Students of the southern latitudes

Our days have been full. Our daily schedule includes two landings on the Peninsula and several classes on different topics. Following a quick breakfast we don our wet weather gear and load zodiacs which take us to sites on the Peninsula.  After a few hours of exploring penguin, seal and seabird colonies we return to the zodiacs and cruise around protected bays looking for whales, seals, jellyfish and other marine life in the open water. We return to the ship and attend lectures on a range of topics related to Antarctica and the southern latitudes. Our MSU student group meets at least once in the evening to discuss scientific papers on the ecology, geopolitics and climate of the Peninsula and southern latitudes. We’ve discussed how changing atmospheric circulation, temperatures and the ozone hole are affecting marine life and sea-ice extent, the history of exploration in Antarctica, and territorial claims in Antarctica, among other topics. Mixing daily excursions with classroom discussions is a great way to learn about this place.

One day as we were about to land an enormous ice-berg the size of a three story building began to wobble and then suddenly flipped, setting off a sizable set of waves our way. A very impressive event to watch from so close.

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