Sunday, December 5, 2010 — From L.A. to Auckland
Sun, 12/05/2010 - 2:00pm
The flight to Los Angeles and then on to New Zealand is what you would expect: lots of time on the plane to get caught up on some things, to read and study up for the visit. I am part of a five-member review team traveling to Antarctica and the South Pole at the behest of the NSF to review the research programs under way there. Through various agencies (primarily the NSF), the United States spends a little more than $500 million per year on its Polar Programs, called the U.S. Antarctica Programs (USAP). We will spend time at the McMurdo Station, Crary Science and Engineering Center (CSEC), visit the South Pole Station and tour the “Dry Valleys.” We will also visit several of the “camps,” groups of scientists that are living out on the ice, typically in tents at remote sites.
We have a very busy schedule with lots of things planned and a full itinerary. Five days “on the ice,” as they say, and then departing Christchurch, New Zealand, for Atlanta on Sunday at 11:00 a.m., through Los Angeles and then back in to Atlanta, arriving at 5:00 p.m. Sunday evening.
Antarctica is essentially a desert: one of the Earth’s coldest, highest, windiest and in some parts driest on the planet. In 1959 the international community declared it an “internationally controlled” center for scientific research. A number of countries including Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and the United States have permanent stations on the continent. Antarctica is in fact a continent, while the northern polar regions are all “ice and snow," with no actual land mass. The southern regions have ice on a land base and in some areas, massive ice sheets.
< Previous Post Saturday, December 4, 2010 — In Flight, 6:00 p.m. EST
Sat, 12/04/2010 - 2:00pm
Next Post > Monday, December 6, 2010 — Christchurch, New Zealand
Mon, 12/06/2010 - 6:00pm