Today we worked on prepping the materials that secure the chamber to the ground. To secure the chamber we have one metal wire rope that loops around the chamber. This loop contains 4 nails in cardinal directions that are attached by keyrings, bolts and rope to the wire rope. These nails will be hammered into the ground. First the nails needed to be spread out evenly along the wire rope and tightened. I call it Kelly’s necklace, which she is showing off (left photo). Then we needed to attach the two ends of the wire rope to each other using ferrules and a swage tool (see right photo as Kelly is clamping the ferrules tight with the swage tool).
Little by little we are getting ready for the field work.
Office with a view
My office looks out over the pier. I love to look out the window and get inspired by the view. Today I saw waddling visitors from my window: two gentoo penguins who looked a little clueless.
They waddled on the pier. However, when penguins move on snow and ice, they often move by tobogganing. To do this, they lay down on their bellies and use their feet and flippers to glide themselves onward. The tracks produced by this motion are quite fascinating!
Gentoos are the third largest penguin species. The largest is the Emperor penguin, followed by the King penguin. The population of gentoo penguins in the Palmer area has increased. These penguins are not ice-dependent. In contrast, Adélie Penguins, a true Antarctic species (and ice-dependent), have declined in numbers in the Palmer area. The shift in penguin populations has to do with the changes in sea ice duration and extent, a shift in food sources, wetter conditions, and other causes related to climate change. So although the gentoos are cute, they are a harbinger of what we have done (and are doing) to our planet.