Around the World

September 1, 2010

Back from Moorea, and now the data

See Video We’re back in the Big Apple. Sadly, we left Moorea the day before the big performance by the “Tahitian Elvis” in one of the hotels. But we were happy to know that we collected a large amount of data for analysis. For the last few days of our field expedition, we were extremely […]

August 13, 2010

Shallow waters, deep data

On Moorea, we’re finding sea creatures in the strangest places.

August 11, 2010

A gecko in the fridge, killer stone fish in the sea

Queens College’s Michael Hickerson and students arrive on Moorea .

August 10, 2010

First stop: Tahiti

PAPEETE, Tahiti | It is 7 am in Papeete, and the sunrise is beautiful, the smells are relaxing and for some reason I have a random Kinks song stuck in my head. Down here in the southern hemisphere, it is wintertime and the equatorial sun sets at 6 pm (all too early), with no angular lingering. After 14 hours on two planes and a six-hour time difference, my three students and I forced ourselves to stay up until 10 in order to get in synch with the local time zone. We sauntered through the grimy streets to the waterfront food carts and had ourselves some steak, frites, and tuna kabobs. Papeete is the largest city in French Polynesia—actually, it’s the only city in French Polynesia. We are really as far as you can get from all continental reach, which puts us roughly equidistant from Australia, the Americas and Antarctica.

August 3, 2010

Biology in Paradise

Tomorrow, I depart with three biology students for the French Polynesian island of Moorea. Paul Gauguin went to the island next door–the larger and better known Tahiti–to paint. We are going to Moorea and its surrounding waters as part of an international project to examine the entire biological community at the DNA level. Specifically, at […]

January 19, 2010

Entering the Mysterious Waters of Antarctica

We crossed the 60th parallel yesterday and with it the seascape began to change.  The huge waves that we battled in the screeching 50’s faded into smaller long distance swells that would remind us of what is waiting for us when we attempt to return northward on our way back after we finish drilling. The […]

January 18, 2010

Bearing Down on Wilkes Land

It’s been more than a week since we have New Zealand, and now we’re a day away from reaching our first drilling site. Life onboard has been filled with getting up to speed on the schedule of the ship, learning how we will collect our data and how we’ll write up our results.  My days […]

January 15, 2010

Days of Rage on the High Seas

Well, well. I guess we left the Roaring Forties only to be thrown into the Screeching Fifties. The first storm was just a mild blow compared to what we have just gone through—a fierce ocean that lasted a day and a half. While the first little tempest gave us 15-foot waves, this last one gave […]

January 9, 2010

So Long, Civilization

Today, after five days of preparation, meetings and anticipation, Expedition 318 set sail for the great White Continent. The entire science party was out on the top decks of our ship, excited to be underway, gazing back at the green hills of New Zealand as the ship maneuvered through the straits of the harbor and into the South Pacific.

January 8, 2010

Return to the White Continent

On January 3, Queens College geologist STEPHEN PEKAR arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, to join 32 other scientists from around the world on an expedition they hope will begin to unlock some spectacular secrets about the world’s past—and maybe about its future. As a specialist in “paleoceanography,” Pekar has spent the last several years investigating […]