Trip to Lake Bonney

We set out for a big adventure today, walking from Lake Hoare all the way to Lake Bonney and back!  About 30k roundtrip!! Our objective was to explore for new high elevation soils and mats located in the Bonney basin to use for future microbial experiments and understand the diversity of environments throughout the Taylor Valley. Along … More Trip to Lake Bonney

Ice breaking

From the ridge a few thousand feet above camp last Thursday, we could see all the way past the Commonwealth Glacier and over the McMurdo Sound to Mt. Erebus, an active volcano that shares Ross Island with McMurdo Station. The ice in the sound is breaking up – you can see a lot of blue … More Ice breaking


Hiking up a ridge high above camp, we got a fantastic view of our camp at the toe of the glacier and the edge of the lake. The melted out margins of the permanently frozen lake were a brilliant blue, and our tents a cheerful yellow. In addition to the bluish cook hut, labs, and … More Camp

The Whole Gang

We took a group photo up at our Canada Glacier site. The field team now includes (from left to right) Pacifica, Julian, Adam, Kaelin and Lara. This day was Kaelin’s first time visiting the site. We have about a week before we need to sample the the site again, so for now the team will … More The Whole Gang


Part of the Cryoteam went back to sample the remaining part of the Canada glacier moraine that we started yesterday. It was a bright and sunny day and we were amazed at seeing how lush green some of the briofite were! Briofite is Italian for bryophyte, which is a group of plants including mosses. We … More Briofite

Upper moraine

Where does cryoconite – the dirt that blows onto glaciers that melts into form cryoconite holes – come from? That is, where is it blowing onto the glacier from usually? One obvious possibility is the mountainous hillside above the glacier. Although the glacier we work on is frozen to its base, it still flows through … More Upper moraine


This weekend was the McMurdo Marathon and Half Marathon. Dozens of people from McMurdo and from New Zealand’s nearby Scott Base ran, skied, or biked 13.1 or 26.2 miles along the road on the ice shelf to the intercontinental airport runway. One member of the Cryo Holes team ran the half marathon – thanks to … More Run!

Cryoconite hole samples

This week in the Crary Lab at McMurdo Station, we subsampled the experimental cryoconite holes we collected in December for extracting DNA and chlorophyll. We collected samples from one of our experiments while the cryoconite holes were frozen. When frozen, the sediment forms little pyramids. To keep them sterile before we subset the samples, we … More Cryoconite hole samples