postcards from the field Antarctica

What's it Like in Antarctica?

From December 2006 and January 2007, the Penguin Science research team, lead by Dr. David Ainley, was in Antarctica researching how Adelie Penguins are coping with climate change, as well as making a documentary film about the research. Educator Jean Pennycook sent virtual postcards to Windows to the Universe describing her experience with the science and Antarctica. Take a look below for her first-hand reports of what it is like to be with the Adelie Penguins in Antarctica during this season when the chicks hatch and grow.

Where Are the Penguin Colonies? from Jean Pennycook, November 29, 2006
Time to Raise the Chicks from Jean Pennycook, December 3, 2006
View from our Home from Jean Pennycook, December 9, 2006
Ice and Fire from Jean Pennycook, December 10, 2006
Proud Parents from Jean Pennycook, December 12, 2006
A Family of Penguins from Jean Pennycook, December 18, 2006
How Do We Study the Penguins? from Jean Pennycook, December 19, 2006
One Week After the First Chick Hatched from Jean Pennycook, December 20, 2006
Skua Attack from Jean Pennycook, December 22, 2006
Two Weeks Old from Jean Pennycook, December 24, 2006
Discovering What Penguins Eat from Jean Pennycook, December 26, 2006
The Penguins Are Three Weeks Old from Jean Pennycook, December 29, 2006
Sea Ice Is Breaking Up from Jean Pennycook, December 31, 2006
Open Water at Last from Jean Pennycook, January 5, 2007
The Crèche is On from Jean Pennycook, January 7, 2007
Fluffly is Cute, But it Doesn't Work in the Wind from Jean Pennycook, January 9, 2007
The Penguin Chicks Are Four Weeks Old from Jean Pennycook, January 10, 2007
Faster than Walking from Jean Pennycook, January 12, 2007
Sea of Chicks from Jean Pennycook, January 14, 2007
Antarctic Peninsula from Jean Pennycook, January 16, 2007
A Lost Nest from Jean Pennycook, January 18, 2007
...Only a Mother Can Love from Jean Pennycook, January 19, 2007
Chicks Weigh In from Jean Pennycook, January 23, 2007
Banding of the Chicks from Jean Pennycook, January 28, 2007
Glacier Retreat on Beaufort Island from Jean Pennycook, January 30, 2007
Testing the Water from Jean Pennycook, February 6, 2007
Goodbye from Antarctica from Jean Pennycook, February 8, 2007

Last modified June 18, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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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

Jean Pennycook

Jean has been a science teacher for 20 years. In that time she has served to promote science education and excellence at all levels encouraging students to continue a higher education and pursue science...more

Penguin Colonies

This is Ross Island, a volcanic island embedded in the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Adelie penguins are found all around Antarctica, but we will be filming the documentary at the breeding colonies shown...more

Time to Raise the Chicks

We are at Cape Royds, Ross Island, Antarctica, a penguin breeding colony of several thousand Adelie penguins. This female is 8 years old and has been a successful breeder in the past. She was first seen...more

View from our home

This is a view of the Adelie penguin breeding colony at Cape Royds in Antarctica. In the foreground you see Shackleton’s hut. Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of explorers tried and failed to cross the...more

Ice, Fire, and Penguins

Cape Royds penguin breeding colony is in the shadow of Mt Erebus, one of three volcanoes on Ross Island and the only active one. Antarctica Explorer James Clark Ross named two of the volcanoes after his...more

Proud Parents

At long last the moment we have been waiting for, the first Adelie chick of the season. We have been scanning nest sites for broken egg shells, evidence that a chick has hatched. On Dec 12, 2006 we sighted...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