Image courtesy of Joanna Hubbard.

From: Joanna Hubbard
Christchurch, New Zealand, October 9, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane!

Before boarding our C-17 National Guard plane to McMurdo today, not only our luggage needed to be weighed but WE had to step on the scale with all of our gear and carry on! Here is Kate standing on the scale with her gear. I had every pocket of Big Red stuffed full of heavy things so that my carry on bag would meet its size requirements. All of my computers, cameras, and tech gear was with me so I weighed in at 210lbs! I'm sure it was all due to the huge boots. :)

The check in process was very similar to boarding a regular flight anywhere in the world. Our passports and tickets were checked, we were issued a boarding pass (a plastic card hung around our neck on a chain), our luggage was weighed and taken, we waited in a waiting room, then went through a security station (no liquids or food allowed) with bags being x-rayed and anyone who set off the arch being wanded. The big difference was that everyone was using orange Clothing Distribution Center bags for carryon, lugging big red parkas and wearing the other required cold weather gear like bunny boots and bib overalls. After we passed through the security check point we could grab our choice of boxed snacks, fruit and water before boarding a bus that took us to our plane. The C-17s that move cargo and people between Christchurch and Antarctica are operated by a National Guard unit out of Washington state. Next stop, McMurdo Station!

Postcards from the Field: ANDRILL

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

ARISE Team Enjoys Spring Colors and Fragrances in NZ

After arriving in New Zealand the ARISE team realized that we will not see or smell flowers for a very long time. When I was in Antarctica in 2002 it was amazing how devoid of senses we were - there were...more


Antarctica is unique. It is the coldest, windiest, and driest continent on Earth. The land is barren and mostly covered with a thick sheet of ice. Antarctica is almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle...more

The Antarctic Region

What Will You Find There? South of the Antarctic Circle (at 66.5S latitude) you will find the continent of Antarctica surrounded by the Southern Ocean, the geographic South Pole and the magnetic South...more

Joanna Hubbard

This is my 10th year with the Anchorage School District as a science teacher, currently working with K-12 teachers around the district rather than in a classroom. My most recent classroom time was as a...more

Robin Frisch-Gleason

Robin Frisch-Gleason brings a background in both geology and teaching to the ANDRILL Project. Robin's first career was geology. She received her B.A. in Geology from Oberlin College in 1982, and her M.S....more

Robert (Bob) Williams

I'm a New Zealand teacher. I teach geography to high school students before some of them go on to university. We try to teach as much geology and earth science as we can, and we go on lots of field trips....more

En Route to Antarctica - First Stop New Zealand

Hello Everyone! We are not in Antarctica yet - but we are getting closer! We are now in Christchurch, New Zealand. We still have to get all our Extreme Cold Weather Gear from the Clothing Distribution...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA