Antarctic Blog 2013


photograph © 2013 Lorena Lagos Pailla and Leticia Barrientos

Day 14: Communication from King George Island, Antarctica to the rest of the planet (4.3.2013)

Again we're trying to get to Ardley Island for a final sampling before leaving Antarctica but as I write this sentence about noon, the wind is so high that I can hear the Chilean flag outside the window flapping constantly, wind whistling through the very tight, double-pained windows, and a loose board (?) outside rhythmically bump against the building with the force of the wind. I'd say there's a consistent wind velocity of 50 km/h wind with higher gusts (the local real time weather data showed 54 km/h).

Obviously we're stuck at the INACH base again today.

So let's talk about communication technology in Antarctica. The following are ways scientists at the Escudero base can communicate with the outside world.

So researchers use e-mail, cell calls, and text messages to communicate with the rest of the world while working in Antarctica. Workers in the Escudero Base are thankfully in contact with their labs at home universities, colleagues elsewhere, and family and friends. For instance JP and Jota at Andrés Bello routinely talked about bacterial culture enrichments as the experiments progressed.

Lorena Lagos Pailla and Dr. Leticia Barrientos are scientists from Universidad de La Frontera, Chile, working here at Escudero on research focusing on the isolation and characterization of Actinomycetes communities (e.g. Streptomyces sp.) in soil, water, and marine sediment.

Soil samples associated with the native grass species Deschampsia seen in the photograph below were taken from Collin Glacier (see Day 9). Lorena is storing the grass sample just outside the laboratory window at Escudero base to preserve it. She is isolating microorganisms from the roots and leaves to get bacteria from the rhizosphere and phylosphere of Deschampsia.


Deschampsia grass storage
The window looking out of the INACH laboratory
at Escudero Base
with Deschampsia antarctica coolly stored


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