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Betsy will be working in remote field camps while she is in Antarctica. This means that communications will be intermittant and Betsy may not be able to respond to emails right away.

I never expected to be going to Antarctica. But upon reflection, it seems as if my life has had many adventures lurking just out of view, just around the bend. Adventures that have taken me new places and challenged me in new dimensions. So,when this opportunity to study science and work in the Polar Regions presented itself, I jumped at the chance.

From an early age, family influences led me to my dual interests in nature and the out-of-doors. Weekends were spent roaming the woods and fields of Northeastern Ohio in search of adventure along with my two siblings. This freedom forged in me a sense of independence and a love of nature. Following high school I chose to expand my horizons and pursue a degree in environmental science and government at Bowdoin College on the coast of Maine. My goal was to pursue a career working for protection and preservation of the environment. It wasn't until several months and environmental jobs later that I realized that I could make a bigger difference for the environment by becoming a teacher. So I took this bend in the road, became a science teacher, and have had no regrets.

Teaching allows me to share my loves of nature and adventure. Although this trip will take me away from the classroom for several months, I plan to stay in touch with my students at Phoenix Country Day School through this website. Additionally, I have created a suite of lessons for my students that will enable them to understand the science that is being conducted by the ITASE team. I am hopeful that the excitement of this adventure will inspire them to become scientists and explorers.

While in Antarctica I will continue my work as a research technician for the University of Arizona. I began working with this team last summer through the TEA (Teacher's experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic) program. This season I will be working again with Markus Frey, of the University of Arizona. My responsibilities will include daily sampling of the snow for chemical analysis and the launching of a weather balloon to sample ozone and to gather other meteorological data. When not off exploring the world in search of adventure, I can be found at home in Phoenix, Arizona with my husband, Bob, also a scientist, our two Labrador retrievers, Spago and Ellwood (and our Siamese cat, Saises). Together, we like to travel to cooler climates to mountain bike, kayak and just hangout in our VW bus. As always, I look forward to the challenges that await me in Antarctica and beyond.

In 2000, Betsy parcticipated as a research team member at Summit, Greenland. Read about her Arctic research experience!

Biogeochemical cycling in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
P.I. Dr Roger Bales, University of Arizona

This winter, while on the ITASE traverse in west Antarctica, I will be assisting Markus Frey of the University of Arizona. Together we will be sampling the snow and atmosphere to test and validate air-snow transfer models and to investigate the timing and amount of formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide deposited on the West Antarctic ice sheet. This information is critical for the interpretation of ice core records taken in previous summers and now being analyzed by the team in their labs in Tucson. The University of Arizona team is one of several teams working in Greenland and Antarctica to better understand the history of our climate that is trapped and recorded in the ice cores. This team is also working to increase their understanding of the photochemistry of the lower atmosphere over snow covered regions. More information about the science can be found here - http://www.secretsoftheice.org/scientific/chemistry/html

The University of Arizona team has been working at several sites in Antarctica and Greenland for a number of years collecting atmospheric data, snow samples and ice cores. Several of the teams' experiments run year round at these stations. For example, several members of the research team were in place in Greenland in late February to take measurements at polar sunrise when the sun returned to the ice sheet for the first time this year.

My work while with the ITASE team this November and December will include assisting with the collection of the snow samples and data processing. The snow is sampled in small cores drilled up to 2 meters down in the snow. It is then melted and analyzed for its chemical composition. I also will be sampling mini- pits (~10 cm) twice a day. These samples will be carried along on the traverse frozen until we return to the labs at McMurdo Station. Additionally, I will also be responsible for sending up a small weather balloon to take atmospheric data in the first one thousand meters of the atmosphere. I anticipate being very busy with measurements this winter!

I have left my students at Phoenix Country Day School with lessons that will allow them to better understand the science that we will be working on while in the field. To view these lessons and background information, look here. http://www.pcds.org/arctic

United States International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition

Secrets of the Ice: an Antarctic Expedition
US ITASE web page hosted by the Boston Museum of Science.

Betsy will be working at remote locations while in Antarctica and may not be able to post a journal everyday. Please keep checking for updates from the field!

8 January, 2003:


7 January, 2003:

Press Conference

6 January, 2003:

Return to Springtime

5 January, 2003:

Wrapping things up at South Pole

4 January, 2003:

Sastrugi Fields forever

3 January, 2003:

Arrivals and Departures

2 January, 2003:

1st full day at the South Pole

1 January, 2003:

The Pole at last.

31 December, 2002:

Happy New Year

30 December, 2002:

It sure looks like a Circus around here.

29 December, 2002:

Firn Permeability

28 December, 2002:

Hello Site 5

27 December, 2002:

On the road again

26 December, 2002:

Boxing Day

25 December, 2002:

Christmas Day

24 December, 2002:

Christmas Eve at Site 4

23 December, 2002:

Still Chugging Along

22 December, 2002:

Fog delay

21 December, 2002:

A busy day at Site 3

20 December, 2002:

Mass Balance

19 December, 2002:

Arrived at Site 3

18 December, 2002:

Hurry Up Site 3!

17 December, 2002:

The International Trans Antarctic Scientific Expedition at Site 2
16 December, 2002:

Wilco Wilco

15 December, 2002:

Snow Day

14 December, 2002:


13 December, 2002:

Hello Site 2p

12 December, 2002:

Goodbye Site1

11 December, 2002:

Drilling Extravaganza

10 December, 2002:

Where did the sun go?

9 December, 2002:

Site 1

8 December, 2002:

Making Progress

7 December, 2002:

Underway Again

6 December, 2002:

Final Preparations, Take 2

4 December, 2002:

Quintessential Antarctic Day

3 December, 2002:

Composite of science today

2 December, 2002:

Itís the food that keeps us going.††

30 November, 2002:

Notes on daily life by Dan

29 November, 2002:

Notes on daily life by Gordon

28 November, 2002:

Notes on Daily Life

27 November, 2002:

Latitude: 80 21 92

26 November, 2002:

Stormy Days

25 November, 2002:

Title: Early Trials

24 November, 2002:

On our way at last!

23 November, 2002:

Diamond dust and Lynn's Birthday

22 November, 2002:

Life at Byrd Surface Camp

21 November, 2002:

Date: 11/21/02

20 November, 2002:

Welcome to Byrd Surface Camp.

19 November, 2002:

The Wind Chill Debate

18 November, 2002:

Bag Drag

17 November, 2002:

Another glorious Sunday in Antarctica.

16 November, 2002:

Antarctica from many perspectives.

15 November, 2002:

Field trip back in time

14 November, 2002:

Planning our Route

13 November, 2002:

Snowcraft 2 ? Crevasse and Glacier school

12 November, 2002:

Packing for the field.

11 November, 2002:

The Team is all here

10 November, 2002:

Weather Balloon

9 November, 2002:

Checking out the vehicles around Mac Town

8 November, 2002:

Finding our way around McMurdo Station.

7 November, 2002:

Sorting through the core boxes

6 November, 2002:

Not so happy a camper

5 November, 2002:

Can you really sleep in a snow cave? And other cool snow school stories.

4 November, 2002:

One last equipment check

2 November, 2002:

Tonight we are in McMurdo.

1 November, 2002:


31 October, 2002:

Antarctic Fashions

30 October, 2002:

First leg of the journey; USA to NZ

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