Friday, January 5, 2007

Reasons for Bloggin

I have been visiting my friend Steve Bodio on a daily basis at his blog and have enjoyed getting to find out what he is up to. I have also "met" a number of interesting people through his blog. When I was contemplating how to keep my friends and family updated with my upcoming travels to the Antarctic Peninsula, I figured that this would be great way to do that. Hopefully I will be able to get decent internet access while I am in Chile and I plan on keeping a daily written log while on board the ship to post here when I get back. I also plan on regularly posting photos that I have taken during my travels and blogging about other happenings in Eastern Montana.

So why am I going to "The Ice"?
My southern life began through mutual graduate school (University of Wyoming) friends that had been working in Antarctica. They worked for the company that supports the science work in Antarctica and a scientist working on seabirds at Palmer Station. Through them I met a number of OAE's (Old Antarctic Explorer a.k.a anyone that has spent a few seasons on the ice) including my wife! I initially began my Antarctic career as a General Assistant helping to upgrade Palmer Station and shoveling a fair amount of snow. Within a year I began a Ph.D. program at Montana State University studying Adelie Penguins at Palmer Station. I spent two 5 month field seasons at Palmer and then another on King George Island at a small field camp. Although the Ph.D. wound up not happening due to a variety of reasons, I became enamored with the the place.

One of my contacts through this adventure was Ron Naveen, founder of Oceanites, the only non-profit group doing on the ground conservation work in Antarctica. My wife Laura and I were fortunate enough to begin working for Ron in 2001 when we were able to return to Antarctica together and complete inventories during a cruise with Lindblad Expeditions. Ron has a good working relation with Lindblad and they provide berthing for the Oceanites crews for each Antarctic Cruise and we in turn are able to provide Lindblad guests with a unique Antarctic experience. I have been returning to Antarctica almost annually with Oceanites since then. In addition, this will be my 3rd trip where I will be the Expedition Leader for a Lindblad pre-Antarctic tour to Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile. I leave in a week.

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