On Special Assignment

Feb 18, 2013 12:06 PM by Suzanne Philippus - MTN News

MSU scientists take part in Antarctica research

BOZEMAN - Several Montana State University scientists recently returned from the summer research season in Antarctica.

MTN reporter Suzanne Philippus has a rare glimpse of what takes place on the ice at the bottom of the world.

A group left Bozeman right before Thanksgiving and we're in Antarctica until the middle of February.

After 37 hours in the air, traveling over 10,000 miles, the ski-equipped military cargo plane landed on the southern-most continent in the world.

"In the broadest sense, Antarctica is the place to come to study global climate change because it's the end member environment, because it's the coldest place," explained Reed Scherer a scientist on the Wissard Project.

Scientists from across the world descend upon this vast continent during the Antarctic summer, for a chance to work in one of the most unique and minimally disturbed laboratories on earth.

From ancient geologic microbes to climate change, scientists are conducting more than 120 research projects; none of which can be conducted anywhere else on earth.

"The science we think is really exciting and so...a ...we're ready to go and get into action here," said Ross Powell, who's working on the Wissard Project

During the Austral summer, which ranges from October to February, scientists take advantage of 24 hours of sunlight in a race against a mandatory, late-February departure off the ice.

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