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UAB in Antarctica
Jim McClintockMission Co-Investigator
UAB Polar and Marine Biology Endowed Professor

It is so cold where UAB marine biologist James McClintock, Ph.D. at McMurdo Station on the Ross Sea chose to begin his polar research career that he and his team had to drill and blast their way through 8 feet of solid ice just to get to the water where they did their research. With his move 19 years ago to Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, drilling through sea ice is no longer necessary for his colleagues to gain access to the sea floor. For McClintock, the icy realm of Antarctica remains a passion, as is his teaching UAB students, and the general public about the dramatic ecological effects of climate change on the marine life of the Antarctic Peninsula.

In fact, McClintock became a teacher because, “I love getting students interested in science.” He also loves Antarctica, which he once described as being “like visiting another planet… a fabulous, wild frontier where an incredible number of exciting discoveries are just waiting to be made.”

McClintock, 67, will be working from UAB during this National Science Foundation-funded expedition to Palmer Station that continues studies on the potential impacts of ocean acidification on the richly diverse flora and fauna of of Antarctica's marine subtidal communities.

McClintock’s work in Antarctica in previous years earned him a distinction that few living people in the world have: a spot on coast of Antarctica named McClintock Point in his honor by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. McClintock Point is at the end of a three-mile stretch of land known as Explorers Cove, where he has conducted past research. McClintock’s work has been featured in numerous articles in publications, including American Scientist, the Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian Magazine, Nature, and the Wall Street Journal. His popular books Lost Antarctica – Adventures in a Disappearing Land (2012) and A Naturalist Goes Fishing – Casting in Fragile Waters from the Gulf of Mexico to New Zealand’s South Island (2015) are written for a broad general audience and have garnered national acclaim and excellent reviews by the likes of Bill Gates, E.O. Wilson, and Sylvia Earle. Interested readers can learn about the books and where to purchase them by visiting: www.lostantarctica.com and www.us.macmillan.com/anaturalistgoesfishing/jamesmcclintock/978

McClintock’s passion for nature is reflected in his marine research, which is intellectually challenging and physically demanding. He keeps in shape and indulges his love of the outdoors with several activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing, photography and mountain biking.