Making a Mallow Core – Science in Middle School

By Anna McKee | June 27, 2010 |

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a presentation about the WAIS Divide Ice Core Project for 8th grade art and science classes in the Seattle Public School system. I am grateful to the brainstorming sessions with Heidi Roop, a scientist that I met at the WAIS field camp. She has teaching experience and is…

In the Studio-making new etching plates

By Anna McKee | May 21, 2010 |

I have been spending a lot of time in the studio, preparing artwork for an exhibition at Francine Seders Gallery this coming November. This first photo is of an etching plate inked, wiped and ready to print. The blue areas are where the aquatint is holding ink. The copper areas are where there is little…

In the Studio – making sense of it all (?)

By Anna McKee | March 23, 2010 |

“Easton Glacier” 24″x48″ 2010, graphite, gesso, acrylic Traveling to and existing in the beautiful white expanse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been a dream since childhood. Now, back in my daily life, holding onto the experience is like holding onto ice that will inevitable melt or sublimate away. All I can do is…

Reflections from the Ice

By Anna McKee | February 9, 2010 |

I am home and sorting through notes, sketches and photographs from my travels south. Paul and I had a great time in New Zealand. We hiked in the Queen Charlottes, Abel Tasman,  and on the west coast; drove through wine country that felt like the Napa Valley; saw many strange birds and entire forests of…

Physical properties of Ice, or How to make an ice core sandwich. . .

By Anna McKee | January 11, 2010 |

Thin sections of glacier ice are incredibly beautiful. I love to gaze into these clear windows filled with little bubbles; some spherical, others oblong, all holding ancient air.  The ice refracts light from its crystal faces into multiple planes of shimmering color. I see them as lovely sculptures, but scientists prepare them to study the…

Waiting for a Flight out of McMurdo

By Anna McKee | January 7, 2010 |

Many people here have stories of boomerangs, delays and canceled flights trying to get to or from Antarctica. So I must embrace my situation as a quintessential experience of visiting The Ice. I was originally scheduled to fly out of McMurdo Station for Christchurch, New Zealand on January 5th. This process began the evening before…

Whether there is Weather

By Anna McKee | January 4, 2010 |

Weather drives everything in the United States Antarctic Program; flights happen or don’t, camps get re-supplied or don’t, work progresses or doesn’t. Even moderate winds in sub-freezing temperatures can make outdoor work difficult or impossible. Of course knowing weather conditions would make planning that much easier. But predicting the weather here is more complicated, and…

Another Blog about WAIS Divide

By Anna McKee | January 2, 2010 |

McMurdo Station – Happy New Year! I am working on a few blog posts for the new year, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out the blog of a science graduate student Heidi Roop, who is working at WAIS.  She is sponsored by the Exploratorium in San Francisco and took great video equipment into…

Farewell to WAIS – Hello IceStock

By Anna McKee | December 31, 2009 |

December 31, 2009 WAIS Divide Camp at 79.47° S latitude, 112.06 W° longitude – high on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Plateau. I am sending off 2009 with a flight out of WAIS Camp to McMurdo Station. It will seem like the tropics to me since it is above freezing there. Though I am sad…

The Work Week at WAIS

By Anna McKee | December 29, 2009 |

There were 44 people at the WAIS Divide over the holiday weekend; camp staff, ice core drillers, ice core handlers (who log and pack the ice), a couple of scientists doing auxiliary research, and others organizing to set up deep field camps on the West Antarctic Plateau. West Antarctica is beset by storms and snow…