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Discovery
Researchers Hunt Down Antarctic Microbes

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Photo of two people excavating a sampling tunnel into Taylor Glacier.

Scientists from Louisiana State University (LSU) traveled to Antarctica to look for hardy microbes living in ice sheets. Here, LSU undergraduate student Amanda Achberger (left) and LSU assistant professor Brent Christner begin excavation of the sampling tunnel into Taylor Glacier.

Credit: Shawn Doyle, Louisiana State University


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This short film describes the initial scouting and selection of potential safe sites for tunneling into Taylor Glacier for the 2009 field season. The previous sampling tunnel from 2007 was found to be unsuitable for reuse during this recce and so it was necessary to find another site where it would be safe to excavate a new tunnel. This mainly involved inspecting the top and sides of the glacial margin for any fractures or crevices that could result in ice falling down onto the tunnel site later in the field season.

Credit: Shawn Doyle, Louisiana State University

 

Time-lapse video of the research team packing and staging the tools and supplies they would use in the field.

Credit: Tim Brox, Montana State University

 

The LSU Flag on the shore of Lake Bonney, Antarctica.

The LSU Flag on the shore of Lake Bonney, Antarctica.

Credit: Shawn Doyle, Louisiana State University


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LSU graduate student Shawn Doyle carries a demolition hammer used to excavate the sampling tunnel.

LSU graduate student Shawn Doyle carries a demolition hammer used to excavate the sampling tunnel into Taylor Glacier, Antarctica.

Credit: Shawn Doyle, Louisiana State University


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An A-Star helicopter overhead Blood Falls camp shortly after dropping fuel and supplies.

An A-Star helicopter overhead at Blood Falls camp shortly after dropping a sling-load of fuel and supplies.

Credit: Shawn Doyle, Louisiana State University


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Shawn Doyle (left) and Tim Brox use chainsaws to excavate sampling chamber inside Taylor Glacier.

LSU graduate student Shawn Doyle (left) and MSU undergraduate student Tim Brox use chainsaws to excavate the sampling chamber inside Taylor Glacier.

Credit: Shawn Doyle, Louisiana State University


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