MSU filmmaker showcases research project in Antarctica - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

MSU filmmaker showcases research project in Antarctica

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BOZEMAN - Scenes of an ongoing Antarctica research adventure have made their way to Bozeman.

Montana State University filmmaking student Billy Collins is responsible for the footage. Collins earned the opportunity to travel Antarctica as a graduate student in the MSU Science and Natural History Filmmaking program. 

He showcases an MSU research team’s preparation to drill at Lake Mercer in Antarctica. With the footage, Collins hopes to reach the people that made the project possible and inspire more scientists.

“All of that work is going to be going into educational teaching packages for schools around the country because this project is an NSF project that’s funded by taxpayers. Our lead scientist thinks it’s really important to give back to the community, to share what we’re doing and also to get people excited about science,” Collins said.

The MSU-led research project is called Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access, (SALSA), where scientists will be drilling a 1,200-meter hole in the Antarctic's subglacial Lake Mercer to study the organisms that the lake holds. Scientists are optimistic after finding microorganisms in a similar subglacial Antarctic lake and hope they can learn more about microorganisms living on ice moons in the solar system.

“The goal for this project is to drill into a different lake, Lake Mercer, sample the sediments, sample the water, get some ice cores and try to understand how that ecosystem works. We suspect we’ll see some microbial life in this lake as well.” Collins said.

Collins and several MSU scientists will be making an additional trip to Antarctica for the drilling and further research on these subglacial lake organisms.

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