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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

Curved ice line
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Blue ice with chunks of rock sticking out.
©2000 - Photo by Betty Trummel


22. One of my favorite views that night was of the Airdevronsix (named after a navy unit) Ice Falls. It was an absolutely beautiful sight.



Four scientists gathered around a seal on the ice. Two are holding a tape measure.
©2000 - Photo by Betty Trummel


23. I had the opportunity to join other science teams in the area and learn about their research. One day I visited the biologists at Big Razorback Island and learned about the data being collected on the Weddell Seal population.

Once the seals slide onto the ice, scientists can measure them, take blood samples, and attach radio transmitters to track them as they move on the ice and in the water.



Two scientists, one of which is sitting on the back of a very large seal holding a bag over the seal's head. The other is kneeling by the tail taking blood samples.
©2000 - Photo by Betty Trummel


24. They also tagged the seals with a color and number coded tag to identify each individual seal. To do this, scientists put a plastic "hood" over the seal's head to calm it. There was an opening on the end so that the seal could breathe and this was much safer than tranquilizing the seal. Once the animal calmed down, which happened pretty quickly, one person stayed on top and the other moved to the flippers to apply the tags (kind of like getting a pierced earring or two!).


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