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What Is It Like to Work in Antarctica?

Over the next few weeks, Angela Posada-Swafford will be sending dispatches from her fossil-hunting journey to the coldest continent. Posada-Swafford is a Miami, Florida-based science journalist who has built quite a reputation writing mainly for the Spanish-language market.

“I am doing A LOT of things with this trip,” she writes, via e-mail. “We are doing (and this is
first for NSF at Palmer and indeed, in Antarctica) a series of 6-party
live video conferences with science museums and educational institutions
in 3 Latin American countries (Colombia, Chile and either Mexico or
Uruguay).” She continues:

The loveliest thing
is that I managed to involve in the conferences this isolated,
forgotten community in the Colombian pacific jungles, the Universidad
del Choco, and are so thrilled at the idea of just seeing the ice! They
are asking a thousand questions already.

Only once before had NSF allowed streaming video and that was for
10-minute reporting for the Ophrah Winfrey show. But now they are going
full one or more hours per video conference and I have decided that I
want 2 of them, one week apart. The kids at the different museums get
to ask questions as I tell them all about the station’s LTER research
(long term ecological research), climate change from the molecular to
penguin levels, etc.

Here are the links, also, to two websites that are following my
expedition to the detail, through my own dispatches, which will come in
every day with pictures, audio and video. They are doing an animated
map of the trip, and a zillion more things, which already started with
my chronicles of the preparations for the trip. I haven’t left and
there are already many comments.

This is a great opportunity to talk
science to people! One of the links is for my magazine in Spain, MUY
INTERESANTE. The second one is for the very sophicticated science
museum in Bogota, Colombia, which is orchestrating the video conferences
in Latin America:

The videoconferences can be seen at the Maloka website in real time and later, as they’ll be recorded. The dates are:

  • Saturday 5 December at 2 p.m. U.S. eastern time (4 p.m. Palmer time)
  • Saturday 12 December at the same time.

(Saturdays are good for the children
in Latin America and they are also good for the Palmer scientists who
will take those days off!)

In addition to talking science to people, Posada-Swafford will also be sending us regular updates, posted on our blog, telling us about the scientists she meets and what it’s like to do science in Antarctica.