Thursday, January 17, 2013


Short highlight movie of our research cruise to Alaska!

Nat Geo Post

Still in Alaska, headed home tomorrow after a weekend in Boston with Brandon (it's his birthday, so we're hitting the museum's for the weekend!). All has been going well here, packing samples and equipment and analyzing data. This week has been amazingly productive - AND we even managed to get a day of skiing in too!

Here's the link to a National Geographic blog post about the expedition -

And some photos of x-country skiing to the Herbert Glacier - a 14 miles ski - not bad for my second time ever on x-country skis!

Bob and Julia take the lead, while I firmly hold position at the rear! It's fun, but hard work, especially "back country' style with no track to guide you. And there was A LOT of snow on the ground! 

When we reached the glacier, we stopped for lunch - bagels, alaskan smoked salmon, tea and chocolate - a fantastic lunch! 

We also decided to build a snowman....:)

The return was hard on the ankles (well, falling over every bend is hard on the ankles), apparently 14 miles might be a little much as a first go! Icing my foot in the snow, while enjoying an Alaskan brew.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Alaska Research Cruise

Tracy Arm Fjord - where we've been monitoring a coral site for two years. This was the last funded cruise, so a little sad about that. 

Our sample site. 4000ft up, and 1000ft down. There be corals there! 

Julia driving the dive skiff. 

Our 'larger' research vessel. Luckily only 3 of us and two crew. 

Sailing into Tracy Arm Fjord. Just beautiful! 
See my fins?
Taking a break by the wall. There's 1000ft of water below me! 

Tracy Arm Fjord. 

Bob and I, the only two divers, getting ready to go! We did 14 dives in 5 days - not bad and slightly exhausting! Water temp was just above freezing, at 36F. 

The scale of the mountain is out of this world! 

A 7.5 earthquake came through while we were in the field. Being on water, we didn't feel it, but the glacier did, and sent down lots of ice that morning. 

Looking out over our sample site. 

The ice edge - just a few miles up from where we were working. 

My student Julia and myself. 

Serious science!

This large glacier floated into our sample site one day.  
So we decided to board it! 

And then throw snowballs at the skiff. 

Beautiful crisp alaskan day! 

There are divers in this photo! 

Sunset on the way out of Tracy Arm. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Back from the field!

....and we had a GREAT time! The diving went well, we kicked ass and got twice as much done, despite being a diver short, so it was only Bob and myself. We had an earthquake come through - which we didn't feel, but the glacier did, so we woke up to ice and icebergs covering our sample site one morning. We got great samples, and not so much sleep, so this is a quick check in and i'll be back with more photos in the next few days!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

National Geographic Blog about the Alaska work!

In Alaska - heading out tomorrow!

Sunset over the Gastineaux Channel in Juneau. Crisp, clean air. 

Juneau from the NOAA dock. 

Blue skys, snow, ice. Perfect conditions for diving! 

The Mendenhall glacier. 

Today has been loading the boat, so we're all ready to go tomorrow. Once we're out we'll have no internet or phone, so no updates until we return after the 10th. So far so good. On the back deck there is a tent. That is the lab we'll be working in. I sure hope they have some good heaters!