Christchurch, New Zealand January 23, 2017   After leaving the Lake Vanda field camp last Thursday I’ve spent the last 4 days at Scott Base waiting to start the long trip back to the United States. My first order of business when I got back to Scott Base was to shave and take a much… Read More


Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, Antarctica January 19, 2017   The reason I’ve made this trip to Antarctica is to use small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to make weather observations (temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind). The drone I’m flying is called a Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer or SUMO. Marwan, the scientist from New Zealand… Read More


Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, Antarctica January 15, 2017   The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDVs) are unlike anyplace I’ve ever been before. They are a combination of rugged mountains, similar to the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, and barren desert, similar to someplace like Death Valley. The valleys are completely bare of vegetation, other than… Read More


Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, Antarctica January 14, 2017   I arrived at the Lake Vanda field camp on Tuesday January 10th, where I’ll spend about 10 days flying unmanned aircraft (drones) to make atmospheric measurements. Lake Vanda camp is about 70 miles northwest of Scott Base. To get to the field camp me and two… Read More


  Scott Base, Antarctica January 10, 2017   As with all Antarctic trips the first few days on the continent have been a whirlwind of activity. I’ve been busy with meetings, training classes, and briefings as well as getting my science cargo ready to be deployed to our field camp. I’m scheduled to fly on… Read More


  Scott Base, Antarctica January 7, 2017   I’ve just arrived in Antarctica for my 14th trip to the ice. I still love coming down to Antarctica but after so many trips and having to leave my wife and daughter at home for extended periods of time it is becoming harder to make these trips… Read More


McMurdo Station, Antarctica October 2, 2016   Today should, hopefully, be my last full day in Antarctica. I’m scheduled to fly back to Christchurch tomorrow afternoon. Flights to and from Antarctica can often be delayed by bad weather or mechanical problems with the planes so there is no guarantee that I’ll actually fly north tomorrow.… Read More


McMurdo Station, Antarctica September 26, 2016   Last week I asked readers of this blog to send me their questions about Antarctica. A lot of the questions came from my daughter Sabrina’s 2nd grade class at Coal Creek Elementary School. I was able to Skype with Sabrina’s class and answer their questions live but because… Read More


McMurdo Station, Antarctica September 21, 2016   It has been a frustrating week since my last blog post. Often fieldwork has its ups and downs and the last week has definitely been more downs than ups.   As I mentioned in my last blog post, the week before last Tuesday (13 September) we had flown… Read More


McMurdo Station, Antarctica September 14, 2016   Since last Wednesday (September 7th) Mark and I have done 21 SUMO flights on 5 flight days. For our first two flight days (September 7th and 8th) we were flying in the afternoon and early evening.               Starting on September 10th we… Read More