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12 December, 2000


Today I spent a lot of time finishing my presentation for the residents at Palmer Station. Every Wednesday night is science lecture night. I was invited to present last week by the Lab Manager, Rob Edwards. I talked about the school I teach at, Montwood High School in El Paso, Texas. I am a Synergy teacher. The Synergy program is a unique interdisciplinary program that teaches the four core courses, English, math, science and history along with technology in a problem based format.

I then talked about the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica program and what I was doing at Palmer station and what I hoped to take back to my students in El Paso. I then put together a short video of some of the projects I have been working on. I enjoyed putting it together and everyone seemed to enjoy my presentation. I did run a couple of chlorophylls, take ice pictures at noon and was able to gather some sunphotometer data at the same time. It was partly cloudy most of the day. So after lunch there were some pesky clouds that kept interfering with me gathering data.

Tomorrow it is back to station E and B to gather data, filter water and take ice pictures. I'm not sure if I mentioned or not, but almost every day I take a picture of the cloud cover using a fisheye lens and then take a series of pictures of the water surrounding the station. Then I record the local weather information and input the data into a spreadsheet. The data then gets sent to a wonderful researcher in Santa Barbara, Sharon Stammerjohn. Her job put simply is to examine sea ice coverage. She gets most of her data from satellites but some very important data comes from observations made from Palmer Station and the Gould during the LTER cruise in January.

Today two leopard seals stopped by for a snack. The two Leopard seals took bites out of two of our zodiacs. Leopard seals have sharp teeth so they had to be repaired leaving us short two boats today. Hopefully they will be repaired by tomorrow, because the seals might be back for a bite.

I have received the following mail from a concerned parent.

Mr. Swanson,

This is Stephanie's mother, I have been reading all about your adventures at Palmer. It has been very interesting to see everything up there and to read what you are doing. Well to the point of the matter I don't think you should take a dip into that freezing water. I would say if you are going to dip into anything you should dip into some salsa with chips. Take care and I am looking forward to reading tomorrows journal.

Mrs. Perez

Thank you Mrs. Perez. That is two votes against the jump into the freezing abyss. I'm waiting for more votes. Should I do this wacky jump into the water and report back to you the readers of this journal? Enquiring minds want to know. Personally, I think I should just interview one of the previous jumpers. Why should I jump into the icy waters of Antarctica? Please send in your vote. Time is getting short.

I have to go now. I think I will take Mrs. Perez's suggestion and have some chips and salsa. Talk to you tomorrow.


-- Bill

An amazing amount of ice can blow in to the harbor.

Ray Smith next to the British Twin Otter.

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