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Tour The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Field Camp, Antarctica

This season working at WAIS Divide Field Camp, Antarctica was busy, with days of hard work and rough weather. However, there were a few moments of free time and good weather, and during those moments I shot a few short clips. In this 40-minute video, I take you on a personal tour of most of …

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Exploring the World’s Most Powerful Icebreaker – The Jet Engine-Powered US Coast Guard Cutter “Polar Star”

After an excellent season working at WAIS Divide, my team and I returned to McMurdo to wrap up a bit of administrative items, finalizing this season’s shipping, and pack everything up for redeployment to New Zealand. Luckily, during those few days at McMurdo the US Coast Guard Cutter “Polar Star” came into port, cutting the …

USCGC Polar Start at McMurdo Seaport

Ship Operations at the World’s Southernmost Seaport

McMurdo Station, Antarctic survives on the food, supplies, and fuel brought in via the air and sea. By far the most cargo comes in every year by sea, and McMurdo’s Seaport is the southernmost in the world. The port operates with an Ice Pier, and handles a variety of ships. Here’s a few timelapse videos …

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Launching the WAIS AERIAL CAMP PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY INSTRUMENT (WACPSI)

During a down moment at WAIS, I built and aereal vehicle for my GoPro, with the hopes of getting aerial video of field camp. The WAIS Aerial Camp Photographic Survey Instrument (WACPSI) was made out of foam. Some of its design features: Lightweight, protective, and insulating foam body. Integrated aero-wedge¬†frontal shock-absorbing nosecone. Vertical stabilizer with …

The crater left behind.

Making a Crater in Antarctica

In order to dispose of a few pounds of PETN explosives at WAIS Divide Field Camp, the decision was made to simple blow them up under the snow. The alternative was to go through the certification process for transporting by air back to McMurdo, which would have been a bit overkill, given the small amount …

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Disassembling the WAIS DISC Ice Drill – Timelapse Video

This season at WAIS, we did a lot of work in disassembling and packaging the DISC Drill. As work proceeded, I setup my GoPro camera to record a frame every 30 seconds. Here’s the compressed timelapse of our full season of work at WAIS. For more videos of the drill’s operation, check out my employer …

Outside of the comms tents, various antennas are setup, including VHF, HF, and Satellite.

Communication and Control at WAIS Divide, Antarctica

At the WAIS Divide Field Camp, communications and overall administration of the camp happens in the comms tent. A few photos:

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The WAIS Divide Field Medical Tent

At WAIS Divide Field Camp, health and safety is a top priority. However, injuries and sickness do occur occasionally, and to deal with any issue, the camp has its own medical tent and PA. A few photos from inside the WAIS Divide Medical Tent, fully stocked and operational.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Field Camp Snow Pit, 2015

The WAIS Snow Pit

WAIS Divide sits on top of the antarctic ice sheet. Every season, a new layer of snow is deposited on the surface, which eventually gets added to the many, many layers of snow. Erin Pettit and her teammates this year dug a snow pit, showing the various layers of snow over the last few seasons.

Layout of the entire rec tent. At the back of the tent is the entrance to the wash module, with sinks, showers, washeing machines, snow melter, and satellite phone booth.

WAIS Divide’s Recreation Tent – Warmth and Comfort on the Polar Ice

Living and working at WAIS Divide Field Camp is rough – long hours of work, harsh environment, and living in a frozen tent for weeks, sometimes months on end. To get a bit of a break from the grind, an extremely important feature of camp is the Rec Tent. This tent is one of the …

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The WAIS Galley Tent – Community and Food

At WAIS Divide Field Camp, almost all of the buildings are various kinds of tents and compact structures. The galley is made out of the combination of a RAC Tent, and the “Galley Module”, a hard-sided module attached to one end of the tent. The galley is not only used for food, but also as …

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DISC Drill Arch, Condition 2

Here’s the exterior view of the DISC Drill Arch, where I’ll be working for the next few weeks. On the first day of work, camp was hit with a massive Condition 2 Storm. The drill arch was originally on the surface of the ice, but during the 7 or so years it’s been there, snowdrifts …