Colorado College and Cool Science are teaming up to present “Antarctic Discovery: Research on Ice,” a week-long series of presentations featuring what it is like to work on the southernmost continent. Antarctica is remote, frozen, and inhospitable, with no permanent human inhabitants, yet it is a working laboratory for thousands of scientists.
The series kicked off on Oct. 14 with a presentation titled “South Pole Space Physics” by Scott Palo, associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado, and continues through Saturday, Oct. 20. Other presentations include:
- Between a Rock & a Cold Place: Looking Beneath the Ice Sheet; 7 – 8:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 15, Gaylord Hall. Christine Siddoway, CC geology professor, will discuss the discoveries she has been involved with during years of study in Antarctica. Siddoway led a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula during the 2009-10 winter break for CC alumni and parents.
- Antarctica’s Meteorites: A View to Our Solar System; 7 – 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, Olin 1. Christian Schrader, visiting assistant geology professor, will share the latest findings and importance of the Antarctic Search for Meteorites. The abundance of meteorites found in Antarctica offers an unparalleled look into the make-up of asteroids, planets, and other bodies of the solar system.
- From the Bottom of the Earth Up; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17, Gaylord Hall. Katy Jensen, an Antarctic support contract manager, and CC graduate, will share details of her decade-long South Pole experiences, including what it is like to winter-over at the remote Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.
- Back to the Future with South Pole Telescopes; 7:30 – 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17, Gaylord Hall. Paul Sullivan, Antarctic Support South Pole Science coordinator, will explain work of the large South Pole Telescope and facilitate a 20-minute live video conference with South Pole scientists.
- What Can We Learn from the Cleanest Air on Earth? 7 – 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18, Olin 1. Brian Vasel, Director of Observatories, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will discuss the stratospheric ozone hole, Antarctic ice core records, the importance of long-term observations, and more.
- Under the Ice with a Robot; 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19, Gaylord Hall. Bob Zook, electronic engineer with the Submersible Capable of under Ice Navigation and Imaging (SCINI), will detail the development, deployment, and technical aspects of a specially designed underwater robot that has made it possible for researchers to have images of unidentified species surviving under the 800-foot-thick Ross Ice Shelf.
- Under Antarctic Ice; 7:30 – 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19, Gaylord Hall. On the surface, it’s the bleakest of lands, with ferocious winds, flightless birds, and enough ice to flood half the planet’s population if it were to melt. This film by renowned underwater photographer Norbert Wu goes below that frozen mass, to an environment of indescribable beauty that teems with life.
- U.S. Antarctic Program: Breakthroughs and Contributions; 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, Olin 1. Thousands of scientists from all over the world live and work on ice in Antarctica each year. Dave Bresnahan, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. Antarctic Program, will explain what the program is and how it is working to further contemporary research in Antarctica.
- Blazing Ice: Pioneering the 21st Century’s Road to the South Pole; 7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20, Olin 1. A 1,000-mile transcontinental “haul route” across Antarctica now provides a means of supplying the South Pole with necessary materials. Antarctic veteran John Wright, who led the historic South Pole Traverse project, will discuss the challenges of opening the route, as well as his book on the subject, “Blazing Ice.”
For more information, go to the campus calendar: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/calendar/