Two Teachers to Antarctica

 

Chris Smaill (a physics teacher from Rangitoto College) and Fiona Cottam (an English teacher from Diocesan School ) will be visiting Antarctica in the 2001-2002 season as field assistants with a University of Auckland science research programme led by Dr John Macdonald (University of Auckland).

 

Dr Macdonaldís team, known as science event K012, will focus on catching, tagging and releasing one of the most common fish species, Trematomus bernacchii, to determine the size of populations at different localities in the vicinity of McMurdo Sound.As ancillary projects, Dr Mary Sewell (University of Auckland) will be sampling planktonic larvae, and a research student Jocasta Anderson will be monitoring activity rhythms of fish using an underwater video camera.

 

Chris and Fiona will be involved in all aspects of K012ís activities in Antarctica. Click here to view emails from Chris and Fiona while they are on the ice and use the worksheets that follow and to learn more about the seventh continent.Although the worksheets have been prepared by Chris and Fiona for use in secondary schools in New Zealand, the information provided within them is widely applicable to other educational situations.



 

Event K012, November Ė December 2001.

The Personnel

 

Dr John Macdonald, Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

 

John, the team leader, has been involved with Antarctic biology since 1963. His research interests are centred on Antarctic fish, their adaptations to life in sub-zero degree temperature water, and their evolution, diversity and abundance.

 

Dr Mary Sewell, Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

 

Mr Mike Taler, Senior Lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology.

 

Jocasta Anderson, MSc student at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

 

Chris Smaill, Head of Physics at Rangitoto College, Auckland.

 

Fiona Cottam, Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

 

The Research Activities
 

We are primarily a field group, working on the sea ice well away from Scott Base (1-2 days travel by a motorised toboggan towing sledges!). The groupís main activity will involve catching, tagging and releasing one of the most common fish species, Trematomus bernacchii, to determine the size of local populations at 'typical' localities in the vicinity of McMurdo Sound. As ancillary projects, Mary Sewell will be sampling planktonic larvae, and Jocasta Anderson will be monitoring activity rhythms of fish using an underwater video camera. Hopefully there will be some opportunity to include some interesting local sight-seeing as well.

Proposed Itinerary

 

16 November: †††††††Fly from Christchurch, New Zealand to the ice runway off Ross Island.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Travel to Scott Base.

17-18 November:††Antarctic Field Training course for all first-timers to Antarctica.The old

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† hands pack the sledges.

19 November:       5 persons and 3 sledges leave Scott Base en route to Cape Roberts.

20 November:       We arrive at Cape Roberts in the late afternoon where we have the use of 2 huts.

                                We also pitch some tents for    our use.

 

21 November:       We drill holes, start fishing and sampling. This continues for 12 days.

3 December:         We leave Cape Roberts en route to Scott Base.

4 December:         We arrive back at Scott Base and take showers.

 

5 December:         Fiona Cottam trades places with Chris Smaill, who returns to Christchurch, New Zealand.

                                The others re-provision the sledges for more research, this time at Cape Evans.

 

17 December:       Back to Scott Base to prepare for the return to New Zealand.

 

19 December:       The team flies back to Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

Antarctic Worksheets for Secondary Schools

 

To access the educational worksheets provided by Chris and Fiona just click on their names

 

 

Antarctica New Zealand Education Initiative

 

Antarctica New Zealand is offering opportunities for educators to visit Antarctica for up to two weeks .

 

Applications close 1 March each year.For further information visit the Antarctica New Zealand web site (http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz)

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