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You are browsing the archive for Antarctic Log Archives - The Plainspoken Scientist.

19 April 2021

#AntarcticLog: A whale of a time

What animal lives on the edge? If you’re like me, whales aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. And yet… this week’s #AntarcticLog examples tell the stories of whales with vastly different experiences when it comes to eating.

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9 April 2021

#AntArcticLog: Narwhals, narwhals, swimming in the ocean (& other whales)…

One thing I never got to do a comic about during the time at Palmer Station were the whales. Whales spouting at a distance…breaching nearby…diving, fluking, flapping…and, in the gray gloom of an early winter morning, taking an audible inhale before disappearing under the surface, ahead of a background of icebergs.  I extended my comic coverage of whales to the Arctic, as well, for the Polar Whale series. 

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6 April 2021

#AntarcticLog: The movement of glaciers

With a rumble, a rush, a splash, a gush, the glacier that forms our dramatic backdrop makes like a cow — and calves — dropping a blockbuster baby of ice into Arthur Harbor. If you’re lucky, you whirl toward it in time to see the ice fall, far enough away that the wave it creates seems to form in slow motion.  Then the roar of the wave reaches your ears across the distance. 

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26 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: How do we see what we can’t see?

More invisible stuff, you cry? What ELSE can comics show that’s tough to see? 

A big part of my Antarctic Artists and Writers program project involved making the invisible visible through visual storytelling — which can mean all kinds of things, but in my case means comics.  

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19 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: What’s the Ecostat?

As promised, I’m back with more of that invisible science.  That’s what the Antarctic Artists and Writers program of the National Science Foundation sent me to Palmer Station to do: take a close look at invisible phytoplankton and create pictures to tell their story. 

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12 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: Antarctic Service Medal

Last week I received a special package in the mail: my Antarctic Service Medal, made for my contribution to U.S. efforts to understand the continent — and the planet. 

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5 March 2021

#AntarcticLog: Sanna’s Reindeer

Sanna Vannar is the president of Sáminuorro, the Swedish Association of Young Saami.  The Saami people span four nations: Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. Sanna’s family have been reindeer herders for generations, which puts them in a unique position to evaluate the reindeer’s response to the changing northern climate.

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26 February 2021

#AntarcticLog: Canaries in the Coal Mine

When it come to climate change and its impact on the animal world, there’s more than one “canary in the coal mine.” To mix a few potent metaphors, the dominoes are falling — and, if it’s true that God is in the details, it’s fair to say that individual animals help tell the story.  As I work to make climate change science accessible and comprehensible through #AntarcticLog, I’ve found myself leaning on keystone species.  The assortment featured here tell separate stories about the effects of global warming, and they add up to a clear picture of what’s happening. 

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19 February 2021

#AntarcticLog: Ivan the Terrabus

Finally, lest you think my life is all blissful polar adventure, let me share a regret: I have not yet ridden in Ivan the Terrabus, the most excellent vehicle that carries people from the airstrip to the home-away-from-home  known as Mactown — McMurdo Station.  

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12 February 2021

#AntarcticLog: Antarctic Classics 

Who’s reading #AntarcticLog comics?  Lots of different people actually. At first I thought it was just my friends and family, but as I began to cover the work of particular scientists, it caught the attention of the science community, as well.  Science communicators paid attention, and — sure enough — Antarctica worked its magic on the general population, especially teachers and their students.    

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