Seismology on ice

2019 May 1st

No bugs in Antarctica

Thursday morning I head to the galley for a large breakfast - it is going to be a long day of flying. There is a light snow falling and a low cloud cover and I am starting to wonder if the flight to Christchurch might be cancelled. I check the “scroll” - an ever updating list of flight a... Continue Reading

2019 Apr 29th

Fire and Ice

McMurdo is in full swing, and the five MCM helicopters are ready for action. For you helicopter fans - that is three Bell 212s, and two A-Stars - quite an amazing fleet of helicopter power. And there are fabulously experienced pilots for all of them (the pilots have to be about the most chill dudes ... Continue Reading

2019 Apr 17th

Penguins and a plane crash

If the weather holds, I’ll be departing Antarctica tomorrow morning. The time has gone by unbelievably fast. I left off with the last post with the big Icestock New Year’s Eve concert. After that it was back to work. It is that time of the season when we start to get things ready f... Continue Reading

2019 Apr 12th

Art on the Ice

Unbelievably, my time in Antarctica is starting to get short. And there is still so much to see and do.  The big New Year’s Eve tradition here, for the past 30 years (!) is . . . Icestock! A parking area outside the galley is converted into a concert venue. The galley sets up a BBQ hut w... Continue Reading

2019 Apr 8th

The Tech Post

After several posts that featured things I did during my time off, I thought I would focus this post more on the nuts and bolts of what I am doing here, so here is some information about the seismometers and other instruments we have here in Antarctica. Out at the Castle Rock test site we currently ... Continue Reading

2019 Apr 4th

A party, a plane ride and long duration balloon

I had a lovely day off on the 24th, sleeping in, then going for a nice hike to “Arrival Heights” - a pretty good size ridgeline above the station, which affords nice views. I was on the lookout for penguins! Some energetic folks this morning did the “Ob Hill Uphill” - a runni... Continue Reading

2019 Apr 2nd

Tunnels beneath the ice

We wrapped up all of our work at the South Pole by early Wednesday morning and were scheduled for a 16:00 departure. During breakfast I looked out one of the galley windows and saw . . . tourists! There is a fair amount of tourist activity at the pole. No one owns the pole, so it not for the US or a... Continue Reading

2019 Mar 29th

South Pole is a phenomenal place

South Pole is a phenomenal place Wow! Everything about living and working down here is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Kudos to the staff and scientists who work down here on a regular basis - some of whom live here for 12 month stints (in the winter it is dark 24 hour per day). It ... Continue Reading

2019 Mar 27th

Boxes and biscuits

Boxes and biscuits Today I spent most of the day working in a sort of warehouse space continuing to convert the wiring and bulkhead connector panel on the big insulated station boxes to a new configuration so the boxes can be re-used on a different experiment. Lots ‘o boxes! I also signed... Continue Reading

2019 Mar 21st

Sensors, sensors everywhere, and lots of snow to dig

A day of rest, sort of... We work six days a week down here, with Sunday off. The day started with the much-loved Sunday Brunch. The brunch lived up to its billing. The Galley was a little more festive looking, and the range of foods was substantial and very tasty. At 1:00 the galley was turned ove... Continue Reading

2019 Mar 18th

If you’re lucky, you can hear the seals singing

I get a charge out of this... Besides digging, seismology requires lots of batteries. Even though our seismic stations draw very little power (less than a bathroom nightlight), they need to run over the entirety of the dark winter down here when there is no ability to recharge the batteries from th... Continue Reading

2019 Mar 13th

On my way!

On my way! More flying. This time on a cargo plane – operated by New Zealand (some flights are flown by the US, some by New Zealand). We sat on net seats in this cargo plane, wearing our full ECW gear. There was no conversation, since the roar of the engines was deafening and we all wore e... Continue Reading

2019 Mar 6th


Today consisted of lots and lots of airplane rides as well as crossing the international date line, so an extra day is lost in there somewhere. After lots of flying I eventually arrived in Auckland, New Zealand. I discovered that they really take bio-security very seriously ... Continue Reading