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Purdue grad students head out for Antarctic research expedition

After preparing for almost a year, a team of Boilermakers are finally in Antarctica to research ice sheets.

Posted: Dec. 20, 2017 6:37 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — After preparing for almost a year, a team of Boilermakers are finally in Antarctica to research ice sheets.

The research team in Antarctica is made up of eight people.

It includes an international field team, two Purdue professors and two Purdue graduate students.

Graduate student Sarah Sams said, "Now that we're here and organizing all of our gear and getting ready in that way I'm just excited to go out and start collecting samples as soon as possible and really getting into the science of it."

It took the crew a year to plan for this research trip. They need one more week now that they are finally there.

"Collecting all the equipment that's been set or left here from the last season, making sure that we have everything we need, where we need it and it's ready to go on the helicopters with us when they come to collect us and take them from the station here in Troll and our field area," said graduate student Jennifer Newall.

And working in their field area is not easy. They need to make sure their bodies are up for this arctic challenge.

"To make sure we're all healthy enough and fit enough to survive in a fairly tough environment," said Prof. Jon Harbor.

It is summer in Antarctica, but temperatures can drop below zero with heavy winds.

The group will perform research for two months, measuring, modeling and mapping changes in the East Antarctic Ice Sheets.

They'll test rock from mountains to understand how ice sheets respond to climate change.

Harbor said, "After we'll go further inland into the central part of Antarctica and we'll be in snowmobiles going up over the ice towards some of the central mountains that we'll be doing research on."

The Boilermaker team plans to return with their collected data during the spring semester.

They should have their results as early as next summer.

"It's a really good team and a lot of are, I mean we're friends and colleagues so, I'm just excited to be a part of this together," said research scientist, Robin Blomdin.

The group says they will not have reliable internet in their research area.

But they will try their best to keep their web page and social media pages updated.

Those looking for more information on the research team on the web can visit their official page by clicking here.

The group will be posting photos and updates on their project Facebook page.

They can also be found on Twitter at @MAGICDML and Instagram at magicdml.

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