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November 3rd, 2013 - College Station, Texas

Howdy!

An Aggie Welcome from College Station by Andrew Klein

Andrew's head

Welcome to B-518's 2013 Island to Ice journal. On November 7th, I and three other researchers from Texas A&M University-College Station and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will be heading "to the ice." That is Antarctic jargon meaning that we will be going to Antarctica. I hope you follow our adventures as we travel from Texas, to New Zealand and finally onto Antarctica. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to email any of the team members or post a question to our Ask a Scientist page.

This year we are extremely fortunate to be able to make our trek southward. As some may have heard, the United States government shutdown started just as the Antarctic 2013-2104 Austral field season was beginning and the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) had to begin planning to curtail science for the season and some science projects will not deploy this season. So we all count ourselves very lucky to be going this year.

While four members of our team our deploying to Antarctica, our research would not be possible with many other individuals at both campuses who work hard on the program all year round. You can visit our entire team at our Participants Page. I would especially want to thank Paul Montanga, Terry Wade and Jose Sericano for their support as we strive to expand our monitoring efforts across the continent.

Those following our blog this year, as well as those who have followed it in previous seasons, will learn that science is impossible without the support of hundreds of individuals both within the Division of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation and those working for the Antarctic Support Contract. While some of the individuals who work most closely with our project will be mentioned often in our journal this season, our research would not be possible without the efforts of many more.

I would like to take this opportunity to name just a few of the many who have helped us over the years. First, I wish to personally thank Polly Penhale who has supported our research for many years. Second I wish to thank Maggie Knuth has helped support our work at CRREL and at now NSF.

Work in Antarctica requires a huge amount of logistical support. As our season progresses, I will take time to highlight the contributions made to our work by various support personnel, but right now I would just like to take time to mention Cara Sucher and Addie Coyac who for helped in the planning efforts for our program for the past few years. In the past, Cara put up with our group as the Crary Science lab manager and Addie worked with us as a diver.

Finally, I want to give special thanks to Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt who got this project off the ground and guided it for more then a decade. I hope that retirement is treating you well. I think we all strive to be the Antarctic scientist that you are hope that maybe someday a geographic feature will named after us too.

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