The Antarctic brown alga Cystosphaera jacquinotii
I gave the weekly science talk on Tuesday night, giving the staff and other scientists on station background about what everyone on our project is doing and why. In my introduction I used one of my favorite but always true set of lines: “Don’t let anyone tell you that there are no forests in Antarctica. There are! They are forests of macroalgae (seaweeds) beneath the sea right outside our station.”


If you are out at remote field station and you need something specific or something breaks, you are either lucky and have spare parts around or you need to be inventive and build it yourself.

MCurtis 2018.04 Palmer resized
Antarctica seems like such an exotic place. But just how different is daily life at a remote field station from life back at home?

Without revealing my age, I confess that my first expedition to a polar region of the planet (the sub-Antarctic island of Kerguelen in the Southern Indian Ocean) provided a glimpse of truly historic ‘comms’ (communications). Here in 1982, at the Port-aux-Français research station, communicating with family and friends was accomplished by sending a telegram.


Taking organic chemistry as an undergraduate almost finished my career in biology before it ever started. So, it’s ironic that I am now part of a project that involves both biology and chemistry. Fortunately, I have discovered that the “hands-on” chemistry in this project is remarkably like doing your laundry!


Palmer Station Webcam