Dr. Peter Doran of University of Illinois Chicago Earth and Environmental Sciences

December 31st, 2007 andrea

In 2006, Dr. Peter Doran wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about a research paper he and his colleagues published in Nature in 2002. The research presented in the paper showed that from 1986 to 2000, there had been climate cooling in one small area of Antarctica. The information in the paper was quickly mis-interpreted by a number of high-profile media personalities as proof that global warming was not happening, and Dr. Doran wrote the op-ed to set the record straight. Today I had the rare opportunity to interview him about this and his current research. Here is the interview:

and here is a link to the NYT article:

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Chili Judges to the Galley!

December 31st, 2007 andrea

Icestock is the annual music festival at McMurdo, when the whole town comes out to listen to live music and eat chili, no matter what the conditions. This year, despite a bit of snow and cold temperatures, there was quite a crowd. Much fun was to be had, but the quality of the chili was no laughing matter, as evidenced by this short clip:

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More Sound Walkabout

December 31st, 2007 andrea

sound walkabout
As the date of Sonic Antarctica gets closer, we’re feverishly editing recordings from the Sound Walkabout a couple of days ago. In this series of excerpts from a sound recording by Anne Dalvera, you can hear her describing the setting around town as she walks and briefly talking about the soundscape with Patricia Jackson:

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Dr. John Cassano of Colorado University’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

December 30th, 2007 andrea

One thing I’ve learned about doing a project down here is that you have to take advantage of every opportunity to meet with the scientists because they often are only here for a short time. This requires you to be ready in a moment’s notice. Case in point, Dr. John Cassano arrived two days ago and will probably be leaving next week. I found out John was here this afternoon, and within two hours, met and conducted a fascinating two-camera video interview with him.

John and Dr. Matt Lazzara of the University of Wisconsin lead a team who are here to maintain, update and add to the 70 Automatic Weather Stations in Antarctica and to analyze and update the models being used for weather prediction by aviation meteorology.

It turns out that John is also a storm chaser, chasing tornadoes in the Midwest, so it was really great to get a scientist’s perspective on the importance of experiencing these phenomena physically and not only through weather instruments.

Here is a link to the real-time Antarctic Automatic Weather Station data online. I hope to accompany Shelley Knuth, a member of John’s team, out to a few of the station sites soon:

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Sound Walkabout

December 27th, 2007 andrea

sound walkabout jason and john
Tonight in preparation for the Sonic Antarctica Concert on January 7th, Tia and I hosted a phonography workshop/soundwalk around McMurdo. We brought a variety of microphones and recording devices for people to experiment with and visited a wide range of sound environments, from the waste-water treatment plant to radarsat (aka the golf-ball – thanks to Nik Sinkola for opening it up for us!)

It seems to me that McMurdo residents have a high sensitivity to sound, in part I think because listening (radio communications, heavy machinery and vehicles, helicopters, etc.) is such an important part of living down here. You can see more photos of the walkabout by clicking on the thumbnail in this post.

This is a recording by Dr. John Mitchell from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. An accomplished photographer, Dr. Mitchell is trying out the mp3 recorder and binaural microphone for the first time, you can hear the two of us talking briefly at the end of the recording:

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