My entrance into the blogging world…

This is it! My first official post on my first official blog. I have wanted to keep a blog for some time, and now that I have a strict purpose and incentive, what better time than to start? I hope that not only will I be able to record my adventures and memories, not only for myself, but for my friends, family, and whomever may be interested…but that in the process I will hone my writing skills as well. So if you become a follower of my adventures, hopefully you will be able to perceive the progress of this blog as I myself evolve through the coming months (years?)…

I suppose that as this is the first post, I should provide some background information as to where I am going, and what I will be doing!

I am very, very excited, and very honored to be one of the few thousand people in the world to spend some time on the continent of Antarctica. I never even dreamed of this – being mostly interested in and passionate about the tropics, I never considered that I would ever be visiting this extreme environment. And not only visiting it, but working and living there!

So you may be wondering, how did I get this rare opportunity? Having volunteered, and then worked, in Dr. Steve Emslie’s lab at UNCW for the past 2.5 years, I guess you could say I just had my foot in the door…starting out, I spent time preparing penguin eggshell samples from Antarctica for isotope analysis (and I never imagined to eventually be the one to be collecting them…)…I also spent some time on the sparrow banding project, and the Colorado Cement Creek Cave paleoecology project. Then I became interested in learning how to make museum bird specimen skins, which I thoroughly enjoyed for the anatomical precision and scientific artsy-ness it allowed.

Around this time, Dr. Emslie won a significant NSF grant for his Antarctica project, which allowed him to afford an undergraduate to take to Antarctica. At that point, my involvement in the Antarctica expedition had been proposed, but it seemed so unreal (and far away) that I did not yet want to really believe that I would get to go! Dr. Emslie, I guess after seeing how dedicated I was, decided to invite me, and a fellow lab/classmate, to Colorado for two weeks this past July to help excavate a new cave for fossils his Colorado paleoecology project. And as soon as I returned to Wilmington for the semester, I was instructed to start the medical and dental procedures entailing deployment. It became real, something concrete that I could actually start planning for…Due to the timing of the expedition, however, it meant that I would be missing the first month of classes at UNCW, which would be impossible. Luckily I had, the year prior, decided that I wanted to do a semester abroad, in Australia. It just so happens that they do not start classes until mid-February – perfect timing for after the expedition! And so everything fell into place, naturally.

What will I be doing in Antarctica? This is a major expedition. Dr. Emslie is bringing not only his graduate student, Mike P., and me, but also a professor from China, a professor from Poland, and an American geologist. Everyone will pretty much be working on their separate research projects, and I will be assisting anyone (and hopefully everyone – to get as much diverse experience as I can) in the field work. That is my official title – field work assistant. Mike  and Dr. Emslie are working with the penguins – Adelies, gentoos, and chinstraps. The Polish professor is working with plants (lichens, for the most part). We will be going to several different sites to collect modern and older eggshell samples for the isotope project. ***And, since this will be my first time in Antarctica, I will have to undergo the 2-3 day Antarctic Survival Course…you know, survival basics like how to find your way in a whiteout, how to build an igloo (and have to spend a night in it), etc.

Adelie penguins - front & back

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8 responses to “My entrance into the blogging world…

  1. I’m so proud of you! I can’t wait to hear about your adventure in Antarctica and see if you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    • Thanks Lisa!!!! I’m glad you found my blog 🙂
      I am very, very excited! I know it will be so amazing and so unreal. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be the adventure of a lifetime and that I will love every minute of it. Keep reading my blog – I will be writing in it about my experiences whenever I have internet access!

  2. Hey Eva, i just found your blog and im excited! I will be following u on ur adventure. Good Luck! its coming up soooon. I’m gonna be jealous of ur ant arc tic survival skills.

    • Yay!!!!!! Thanks Josh!!! I’m so glad you found it. I hope you will keep on reading because once I am there, I will be writing up on everything I possibly can! 🙂

  3. Gmail doesn’t send me your posts so I am signing up again!

  4. Eva,

    I was down on the ice years ago when I served in the US Navy, NAS Point Magu, CA, VQ-1. My job, at that time, was to fit (and maintain )our C-130’s landing gear with skis. For this we used 35-ton jacks to carefully lift the plane up off the deck, remove the tires and equip them with the skis. We flew support missions all over the Pacific, to include ventures down to Christchurch NZ and from there moving on to your new lovely home, McMurdo Station – down on the ice. Back then we called it Operation Deep Freeze.

    You probably don’t remember me, but your brother and yourself were guests in my tiny DC apartment years ago. I think you were probably about age 3, your brother was around 5. My wife and I adored the both of you. I’m a regular gaming partner with your dad here in the District. I’ve known him since ’88. He is very proud of you, as I also am.

    Love your photos, particularly the one with the penguin welcoming committee and the cross on the hill overlooking base. I do remember Observation Hill, just never ventured up to it like you did.

    Sounds like you’re having a great time, learning new experiences. Not many people can top this one! Take care and God bless.

  5. Those penguins all look like John McCain! Do they quack like he does?

  6. I’m reading your excellent blogs out of sequence, and now see that you must be Eva. You are a good writer & photographer. Have you thought of making a little book from your blogs? I’m working at that now — using my old notes & Kodachrome slides (still good!) from Antarctic summers of both 1957 and ’58. You shouldn’t wait that long. Best wishes, Charles R. (Bob) Kremenak, Iowa City

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