Introducing the Stream team 2003-2004

From left to right – Chris, Ben, Justin, and Karen hike over Canada
Glacier on their way to the Lake Hoare base camp for Thanksgiving.


Dr. Diane McKnight is the head of the Dry Valleys' Stream Team. An Antarctic veteran, she's been going down "to the ice" since 1987. Early in her career, Diane worked as a research scientist with the United States Geological Survey.

Now she's a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU), and a member of CU's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research or INSTAAR. In addition to her teaching duties, Diane serves on Columbia River and Neuse River committees. She's also a mom.

Diane loves to travel and between her research projects and those of her students, she's involved in work in the U.S., the Arctic, and Africa, as well as in Antarctica. So she gets around! Yet even with all this going on, Diane still manages to find time to quilt. Diane's also known for baking incredibly yummy pies. Since coming to the field she's already baked four of them! We're hoping she doesn't stop any time soon.

Diane filters water during a tracer experiment

(leftmost person in team photo)
Stream Teamer Chris Jaros has headed down to the ice for his third season. Chris's first season, 2000-2001, was the coldest since the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project (MCMLTER) began while his second, 2001-2002, is known in MCMLTER circles as "the flood year."

Chris stands next to Taylor Glacier.
The Rhone Glacier descends in the background.

The normally small moats that develop along the edges of the ice covering Dry Valley lakes became large enough for crossing to be, as Chris puts it "a little sketchy." And Chris and the rest of the team had to deal with several stream gages being blown out and flows that were double those recorded for previous seasons. We've now had a week of above-freezing temperatures. The streams have really started to flow, and Chris is officially calling it. He thinks it's going to be a big year. Probably not a "flood" year but high flowsnonetheless.

A native of Grand Junction, Colorado, Chris just finished his master's degree in environmental engineering (Congrats Chris!). Dr. Diane McKnight (who is coming down a little later in the season) was his advisor, and his research focused on the effects of elevation on glacial meltwater generation in the Dry Valleys.

In his free time Chris enjoys putting some serious miles on his bike and fly fishing in Colorado's mountain streams. He also likes to stomp around the hut of our base camp, bang things, and just make a lot of noise. That's earned him the nickname of the Flintstone's character Bam-Bam.

BEN HARDING (second person from left in team photo)
Ben is a civil engineer who's worked in a variety of capacities during his career. His current stint with hydrosphere has lasted some 20 years. Hydrosphere, a Boulder, Colorado-based environmental consulting firm
that Ben co-founded, specializes in water resource issues. Ben's present projects include providing expert testimony about how toxic chemicals move through water distribution systems and helping municipalities plan how they will manage their water supplies.

Ben grew up in Boulder, and, as a youngster, was really into skiing. Later on he became an avid kayaker. He's also obtained his pilot's license and is qualified to fly light aircraft. One of his favorite activities these days though is going on hikes with his wife and two sons. Ben has been interested in going to Antarctica for ages, not the least of which because his dad worked in Antarctica 40 years ago as an electrical/communications engineer.

Big into fixing things, Ben likes to, in his words, kluge. Kluging, he explains, involves making a practical "construction that is often bizarre, always necessary, and sometimes fun." Some of the gizmos he's helped come up with will likely show up in various Stream Team reports.


JUSTIN JOSLIN (second from right in team photo)
Justin is another one of Diane's graduate students. He's working on his master's degree in environmental engineering at CU-Boulder. A first-timer in Antarctica, he'll be looking at how chemical weathering affects the
chemistry of Dry Valley streams.

If you hang out with Justin for even a short amount of time, you'll quickly realize two things. One - he's from New Hampshire, a fact he's quite proud of, and two - he's a total ski nut. Justin's been downhill skiing for ages
and is currently on CU's freestyle ski team for which he specializes in skiing moguls. During the summer, Justin's activities branch out into hiking and rock climbing as well.

Justin likes cowboy hats. They shade both your face and the back of your neck, he points out, and are thus not only stylish but also useful, at least in warmer climes. He's worn his hat in Antarctica a few times, and people sometimes call him by his newly acquired nickname Jessie James.

Justin at Lyons Stream - one of the first streams we've seen flow in the valleys.
KAREN COZZETTO (rightmost person in team photo)
Karen is a PhD student studying hydrology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. This season is Karen's second in the Dry Valleys, and she'll be looking at how soils around streams freeze and thaw and at how stream waterwarms up. At some times of the day, the stream temperatures can reach 50 or, on occasion, even 60 degrees Fahrenheit!

Hailing from Washington, DC, Karen may like to travel as much as her advisor, Diane. Karen's lived in the Czech Republic, spent a summer in Spain and Italy, and worked on a project in Yucatan, Mexico. She loves to hike and bike and is always on the lookout for good chocolate.

A view of Taylor Valley. The Suess Glacier and ice-covered Lake Hoare.