Antarctica Bromocarbon Project Weekly Updates – Week Four

This week started out with stormy weather precluding us from going out into the field in the earlier part of the week. We spent time working in the lab on our samples and digging out our snow mobiles from under heaps of snow! Wednesday one of us (Shelly Carpenter, field engineer) redeployed after a nice send-off. On Thursday the weather cleared, and we were able to go to our Western Erebus site for our third major sampling effort. We obtained all planned samples (24 ice cores, water and brine percolate sack hole samples, see attached time lapse clip)- notably without our field engineer who usually does most of the ice coring.  We are still deep into processing and analyzing the sample which will take us several days. As in previous weeks, many hours are spent in the freezer-, cold-, microscopy-, and rad labs to successfully process our samples for bromocarbons, microbial parameters, activity, metagenomics and proteomics.  One of us (Emma) also gave another remote lecture about Antarctic Life in Sea ice to a 100-level STEMS Edmonds Community College class (19 students). Below and attached are some pictures and the video clip from our work this week! 

Image of ice core (left) and sack holes (right) for brine percolate sampling.


Epifluorescence microscopy image from saline snow samples showing a lot of particulate matter (yellow) with tiny microbes (blue) associated (grid used for microbial abundance determinations).