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Oldest Ice Expedition

The team setting up their tent at the U.S. McMurdo Research Station. As a precaution, they are inspecting the tent for holes before leaving for the cold and icy terrain of Antarctica.


November, 2015
U.S. McMurdo Research Station, Antarctica

An expedition, led by Prof. John Higgins, left for Antarctica on November 5, 2015. The team of five scientists, three from the Princeton Department of Geosciences, have a goal to collect the oldest ice ever recorded on Earth. Other members of the Princeton team are current Graduate Student Yuzhen Yan and Research Specialist Preston Kemeny who graduated from the undergraduate program last June.  After the research samples are determined, the team will then age the ice using novel methods and measure its greenhouse gas concentrations, hoping to extend the record of previous climate change. This work is critical for helping climate scientists predict how man-made gas release may alter change in the future. After leaving McMurdo Station, they will camp on the ice at Allan Hill, Antarctica, for 6-7 weeks.

11/05 - 11/07 Fly to Christchurch, New Zealand
11/07 - 11/11 Gear distribution in Christchurch, initial training
11/11 - 11/12 Fly to McMurdo base, Antarctica
11/12 - 11/19 Survival training in Antarctica
11/19 - 01/14 In the field at Allan Hills collecting ice
01/16 - 01/21 Breaking down gear at McMurdo, preparing for departure
01/22 Return home