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Media Advisory 13-008

Two-month Time-lapse Video of Antarctic Ice Goes Viral

A chronicle of a research cruise aboard NSF's Nathaniel B. Palmer becomes a media sensation

research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer surrounded by ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

The research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, in 2011.
Credit and Larger Version

May 16, 2013

Cassandra Brooks is a Stanford University doctoral student with the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.

She spent two months in 2013 aboard the National Science Foundation-operated icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer as part of a research cruise investigating the role of dissolved organic carbon in the Ross Sea ecosystem.

She--and a video she produced on the voyage--became worldwide media sensations, appearing in stories published by sources as diverse as the San Jose Mercury News, CNN and YouTube. The video is a time-lapse sequence, compressing about 60 days into less than five minutes, taken from the ship's bridge as the ship "carves" forward through the ice.

Brooks is studying international ocean policy and is focusing particularly on Antarctic marine ecosystem protection.

A version of the video may be viewed on YouTube.


Media Contacts
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7530,

Program Contacts
Alexandra Isern, NSF, (703) 292-7581,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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