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Expeditions


Field notes from the far reaches of exploration
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    Ever wonder what it's really like to be working in Antarctica or collecting core samples from the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Get a first-hand feel for scientific exploration by following the blog posts of researchers out in the field.
  • Call of the Orangutan: A Camera Trap Menagerie

    elephants 1

    In order to get more information about the forest here at the Sikundur research station in North Sumatra, I’ve set up four camera traps, which I’m using to get a better look at the wildlife around the site. The traps have been so successful in such a short time period that together with another graduate [...]

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    Return to Nepal: Snow Sampling

    Snow sampling along an unclimbed glacier near to Cho Oyu, the sixth highest peak in the world.

    Editor’s Note: This is the third and final installment in a new series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, who chronicled an earlier expedition to Nepal in a series called, “Climbing Mount Everest,” which can be found by clicking here. Horodyskyj’s work focuses determining how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter [...]

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    Extreme Ice Survey: Antarctic Time-Lapses

    Neko Harbor, Andvord Bay. 1st installation of Extreme Ice Survey cameras on the 2014 Lindblad Expeditions Trip to Antarctica.  2 cameras installed looking across the glacier at Neko Harbor.  The landing is on a beach and small rock knoll of a Gentoo Penguin Colony.  Across the bay is Bagshawe Glacier, a large tidewater glacier pouring off the interior of the peninsula. (Image courtesy of Extreme Ice Survey)

    Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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    Neutrinos on Ice: How to Build a Balloon

    The first stage of ANITA construction. (Photo Credit: Christian Miki)

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to ANITA, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna! From October to December, Katie Mulrey is traveling with the ANITA collaboration to Antarctica to build and launch ANITA III, a scientific balloon that uses the entire continent of Antarctica for neutrino and cosmic ray detection. This is the third installment in a series, “Neutrinos on Ice,” documenting that effort. [...]

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    Call of the Orangutan: Injuries and Their Limitations

    Gradually the wounds became better, and the color came back, indicating a higher level of blood supply. Siboy would often try to groom his mother, picking at the open wounds.

    This last month has been extremely stressful for all of us at Sikundur research station in North Sumatra while we’ve been following two of our favorite orangutans, Suci and her 3-year-old infant Siboy. As I mentioned in a previous blog, while I was in Medan for a break the boys sent me a text saying [...]

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    Return to Nepal: Digging Sensors Out of Ice and Dirt

    Final look at this glacial lake on Ngozumpa glacier, which I had been tracking since 2011 with cameras and instruments.

    Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a new series by Ulyana Horodyskyj, who chronicled an earlier expedition to Nepal in a series called, “Climbing Mount Everest,” which can be found by clicking here. Horodyskyj’s work focuses determining how airborne particles such as dust and soot that settle on massive glaciers alter how snow [...]

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    Neutrinos On Ice: The Journey South

    View of Antarctica from the C-17 airplane. (Credit: Katie Mulrey)

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to ANITA, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna! From October to December, Katie Mulrey is traveling with the ANITA collaboration to Antarctica to build and launch ANITA III, a scientific balloon that uses the entire continent of Antarctica for neutrino and cosmic ray detection. This is the second installment in a series, “Neutrinos on Ice,” documenting that [...]

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    MIT Neurotech: Tapping into Neurons with Autopatching

    Monitoring a neuron’s activity using a patch clamp. (Image by Ed Boyden Lab, MIT)

    Whether you’re walking, talking or contemplating the universe, a minimum of tens of billions of synapses are firing at any given second within your brain. “The weak link in understanding ourselves is really about understanding how our brains generate our minds and how our minds generate our selves,” says MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden. One cubic [...]

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    Neutrinos on Ice: Detection Balloon Heads to Antarctica

    An artist's depiction of a cosmic ray air shower. Credit: Simon Swordy (U. Chicago), NASA.

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to ANITA, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna! From October to December, Katie Mulrey is traveling with the ANITA collaboration to Antarctica to build and launch ANITA III, a scientific balloon that uses the entire continent of Antarctica for neutrino and cosmic ray detection. This is the second installment in a series, “Neutrinos on Ice,” documenting that [...]

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    MIT Neurotech: Mapping the Brain with Connectomics

    A synapse. An upstream cell, here an amacrine interneuron shown in yellow, sends impulses to a downstream cell, shown in blue, which if excited in the right way will then propagate the signal down its axon to other cells. Image by Alex Norton from data analyzed by deep learning algorithms and gamers in the citizen neuroscience game EyeWire.

    We can make movies using atoms as characters, grow organs and even skydive from space, yet when it comes to understanding the finer details of the 1.3 kilogram organ behind each person’s eyes – the brain – we’re mostly in the dark. Neuroscientists do not even know how many different types of cells it contains, much less how [...]

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