17 February 2020 In my previous blog posts I’ve talked about my trip so far but haven’t given any details about the research that Gina and I will do once we reach the Polarstern. Before I discuss that I do want to give an update on our progress towards the Polarstern.  We’re still in transit… Read More


A week after boarding the Kapitan Dranitsyn and 5 days after we left port in Tromsø for a sheltered anchorage in a fjord we finally started sailing north towards the Polarstern. As I mentioned in my previous post we spent several days in the fjord waiting for a storm to pass to our north. When… Read More


I’ve been on board the Russian icebreaker, the Kapitan Dranitsyn, for the last 3 days and in this blog post, I’d like to give you a sense of life on board the ship. We boarded the Dranitsyn on Monday evening (January 27th) but, as I’ll explain later, we haven’t made much progress towards the Polarstern… Read More


I am currently in Tromsø, Norway getting ready to sail into the ice pack of the Arctic Ocean on the Russian icebreaker the Kapitan Dranitsyn. I left my home in Colorado on Wednesday 22 January, on an unseasonably warm winter day, and landed in Tromsø on the evening of the 23rd, in a snow shower.… Read More


17 January 2020 My name is John Cassano and I am a professor at the University of Colorado. My research focuses on polar weather and climate, and as those of you that have read my blog in the past know, I have made many trips to Antarctica (scroll down to see these earlier blog posts). … Read More


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