News from the Columbia Climate School

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The Work Before the Science

Not Yet Ready to Sail
Not Yet Ready to Sail

When I agreed to go on a research cruise to Antarctica, I imagined flying into the charming port town of Punta Arenas, Chile, and boarding the well-equipped research vessel, the Nathanial B. Palmer. It turns out that the town is delightful and the ship impressive, but you don’t just stroll on to a research ship without days of preparation.

Scientists are required to have special skills – mine includes measuring ocean velocity – but we also need practical abilities. I spent most of yesterday in a warehouse, cutting lengths of PVC piping. I’ve also been searching the warehouse for boxes shipped here months ago, trying to find warm, comfortable work clothes.

Hunting for Warm Clothes
Hunting for Warm Clothes

We’ll spend five days in port. We’re not doing any science, but this unappreciated work behind the scenes is what allows our science to happen. You can follow the progress of the cruise on this blog and on my education blog, http://mstsea.blogspot.com/. You can also follow me on Twitter @Ms_T_at_Sea.

Ferdinand Magellan: first European explorer to sail around the tip of South America, through what's now called the Strait of Magellan.
Monument of Ferdinand Magellan, the first European explorer to sail around the tip of South America, through what's now called the Strait of Magellan.
Science for the Planet: In these short video explainers, discover how scientists and scholars across the Columbia Climate School are working to understand the effects of climate change and help solve the crisis.
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