Hello all, the 2022-2023 Automatic Weather Station (AWS) Program field season has begun! We have two groups coming down this season, Team A and Team B. Myself (Taylor Norton) and Angie Montgomery consist of Team A while Team B includes Lee Welhouse and Mckenzie Dice. Angie and I arrived on the ice on 28 October 2022 and will stay until early-mid December. Lee and Mckenzie will fly down early December and stay until late January.
Angie and I have been going through all the trainings necessary for life and work here in McMurdo the past week. This includes field safety (health concerns with cold and in case you get stranded unexpectedly), environmental protection, how to sort garbage, how to drive the specialized trucks, and others! We also have to meet with many people to go over the plan for which AWS we want to go to and know how to communicate with people while we are out. We are hoping to get out to our first AWS soon! We have also taken a few walks around town looking at the beautiful views, especially with it being Angie’s first time here. The AWS we plan to go to are mostly on the Ross Ice Shelf and around the McMurdo area. These stations require taking fixed wing aircraft, helicopters (aka helos) and a truck with snow tires. Lee and Mckenzie will work mostly out of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), but maybe a few McMurdo area stations late in the season as well.
I will give more updates once we get out into the field, but below are some pictures to start!