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Pictures And Experience

By Hannah Hughes

People who may not be as engaged in what is happening may see the mud and rocks in the plastic vials and bags as trash. With such specimens originating from the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica the scientists will truly be kept busy for long. One mud sample, according to a college senior, can lead to a multitude of information. Antarctica was visited by people belonging to one college and a university that received funding from the National Science Foundation and this college senior was part of it. Actually, these schools regularly take part in research cruises of all sorts.

Using a research vessel for the trip, the group departed in early February from Punta Arenas Chile. Located on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula was their first stop, the Larsen Ice Shelf, which was unexplored. The location has not yet been explored in the past. There was no rapid motion for the boat as they used sonar for the measurement of the ocean’s depth. Other than getting water and sediment samples, the students and researchers also gathered video footage from the deck. Analyzing these samples will require much work.

In an effort to see how it is related to the situation of global warming today, the mud will be studied considering its composition and water content. Most of the students consider this to be an occasion of chance. A taste of how things are can be gained through the trip, says a student. The student is a native of Scotland who plans to attend graduate school taking up global warming. The school of Oceanography in a university will be expecting a student next year who says that she does not mind spending the rest of her life on a ship.

For them, even the most severe weather conditions in the Southern Hemisphere can be managed. Compared to it was Upstate New York. Much more intense than the cold days was the sun that rose at 430 am and set at 930 pm. Some pain may be encountered from the brightness when you look out the window. Science occurred 24 seven even if civilization was lacking over there. From midnight to noon or vice versa were the shifts given to the students. The usual off day routines for students were watching movies in the group lounge or sleeping on the bunk beds.

But there was an unspoken rule among the student crew. Seniors should be alerted for any kind of serious activity. One senior student was roused to check out a newly discovered surface volcano and to visit with an emperor penguin. You don’t want to sleep at all, said the Dryden native. You don’t want to miss something. Her memorable experience was when they went to Vega Island. She said to stand where only 10 other people in the world have stood, to touch something, to be a part of that, it was unbelievable.

The students actually missed five weeks of classes. The hectic schedules they were given plus the environmental safety conditions in their vessel prevented them from getting all of their schoolwork done. It’s hard to do work when the ship’s constantly rolling. Communication was rather minimal with two emails daily. But the close quarters and the absence of the distractions of daily life brought the students and faculty together. There?s no escaping, said one student. You really become close due to the extreme environment and the deserted location.

As they embarked on a trip back home to the United States they placed the specimens they gathered inside coolers with the necessary documents prepared for the customs officials. 323 digital pictures and five film rolls were also brought by one student. Choosing to simply embrace the surroundings was another student from the group of explorers who joined last year. Capturing things is better done live. On occasion, it is a better option to understand your environment.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Hughes, Hannah "Pictures And Experience." Pictures And Experience. 5 Jul. 2010. 29 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Hughes, H (2010, July 5). Pictures And Experience. Retrieved February 29, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Hughes, Hannah "Pictures And Experience"

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