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24 September 2021

#AntarcticLog: Edible (kind of) spiders

If you were going to make an Antarctic cake, what would you put on it? Rose McAdoo — steward at McMurdo station, polar explorer, and baker extraordinaire — has baked cakes to display scientists’ data, taught prison inmates to decorate cakes, and created this one, complete with sea spider. 

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17 September 2021

#AntarcticLog: The importance of stories

By now I shouldn’t be surprised — just grateful — at the way certain stories have broad appeal.  I’m beginning to learn to trust myself — that stories and images that appeal to me will affect others too. Maybe not the same way as they affect me, but in the way of individual people wherever they are. For example, this one, featuring Mother Earth. 

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10 September 2021

#AntarcticLog: Caring for one ocean

The idea of the seven seas is a romantic notion; every ocean on Earth is one ocean. What happens in one part of the ocean system — say the melting of glacial ice into the Southern Ocean — impacts the rest. Likewise, the global warming causing glaciers to melt comes from an excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that makes the ocean warmer — and more acidic. 

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8 September 2021

Blogging for Science Unsealed

For six years, I participated in one of the most impactful science communication endeavors I’ll ever embark on: I ran Science Unsealed, the blog from the Illinois Science Council. The ISC aims to give folks an opportunity to explore their scientific curiosity, and the blog was my opportunity to further their mission. Besides educating the public, running Science Unsealed did something extra for me: it helped me discover my passion for science writing.

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3 September 2021

#AntarcticLog: Melting glaciers

The most vulnerable part of the Antarctic Ice is the Thwaites Glacier, part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Could it melt? Yes — and it’s likely that it has, under different conditions many years in the past.

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25 August 2021

#AGURocks: BumbleBee Blues

The natural world abounds with beauty and science reveals deeper patterns that provoke new questions. Science is not only a wellspring of inspiration for musicians but the tools and data of the scientific process can be used to create music as well. For example, I have used mathematical algorithms that mimic the behavior of flocking birds, predator/prey cycles and the human cardiovascular system to create some of my music compositions.

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24 August 2021

#AntarcticLog: Science Education

Unlike many people in the sciences, I didn’t have much formal education myself. Much of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned on my feet, by wandering around behind scientists, watching and asking questions. All the more reason that the moment I first walked into the science classroom at my middle school looms large in my mind. 

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13 August 2021

#AntarcticLog: Climate hope via Greta Thunberg

The International Panel on Climate Change released a report this week full of a big dollop of reality — the impact human life has had on global temperature — and a dose of hope — the potential to stem change if we act quickly.  I thought about what I could say about this through #AntarcticLog, skimmed through my nearly 200 comics, and stopped cold at the ones about Greta Thunberg.

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6 August 2021

#AntarcticLog: Warm in Any Weather 

T-shirt weather in the northern hemisphere makes me think about measures taken to endure the extreme environments at the poles. When it comes to staying warm in high winds and low temperatures, #AntarcticLog has it covered. 

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4 August 2021

#AGURocks: Soon May the Kennicott Thin

We arrived in the small town of McCarthy, Alaska in early June 2021 to quantify the retreat of the Kennicott Glacier just up the valley. As part of a project under direction of Dr. Regine Hock, formerly at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and now at the University of Oslo, we measured glacial melt and installed weather stations on debris-covered ice, bare ice, and high up in the mountains.

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