6 December, 1998
Sunday, December 6th, 1998
Hi! Today was the open house for the Cape Roberts Project. I was busy this morning getting ready. I had taken black and white photos of scientists at work and I hung those on the wall in our main corridor. Since these were 5 x 7 enlargements, people could get a good look at our teams in action. I also had to move a computer on a cart to the hallway near the photographs. This was my "station" during the open house. I was there to provide information on the "Teachers Experiencing Antarctica" program and my role here with the Cape Roberts Project.
The open house was scheduled to take place from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM, but we never got finished until more like 4:45 PM. There was a constant stream of visitors for the entire time. People were organized into small groups of about a dozen or so, and they were taken through the various stations by a "minder" (which I have determined is the New Zealand expression for a tour guide). All together, there were 7 major stations, but some of those had many components to them.
Visitors began their tour at the entrance to Crary Lab, with Todd Symon, one of the drillers from out at the camp/drill site. He explained the drilling process and showed some of the pieces of equipment used in drilling for core under the sea floor. He talked about the movement of the sea ice, the diamond drill bits, the process of linking the pieces of the drill pipe together, drilling "mud" and fluid, the floats under the sea riser, and many other topics. It was important to have someone present information about the drill site, to give visitors the background information to understand the process of obtaining the core that we worked on here in Crary Lab. There was also a tv hooked up to a video that showed the bottom of the sea floor-taken with the camera I talked about after my visit to Cape Roberts. The cameras were used to monitor the place on the sea floor where the drill entered the floor of the ocean. They were also used to monitor the floats used to buoy up the sea riser.
The next stop was Tim Naish, who gave out seismic survey information. This information is used to locate where to put the drill hole. It was used for CRP1 (last year's hole) and CRP2 (this year). However, when they drilled the hole this year, they went much farther down than last year. When they drilled this year's hole, the results were completely different than what the seismic survey had indicated. Scientists took a look at the stratigraphy of the drill hole and they will use this information to calibrate the seismic data, so that next year they can do a better job when they start to drill CRP3.
Jason Brink and the other downhole loggers represented station #3. This part of CRP is involved with the geophysics and uses sophisticated equipment to measure the physical properties of the rocks in the drill hole. The downhole loggers lower their instruments into the drillhole and measure the magnetic susceptibility, density, and velocity of the rocks inside the side walls of the bore hole. Instead of pulling the rocks out to examine them (as we do with the core), they measure the rocks still in place in the bore hole. The loggers take their data and compare it with the stratigraphy of the core. They look for changes in the physical characteristics of the rock which might relate to how the rocks were deposited. These scientists look for cycles or patterns in the sediments.
Station #4 was my display and demonstration of the "Glacier" web site. I showed people how to access the web site, told them about the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica program, showed them examples of my journals and digital photographs, and answered their questions. I was surprised at the response and there were many positive comments about the TEA program, and parcticipation of teachers in the science projects taking place in Antarctica.
Some of the groups were able to visit the paleomag lab and learn a little bit about the magnetostratigraphy of the core and the samples we took. Gary and Leo demonstrated the spinner magnetometer, showed visitors some of our cylindrical samples, and explained how this information fits into the Cape Roberts Project. The paleomag team had also displayed some of our data on the wall, and this was interpreted for visitors.
The micropaleontology teams set up a huge display, arranged in the open meeting space down the hall. Microscopes were set up on tables, and examples of microfossils were explained to visitors as they checked out the various microscopes. Franco was also available with a display on petrology-the mineral content of the rocks.
Finally, in the core sampling lab, 6 boxes of core were on display. Jaap talked about the procedure of sampling the core and explained the role of the curators. Marco had a display on macropaleontology (macro fossils---those we can see). John discussed the volcanic ash and its history, while Cliff showed his clasts (pebbles) in full round sections of core. Overall, there was TONS of stuff to look at and learn about. We had a good turn out for this open house and I know everyone on CRP was exhausted when it was finally over!
I spent the rest of the day catching up on e-mail responses, and working on journals. For once I got back to the dorm at a more reasonable hour….11:30 PM. That's an early night for me…still seems strange to go out that late and have it be completely light out. I thought of the CRP people out on tonight's Dry Valleys field trip and what a great time they must be having. I was remembering our trip last week…trying to figure out where we were at 11:30 PM that night. It was another good night for flying! Talk to you tomorrow.
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