Image courtesy Julia Dooley.

From: Julia Dooley
Mackay Glacier, Antarctica, November 2, 2007

Life in an Antarctic Field Camp

Organizing a science camp for a field party of twelve people to conduct research for six weeks in Antarctica seems like an insurmountable task. And yet, here we are. It took much planning and hard work to get us here, but we've been enjoying our home away from home. We're camped out in an area known as Granite Harbor. As you can see in the photo of our camp, granite formations provide a lovely background to the flat sea ice plane.

Our camp consists of a kitchen tent and a science tent, both of which are heated, six Scott tents that sleep two people, and a potty tent. The kitchen is very cozy and Joan the camp cook keeps us well fed. We look forward to meals at the end of a long day of hard work in the cold climate. Last night we had burritos and the night before that was Pad Thai. We even barbequed steaks one night, making sure we disposed of the coals correctly.

The Scott tents are really quite comfortable for sleeping. I'm told they hold up really well in harsh storms, but I hope the good weather holds so I don't have to find that out for myself. Luckily, we have cots under our sleeping bags that keep us off the cold ice. Now that the sun dips behind the surrounding hillsides for just a short time each night, it's been much warmer for sleeping. And of course, the view from my "front porch" is unbeatable!

We'll be here in Granite Harbor for a few more weeks while we complete the seismic survey of the area in search of Holocene sediment records coming from the Mackay Glacier. You can follow the rest of my adventure through my blog at

Postcards from the Field: ANDRILL

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