Did you neglect to take a trip to Antarctica this summer?
Do it vicariously, via the ongoing blog Deep Sea and Polar Biology.
Andrew Thurber (Principal Investigator, post-doc in the College of Earth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences) and his assistant Rory Welsh (graduate student in the Department of Microbiology) have begun a long deployment to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, where Thurber is continuing his Antarctic research on energy flows and nutrient cycling in the soft-sediment seafloor communities beneath the ice.
Thurber and Welsh are both OSU scientific divers. They spent the last month working with OSU Diving Safety Officer Kevin Buch, completing the workup and proficiency dives to meet requirements of the National Science Foundation United States Antarctic Program. To prepare for working under the ice, the team practiced advanced drysuit skills and sample-collection techniques at soft sediment dive sites in the Hood Canal and at the OSU Pier of the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
At McMurdo, they are diving in water temperatures of 28° F. They use scuba regulators designed to minimize the potential for freeze-ups, and wear drysuits, multiple layers of thermal undergarments, special multi-layer hoods, and sealed dry gloves.
To keep track of their progress, and to learn more about the OSU Scientific Diving Program: