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> The Dream Team, January 14-16
post Jan 22 2006, 07:53 AM
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Dream Team
January 14-16, 2006

For those interested in things Antarctic and some fine journalism, check out the weekly Antarctic newspaper at http://AntarcticSun.usap.gov

Hello from the Ice!
For additional Antarctic pics, check out the Gallery.

Where’s Rosenberger?
F6 Camp at Lake Fryxell, Dry Valleys, on the continent of Antarctica

Even though I am finished with my time in Antarctica, I want to show what our “Stream Team” experiment looked like and some of the wonderful people I worked with in the Dry Valleys. The camp, called F6 at Lake Fryxell, has a small building that serves as a common area/kitchen and has a separate room at one end that contains lab space. Outside is an outhouse, a huge solar array, and tent spaces.

> Barb cookin' in the F6 kitchen:
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Getting ready for the experiment involves surveying the stream (I got to help!),
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And getting accurate stream widths along the route:
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and also placing equipment and bottles at five sites along the section that we will be taking water samples from.

> Shannon and I heading upstream with backpacks full of equipment:
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This is the Von Guerard stream, fed by the glaciers in the Kukri Hills in the background. The white stuff along the edge is dried salts and minerals from the stream expanding and shrinking.
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Over millions of years, the wind has eroded some rocks into fantastic shapes. This type of rock is called a ventifact:
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The Stream team needed accurate measurements of the wind speed, temperature, stream depth, and humidity over the stream, so a meteorological tower was used. Josh and I were putting the “Met” tower together at 1 am and wiring the electronics so it would record the data it collects during the experiment.

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Now I am wiring one of the data loggers for the in-stream thermometers. Note the Met tower downstream is completed:
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After getting everything set up, it was 1:30 in the morning and since we had to get up at 3:30 in the morning so that we can start the actual data collecting part of the experiment at 4:15 am, Kaelin and I decided to take a walk up a nearby hill. Hey, what else do you do when you know you are only going to get an hour of sleep anyway?

See our shadows?
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4:15 am…Ready? Set. Go! Time to start. First task: I am the chemistry teacher, so I get to make the solution of salt that they will add to the stream to measure how it is dispersed. Hmmm…6.8 kilograms of NaCl dissolved in 19 gallons of water. I need a mighty big beaker and stirring rod:
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Josh, Karen, and Kaelin set a “well” into the stream bed:

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The schedule was: One hour of filtering and collecting small bottles of water every 5 minutes at each site, then one hour of filtering and collecting every 15 minutes. Repeat for 12 hours. Wow! The 5 minute hour was CRAZY time! Filters break, pump batteries die, need new filters, quick! You can see the next sampling site downstream in the background:

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Boy, was I ever tired when the helo came to pick us up that night. I was tired but running on adrenaline and still marveling at the magnificence of the Dry Valleys as I flew out to McMurdo Station on Ross Island (and a shower and a warm bed!). The Stream Team is a great group of dedicated people.

Parting shot
A fog bank forms above the icefall of the Canada Glacier behind Lake Fryxell:
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