometimes call him) and Trevor are doctor wannabees. Prat is studying at Penn State, and Trevor goes to the University of Colorado in Boulder. In fact, I found out that Trevor has an office in the same building I do and knows a lot of the same people I do, but I'd never met him before!

In McMurdo, I sleep in a dorm and share a room with Margaret. Margaret is studying cold adaptations in Antarctic fish. The first time I walked into the dorm, a flyer in the hallway caught my eye. It was advertising a documentary about the 1992-93 American Women's Antarctic Expedition, the first all women's expedition to ski from Antarctica's edge to the South Pole. Anne Dal Vera, one of the team's four members, was going to talk at the movie.

I couldn't believe it! I'd read about their journey and really admired the courage and determination of the women on the team. Prat and Trevor came with me to the movie, and I was very excited when Anne let me have my photo taken with her.