Dutch science team returns to Rothera Research Station

30 Nov 2016
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In the past couple of weeks, the Dutch science team has returned to Rothera Research Station in the Antarctic for another summer field campaign. Jacqueline Stefels from the University of Groningen was the first team member to arrive on station and joined our wintering assistant Emily Davey for sea ice sampling earlier in November.

I arrived on station in mid November together with most of the other Dutch team members, including the postdoctoral researcher Alison Webb, the Master students Gerrit van der Goot and David Amptmeijer from the University of Groningen and the PhD student Artem Krasnobaev from Wageningen University. Traveling to the Antarctic takes about three days and includes commercial flights from Amsterdam to Madrid to Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas and a Dash 7 flight from Punta Arenas to Rothera Research Station operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

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Small clouds and pancake ice seen from the dash-7 on the way to rothera research station

In midair, BAS allows you to walk around the aircraft, make a cup of tea, have a look in the cockpit and talk to the pilots, which all feels very welcoming on your way to Rothera Research Station. The views from the Dash 7 are spectacular and we were lucky to have clear skies to enjoy the first sight of the Antarctic Peninsula with lots of snowy mountains and sea ice. We also got to see Rothera Research Station surrounded by sea ice, which is an amazing and unique sight for summer visitors.

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Rothera research station surrounded by sea ice

As always we received a warm welcome from BAS upon arrival at Rothera Research Station and we have now more or less settled in after formal training and setting up our things in the Dirck Gerritsz lab.
While Jacqueline, Alison and Emily are sampling the sea ice, the other Dutch team members are sitting tight to go out sampling on the boats when the sea ice clears out. The sea ice does promise an interesting summer season and we would be happy to share our science and other stories with you in the upcoming months. Also feel free to check out my weekly updates on facebook and Alison Webb’s weblog.

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