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An Extraordinary Journey

An Extraordinary Journey

An Extraordinary Journey

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

Well, it’s time to head home. Here we are leaving Palmer Station (Thanks to Greg Larsen for such a beautiful pic to send us on our way!)  We left earlier than scheduled because of the weather that is ahead.  It sounds like it’s going to be a rough trip home, probably 30 ft. swells on the boat, and it is uncertain at this moment how we are getting home because of coronavirus impacts on travel. I am choosing in this uncertain time to think about all the wonderful things I have had the opportunity to be a part of here.

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Moss Team

Moss Team

Moss Team

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

Last time I shared with you about my team Midge on this blog.  Today, I would like to share the other amazing science field team on our ship…the Moss Team.  This team is made up of 3 amazing scientists. Dr. Dulcinea Groff of Lehigh University of PA, Dr. David Beilman and Derek Ford of the University of Hawaii.

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Team Midge!

Team Midge!

Team Midge!

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

On the ship we have two main science teams….Team Midge and Team Moss.  I’m on the “Midgers.”  Our team is doing incredible things so I would like to share a little bit about our mission.  Our midge team has 4 people, J.D. Gantz ( our team leader), Scott Hotaling, Jacob Idec, and me, Debbie Harner (education outreach coordinator).  My teammates are extraordinary scientists.  This is JD’s fourth trip to Antarctica.  He has been studying midges for a long time.  Scott is a biologist and lives in Washington state.  He studies ice worms that form on glaciers in the northwest!  And Jacob has just returned from Madagascar where he was studying ants in the rainforest! We also have a lab technician, Diane who has joined our team trips.  She is our honorary midger and has been an invaluable part of our team.  I have learned a lot from them, as I certainly am not the scientists they are, and I feel very privileged to be included on this team.

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Palmer Station Arrival!

Palmer Station Arrival!

Palmer Station Arrival!

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

During the night, we traveled south and arrived on the Antarctica Peninsula.  Our port call is at Palmer Station.  Our boat, the LMG, is on the right in the picture above. In this picture you can see the station and the glacier behind it.

Palmer Station is a United States research station in Antarctica located on Anvers Island, the only US station located north of the Antarctic Circle. Initial construction of the station finished in 1968. The station, like the other U.S. Antarctic stations, is operated by the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) of the National Science Foundation. The base is about as distant from the equator as Fairbanks, Alaska and is named for Nathaniel B. Palmer, usually recognized as the first American to see Antarctica. The maximum population that Palmer Station can accommodate is 46 people, so we will continue to stay on the LMG (Lawrence M. Gould) while we are here.  Our ship is a cargo ship for Palmer so we will be unloading supplies for the station.  Several of our passengers will be getting off here as their research is located at the station and the LMG is used for transportation to and from Palmer.  We will be coming back here at the end of our cruise to pick up passengers to go back to Punta Arenas.

 

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Penguins, Penguins, Penguins Oh My!

Penguins, Penguins, Penguins Oh my!

Penguins, Penguins, Penguins Oh my!

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

Welcome to Cierva Pt.!  It’s a beautiful day here and we are going to  special ASPA (Antarctic Specially Protected Area).  It is also where the Argentinian base is, although they are not there currently.  It is very different from Livingston Island.

The scenery is magnificent!  There is a lot of icebergs to see…and a lot of penguins!  On this island we saw gentoo penguins.  They are super cute and so funny to watch!  They chase each other around and are unbelievably good climbers!  I was really surprised how far they were able to get up the side of the cliff.

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Livingston Island, First Trip Ashore

Livingston Island, First trip ashore

Livingston Island, First trip ashore

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

Today we woke up with a lot of excitement!  We were going on our first trip ashore! We spent a lot of time getting everything ready the day before including packing our “dry bags.”  These bags have extra clothes, shoes, gloves, water, etc.  in case what we are wearing becomes too wet.  We also take survival bags in case we must stay on the island and it’s not possible to get back to the ship.

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What’s It Like On The Ship?

What’s it like on the ship?

What’s it like on the ship?

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

Good morning from the Drake’s Passage.  We are currently sailing in some of the roughest seas on the planet.   Last night was a little rough and I understand why many people get sick.  I’m struggling a bit myself.  Imagine moving your body in a figure 8 pattern over and over again, side to side.  And then, every few seconds go front to back once or twice.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  Try walking around while doing it, going up and down stairs, working or eating at a table, or taking a shower (that was an experience!) The hard thing is it doesn’t stop.  You can’t get off the rollercoaster ride! We have at least one more day of it through here.  The boat always has some motion, and I’m trying to get used to it, but this is definitely more intense.

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Welcome To The Adventure!

Welcome to the Adventure!

Welcome to the Adventure with Ms. Debbie

Click HERE to check out Ms. Debbie’s adventures from the beginning.

Buenos Dias everyone! Greetings from Chile!

My name is Debbie Harner and I am the Lead Discovery Educator at the Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Because of a partnership with the University of Kentucky Entomology Dept. and a grant from the National Science Foundation, I have been chosen to go on a trip to Antarctica! I will be the education outreach coordinator for the project. We will be spending 6 weeks visiting Palmer Research Station and the islands surrounding the continent to study the Antarctic midge….the largest terrestrial animal in Antarctica!  I will be traveling on a research vessel called the Lawrence M. Gould and have lots of amazing experiences to tell you about in the next few weeks.  For now, I would like to share my journey in getting to the boat!

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