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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.

I have been so impressed by their dedication and hard work on this trip.  They have been out almost every day collecting samples, drilling for core samples and drone footage, and exploring the Antarctica islands for black moss.  Through their work, they will be able to do research that enables them to tell when glaciers have moved , temperatures and vegetation mapping of the continent, and even how long ago, and what types of plants have lived here. One of the extraordinary accomplishments of this team was to drill a core sample of 204 cm down to the permafrost on Cape Tuxson.  A sample such as this has never been done before.  The largest one before was 54 cm and it was around 2000 years old. It will be very interesting to see what this one will be!

To the right you can see some black moss from Robert Island.  By determining the date the moss last grew, the “kill date”, we can estimate when the glacier advanced and covered (killed) the moss. This will show us when the climate changed from warmer conditions, to a cooler climate.

I was really amazed at how green Antarctica is!  There are over 100 moss species living here!  There are also two vascular plants that are found here where there are many seabirds, like petrels.  Here is some moss from Cape Monaco.

We also saw mushrooms growing at Cierva Point and around Palmer Station!

The team was able to do thermal imaging of many of the sites where they worked using an Apogee radiometer.

Derek was also able to acquire some amazing drone footage and data from many different areas.  Check out this link for some incredible footage!!! 


So, I heard that while I have been in the ice and snow,  spring is surfacing at home!  I hear a lot of changes are happening there with the coronavirus as well.  I know it may be a challenging time, but use this opportunity to go outside and see what spring has to offer!  I love seeing the daffodils come out!  Take a hike around your backyard and see what plants you can find popping up and  wildlife that you see!  Make a nature book to start recording your drawings  and observations!

Here is a link to a great nature journal and lots of fun activities to fill the days at home!

Thanks to the Moss team for sharing their journey with me and their great photos!

My time in Antarctica is drawing to a close, still so much to share….

Ms. Debbie

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    Check out these webcams of Palmer Stations and a nearby penguin colony

    Get started learning about the Antarctic Midge:

    How Does Antarctica’s Only Native Insect Survive Extreme Cold?

    Has climate change affected a bug that can stay frozen for 9 months? This UK researcher will find out

    Learn all about the work done at the Insect Stress Biology Lab at the University of Kentucky


    This expedition is funded by:

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