Thank you Rebecca.
Good to see you again and a pleasure to be here.
I'm a glaciologist.
I work with NASA been working here for 30 years.
I look at the ice sheets.
We do that from space and we do it by working in Antarctica as
Land sat imagery has been key to what I've been doing here the
last 30 years.
Initially they gave us the very best map.
We didn't have maps of places where we wanted to go and study
Just as a basic map the land sat image has been important.
But we've been able to use them how fast the ice goes, by tracking
features from one image to the next and even more recently we
can measure elevation of the ice sheet using the imagery.
Land sat imagery because a part of just about everything we do.
We LIMA we've been able to get 1,000 images of Antarctica and
use it the same way as we used to.
You're always finding new ways to use it.
The next person it's my turn to introduce is Tom Wagner at the
National Science Foundation.
Tom, are you there?
>> I'm here.
Nice to meet all you guys again.
I work at the National Science Foundation which is the arm of
government that supports basic research.
Part of it is the U.S. Army program that supports the scientists
that want to do work in Antarctica.
LIMA is an important part of our program for a bunch of reasons.
People use LIMA to do things like study the glaciers direct lit
but we use it as a base map.
Right now there are a group of people driving to the south pole.
We put them on the LIMA base map and we look for dinosaurs like
Figure out where penguins will go.
I will stop there and turn it back to Rebecca.
>> Thank you, Tom.
Next we're going to hear from Ginny Catania from the University
She's a research scientist at Austin's institute for geo physics.
Can you explain how LIMA helps you?
>> I'm Ginny Catania.
I work in Greenland and Antarctica.
I've been doing a lot of field work but getting more interested
in using satellite imagery to understand properties of the ice
sheets and how they change over time.
I got my start in Antarctica by using satellite images to try
to understand, like Bob said, where we want to go on the ground.
We need to have a goal so we want to look at maps and figure
out where are the interesting places to go to and we need to
be able to get there efficiently because it's difficult to work
We want to make sure that we can really quickly and easily pinpoint
where we need to go.
LIMA images and other images are valuable for me to do my field
This year I'm not going to Antarctica.
I'm happy to be home with my husband and cat and my garden and
looking at satellite images in my office instead of being cold
in a tent like Ted Scambos is.
>> Thank you, Ginny, the pictures are wonderful.
Like Ginny said we also have Ted Scambos joining us, a glaciologist
at the University of Colorado at the National Snow and Ice
Ted is down in Antarctica.
Are you there?
>> Hi, yes.
This is Ted Scambos and as Rebecca introduced, I'm from the University
I came to Antarctica about two or three weeks ago to help a team
of Norwegian and U.S. scientists send up a traverse.
We'll be crossing part of Antarctica and looking at some new
features that we identified in satellite images like the LIMA
The new features are lakes deep beneath the ice sheet and some
upper parts of glaciers where the glaciers just begin to flow
fast and also some ripple marks that some of you noticed in the
LIMA image called negative.
I have a if -- a few props that I can show you how we make measurements
nowadays in Antarctica.
This guy over here is actually a radar system.
Inside this box here are some electronics that we hook up to
a power source and out of each of these big fin-looking devices
radio waves come out that allow us to see into the upper parts
of the ice sheet and map the layers of the snow in the upper
part of the the sheets.
And over here next to me I've got a piece actually a part of
an aircraft that we're going to be flying.
It's remotely-piloted aircraft that might be too risky for us
to drive over.
There is also a camera in here.
I can open this up a bit and show you that there is just full
of electronics inside this aircraft that allow us to map Antarctica
in yet another way with remote sensing but in a different way.
We can bring this with us on the traverse and send it to places
we don't want to drive over and make sure it's safe before we
Rebecca, what's next?
>> All right, great.
The props you have are wonderful.
So thank you all to our experts for joining us today.
Before we move on, let's briefly recap what this LIMA fall challenge
is all about.
As Earth scientists you and your team members have studied LIMA
You've studied the feature that interested you and written a
proposal explaining why you find the feature interesting and
geologically what you think is happening to create that feature.
We'll look at some of those proposals today and give you feedback.
Let me recap the challenge as a whole.
In September we started registration and received 140 registration
forms from classrooms, as well -- which represented 3,200 students
across the U.S. and around the world.
>> I'm sorry, Rebecca, this is Linda Conrad.
Out of sight, out of mind.
We have not introduced Ken to the people here and this is his
first webcast with us.
Let's not forget Ken.
>> My apologies.
I skipped right over Ken's name here.
Ken is joining us today over the phone.
Ken is coming to us from the University of Ohio, or Ohio State
University, I should say.
He's a professor of Earth sciences there and Ken, can you tell
us a little bit about what you do?
>> Happy to.
I'm delighted to participate in this event.
I have looked at all the proposals and I'm quite impressed with
My interests are much the same as my colleagues in trying to
understand how the Antarctica ice sheet is behaving today and
more importantly how it will behave in the future.
Along with science I'm interested in technology and interested
The radars we're keen on using are those operated from space
and provide kind of a complementary image dataset to the LIMA
images that you've been studying.
In fact, I was happy to see in some of your proposals you actually
used some of the radar sat images that we proud some years ago
to illustrate your ideas.
I look forward to hearing more about them as the hour goes by.
Thank you, Ken.
I apologize for overlooking your name there.
So again thank you to everyone that's joined us today and has
So going back to what we've done over the past couple of months,
we had registration in September, on October 1st we opened the
challenge with an opening webcast and we had our scientists joining
us on that day.
They talked about what they do, how LIMA helps them much like
we've heard from our scientists just now.
We then received 35 preliminary proposals from different classrooms
and those represented over 200 students.
Our scientists reviewed those proposals, offered some feedback.
We followed that with a web chat.
We had 350 students joining us in that web chat.
And then now we've received final proposals from over 200 --
that represent over 200 students and those are what we're going
to be talking about today.
So thank you everyone for joining us.
There is science in every piece of Antarctica and so you've been
helping us explore that science through your proposals.
You and your team found a feature on the continent that was of
particular interest to you.
You've written about that and submitted it and today we'll talk
about the proposals you've written.
I'll have Bob explain are review process and get into the reviews
Bob, are you there?
>> Click your mute button, Bob to make sure you're coming
>> Can you hear me?
Thanks again how we got to this point.
It's been an interesting journey for us to offer up this wonderful
dataset to the students and have them embrace it through their
teachers and science classes and submit their proposals.
There were so many proposals.
We didn't have a lot of time to go through them all.
The five of us divided up the proposals into four groups and
so four of us are going to discuss just that group that each
of us looked at and then finally Ken had to look at them all
and he'll give his comments, too.
We've actually had two of the panelists look at every single
proposal and given them a fairly careful review and you're about
to hear what we think of them.
So we're going to go through the panelists one by one.
For the first nine they were looked at by Tom, the second nine
by Ginny, the third nine by Ted.
I did the final group and then Ken, as I said, will look at them
Let's start with Tom's thoughts about the first set of nine proposals.
So I wanted to start first of all, all nine of these po poseals
were really good.
Everybody was able to find and interesting area to go and look
It's a real cite -- credit to you guys.
Some of the things you're looking in the ice are sediment layers
where the ice has turned up rock and brought it up and appears
as lines on the surface and if it might change your thinking
about what to do that.
Artemis Ridge was the second one.
I felt I was going to do exploration of another planet.
One idea think about is how might life and geology be all connected
The third proposals was from John.
Looking at Lake Vida.
They were going to look at the connections not just between life
in the lake but also looking at how runoff on the land flowed
into the lake and I think you guys have a lot of really good
ideas there to explore.
Fourth proposal was from Joe.
And I'm going to have to say Joe, I think you did some of the
best speculation in the round.
This was the triangles that were locked in ice off of butter
I think, though, your mystery triangles are small icebergs stuck
in fast ice but fantastic job of speculation.
Fifth proposal was from Kelbie looking at Macy Glacier.
This is one that Ken might want to comment on later but she was
going to look at the underlying topography and the glacier itself
and it gets to one of our most important questions about how
the ice sheet is going to evolve.
Perhaps Ken want to comments on that a little more later on.
The sixth proposal was from Jenny looking at Don Juan Pond and
develop a comprehensive picture of the pond.
How it worked, how water flowed into it.
How life might have formed.
I think this was a great idea for this proposal.
Don Juan Pond is such a unique feature I labeled yours as an
honorable mention for the round.
The seventh proposal was from Matt.
He was going to look at the brudman mountains.
He wants to go through straight exploration.
I think you're on to a unique enough area that that's a valid
thing to do.
You might want to think what are some of the most important science
questions we can answer in that area based on what other people
The eighth proposal was from ALANA and Rachel looking at Maria
This was one of the best proposals in the round.
If I would pick one to fund as a program manager this is one
that I would do.
I actually brought a rock for you guys to look at.
This is a rock from the dry valleys that's in the area.
The reason I bring it, you talked about wind in your proposal
and how you might look at the relationship between wind, the
glaciers and the sediment.
Some of the ways you might go at it.
Wind is the primary shaping agents in the dry valleys.
You might want to look at the core and look at the layers and
think about what source rocks they came from.
The last proposal is from KY and Adam who I think had probably
the best idea that I saw in the round.
They wanted the look at some of the icebergs that were trapped
in fast ice around Antarctica to get a handle on climate change
and I think this is a fabulous idea.
You know, we look how the ice moves from a bunch of different
We measure how the ice moves and other ways but it's difficult
for us to extrapolate over the long term and I think your idea
going and taking a snapshot and looking at where the icebergs
are today and then looking at air photos from the past and watching
this in the future might tell us a lot about how fast ice moves
in different parts of Antarctica and what the relationships might
be to how ice -- sea ice forms around Antarctica.
Fantastic ideas, all of them were great proposal.
Mrs. Scearce you're doing a bang-up job with that class.
>> Thank you very much, Tom.
We appreciate all your energy and insight into the proposals
that you reviewed.
Ginny, let's switch over to you and see what you thought about
the proposals you reviewed.
>> I got to review the proposals numbered 10 through 18.
And so I can give you a little view of that.
These are the proposals that I looked at.
Number 10 was on Lake Hoare by lily and Emma from Mount Vernon
middle school in Indiana.
And they were interested in understanding Lake Hoare and the
They posed some really good questions which I thought was a good
The second one was from Charlie and Travis at Mount Vernon middle
They found a really interesting pond.
A place that's not been really explored in Antarctica.
Not many people heard of the pond.
It was interesting to think they could come up with a new place
to discover and posed good questions about what they might do
to understand the lake conditions a little bit better.
Then the number 12 proposal is hades terrace by Chris at Mount
Vernon middle school.
He had a good idea to measure glacier speed over time to understand
changes in global warming and what might cause crevasseing to
There was a good theme to understand that glaciers are sensitive
to climate and trying to understand how they might change and
how you might understand the climate through that.
14 was Taylor glacier at Franklin regional middle school in Pennsylvania.
They had some really good ideas about what was happening in that
They thought a lot about what might have happened in the Taylor
glacier area since the last ice age which I thought was interesting
for them to think back that far and how the valley might look
different back during the last ice age compared to today and
they wanted to see if they could figure out how it had changed.
That was great.
Number 15 was also Taylor valley which by the same school Franklin
regional middle school by Katie and others and they were pointing
out some interesting things about what makes Taylor valley unique.
That it had the possibility of life thriving there.
They wanted to investigate that.
Number 16 was looking at the ice shelves in general by Mario,
and others at wren middle school and articulated the importance
of ice shelfs and what properties could be measured from space.
They did a good job of trying to ind stand what they could understand
about ice shelf by looking at LIMA images and other images.
The next one was how volcanoes and ice interact.
How volcanoes cause crevasse changes.
Number 18 was a study on the rock ice shelf by April at wren
middle school with good knowledge of the importance of ice shelves.
I was impressed by it and had a good idea to model it over time
to understand the stability of ice sheets over time.
And so I picked two proposals out of this group to fund with
my infinite amount of money.
The first one on funding is the dry valleys by Charlie and Travis
at Mount Vernon middle school.
They wanted to understand this little known pond.
They thought they could study Don Juan Pond and try to compare
the properties of that pond to their pond.
They wanted to know about the possibility of life there.
They wanted to know if it was completely frozen or if there was
liquid water in different parts of the year and they wanted to
know what might control the lake temperature.
They did some great research that's not necessarily all available
from the LIMA image.
They looked on the Internet as well to understand Don Juan Pond
but also understand the size of the lake and its location and
they listened to suggestions from the last webcast which I was
really impressed by.
You took in all the comments the scientists gave you and came
up with a good plan to make observations using LIMA to determine
if and when the lake was frozen.
Then you had this interesting idea to look at thermal infrared
satellite data to understand the lake temperature.
I thought that was great.
You were really thinking outside the box.
The other thing that you said was that you would send an ROV
underneath the ice to measure lake properties which is fun but
very expensive to do that.
My only suggestion was to think about how you could maximize
your usage of LIMA and maybe look for other lakes in the area
that you could use for comparisons.
So the second one I wanted to fund is the Mount Ayr bus project.
He had the goal to understand the interaction between crevasses
He was interested in how the volcanoes react how can we predict
eruptions and he did a lot of background research on both and
listened to some of the points that the scientists had in the
last webcast and integrated those points into his proposal to
make a better plan he wanted to take a ten kilometer radius in
the volcano and measure them and then he suggested that he could
monitor the mount for activity by looking at the amount of steaming
coming out, the presence of sulfur and lava he might see using
That's a great idea.
The only suggestion I had was maybe looking for some source of
information online about any kind of seismic activity that you
Then you could compare where your crevasses locate to where you
have seismic activity and you could say something about cause
and effect there.
Those are the two proposals I had.
Back to you.
>> Great, thanks, Ginny.
It was fun to see the pictures of students looking at LIMA imagery
and we appreciate your thoughtful review of those proposals.
We'll move now to Ted.
What proposals did you review and what did you think about them?
>> I had the third group of nine from 19 to 27.
And I've made a mistake.
I didn't write down the names of the students that worked on
these but hopefully the name and the topic will tell the student
which one was his.
Number 19 was on Mount Ayr bus and it was interesting.
A number of the proposals I review were fascinated between the
interaction between hot val Cain owes and ice and interesting
to see how the two primary Earth materials would interact.
One thing I would like to suggest is that in Hawaii when volcanoes
interact with the ocean they form these unique structures.
You might want to think about how lava interacting with an ice
sheet might modify that formation of these rounded rapidly cooled
blobs of magma as the lava hits the ice.
There were several proposals there.
Number 20 on the Ross Ice Shelf.
Of course, as Ginny pointed out ice shelves are really important.
They're a key part of the balance of the system between how ice
flows off the continent and into the ocean and losing the ice
shelves accelerates the glaciers that flow over Antarctica and
can contribute to sea level rise.
I thought that was an interesting proposal.
The one I liked the most was number 2 is on Commonwealth glacier.
It's interesting to look at and the students picked up on that
It has the area that flows out through a grap in the mountains
and onto the valley floors and it spreads out like a mushroom
or a big tear drop over that valley floor and it's eroded on
one side, the upwind side and less eroded on the other side.
The students looked at this and noticed that the shape was unusual.
Wanted to study how the shape of the glacier came to be and I
thought that was really interesting.
I think I liked that one just about the best because of its interest
in fundamental glaciology and how ice moves and forms the shapes
The next one was on mount wall green.
One of the things I thought was interesting.
A part they mentioned briefly.
It has a large area of blue ice next to it.
These blue ice areas can be a sensitive indicator of climate
If they're growing you can say that accumulation is dropping
or the wind speed is increasing in Antarctica.
If they're shrinking and getting covered with snow you might
say that the weather is getting more humid which in Antarctica
humidity means more snowfall, not more rainfall.
Number 23 was on nim rod glacier that talked about looking for
fossils in the rocks around the glacier.
Sure enough it turns out that part of Antarctica is really important
in terms of fossils.
There have been some dinosaur fossils found in the area which
me mentioned and also some fossils that show that even very recently
Antarctica was a much warmer place, a place that had forests
with broad leaf trees that had a seasonality to them.
So the nim rod glacier was interesting because it looked at paleontology
and nim rod glacier looks great in the LIMA imagery because of
the flow and the island of rock in the middle of it that the
glacier flows around.
The next one I looked at was number 24.
The students were suspecting this might be a volcano because
of the shape of the mountains.
I think it would be interesting to explore the area.
I doubt that it's a volcano but they had some interesting ideas
for exploring how they might determine whether or not it's a
The next one number 25 was on swift glacier which is an interesting
glacier in the Antarctica peninsula.
A lot of the ice is crumbling away they noticed some of the flow
streaks on swift glacier from rock avalanches that have fallen
on the glacier and carried downstream.
The last one I reviewed I might have skipped one.
The last one was the unique ripple features in the middle of
Antarctica called MEGADYNS.
They were interested in the interplay between wind and they said
the bedrock of Antarctica but the surface of the ice sheet has
a strong interact with the wind and they were on to something
there in terms of how the wind and the snow might interplay together
to create these huge ripple shapes.
They had obviously done some reading about it because they knew
some of the basic facts about them.
It was one of my favorite proposals and also the one on Commonwealth
glacier number 21.
>> Super, thank you very much, Ted.
I want to make a comment that the Commonwealth glacier proposal
was submitted by Caroline and Angela at wren middle school.
Ted, can you remind us what was the number on the proposal that
was also a favorite?
>> I think it was 27 and it was by a fourth grade class.
I think the class did the proposal together and I was really
impressed with that.
>> These were Mrs. Maynard's students at Ida elementary
>> Congratulations to them.
>> We're going to move over to Bob now at Goddard space
Which proposals did you review and what did you think?
>> Thanks, Rebecca.
I took the last set.
So I started with number 28 and it ran through number 39 and
the way I've organized my quick review here is to jump to the
one that just jumped out at me when I was reading all of these
because I think it really was exceptional and showed so many
of the characteristics that I look for when I review real proposals
from real scientists for real money.
I think this class just did an exceptional job so I want to speak
about that if I can.
And I have the whole proposal here on a slide.
Don't expect to be able to read all the print but it does illustrate
who it's from.
And what it's about.
It is from Paula gardener's third and fourth grade science class.
I want to emphasize that.
I was just stunned by the ability of third and fourth graders
to put together such a coherent proposal.
The subject is mount TAKAHI.
Which is a popular subject with these LIMA Quest challenges.
Volcanoes and ice is a very intriguing combination and this class
has pursued that connection.
But some of the characteristics I really like about this proposal
is that they had very clearly-stated hypotheses and very clearly-stated
reasons why this research would be important.
They wanted to look at the mount.
They were concerned about the fact that being a volcano it could
erupt and how would that interact with the ice sheet in terms
And how would that melting then affect the rest of the world
through sea level rise?
They're right on target with the big issues of the day.
Sea level rise is what I study day in and day out.
And then also in their final paragraph they describe what they
wanted to measure and how those measurements would help them
answer those questions.
Which is exactly the kind of organized thinking and connection
between what a proposeer wants to do and what they would do with
that information and how they would address the hypotheses.
I think it was just fantastic, the fact that this class was able
to articulate all of that in a fairly short proposal.
They also took the advice they received from the feedback that
both Tom and I gave them and they clearly understood that feedback
and worked with it and collected additional information to strengthen
their proposal from what we saw initially.
So it just had all of the elements that we scientists use to
rate proposals highly so I wanted to highlight that and as I
said, that just jumped out at me when I looked at this set of
>> Another one that really attracted me was this one from
Erika, 11 years old, sixth grade at the Taylor academy in Florida.
What I looked about this was it was pure exploration.
She saw feature that she didn't understand and she admitted she
didn't know what it was but driven by curiosity to know what
it is and she took that curiosity and looked all around this
area to try to gather clues to help her understand what this
feature may, in fact, be.
She noticed a volcano is nearby.
Is this feature associated with a volcanic event or something
She noticed it was right beside the glacier, fast-moving ice.
What it related to the fast-moving glacier that was next to it?
Again, she admitted she didn't know.
She did a very good job of suggesting measurements that she would
want to make if she was supported to actually go there and visit
And I thought that was a beautiful example of just curiosity-driven
science which is exactly how scientists do use imagery of Antarctica.
Another standout proposal.
Then my set of proposals were -- included just a lot from Mrs.
GARRIET's class at red school in Houston, Texas, a big salute
to her because she has a fantastic science class and they divided
themselves into groups and every one of these proposals from
her class was good.
I think everybody in that class, I hope they're listening here
should give a big salute to their teacher.
I think she's the real standout here to have led this classroom
There was a variety of proposals from this class.
Six different ones looking at mount discovery as a volcano.
Three students put that together.
Some beautiful observations from the imagery and they collected
some additional information off the web learning about mount
Some crevasses on the Ronnie ice shelf.
This is a new research group that we current scientists should
be aware of.
The TIA research group to asking some very key questions about
how the crevasses on this ice shelf may affect iceberg formation
in the not too distant future and how these crevasses evolve
recognizing we want to look at multiple images over time.
The moss and escarpment is what captured some other students'
attention and they asked also some very interesting questions
about why it's there.
Why is there a glacier on one side and the ice sheet on the other
side and the evolution thinking how this may have come to be.
Another team looked at the crevasse patterns around deer's head
crevasses, an area on the Ross Ice Shelf.
I don't have their names but keen observations of what they were
looking at there as well as the surrounding vicinity helping
them formulate some interesting hypotheses.
Then we go to some other budding geologists, Sam and Brandon
talked about the Scott mountains.
I learned a lot by reading their proposal.
They dug into the literature about the Scott mountains.
They want to know more and I hope they grow up to take on careers
of Antarctica geologists and learn more.
Roosevelt island, the final one that captured the imagination
of other students.
And again a very nice proposal where they asked some very deep,
I may get back to them because there are some scientific papers
that deal with Roosevelt island that use many of the same questions
as their starting point.
So they might be interested in what was actually learned there.
So -- two other -- one other comment I want to make.
Another proposal that just -- I have to mention is from the small
nation of southeast Asia next to Indonesia and some students
there, their teacher Simon, what I liked about this proposal.
They were just fascinated with iceberg and I underscored here
in their proposal some statements that just stood out.
That they are a coastal nation and they are affected by sea level
rise and they want to understand iceberg because of the connection
between ice, ocean and their own nation.
In fact, they noted that iceberg B15 was five times the size
of their own country.
So that -- how could that not capture their attention?
So I was pleased with their observation that icebergs are, in
fact, extremely big and they wanted to learn more and I hope
their inquisitiveness continues through the rest of their schooling.
Those are the comments I had on that final set.
And I think I could bounce it back to you, Rachel but I'm interested
in hearing what Ken had to sai. he was the only one that looked
at all of them.
>> Before we hear from Ken I did want to mention, Bob,
that Mrs. Gary's class from red school in Houston is online with
us today so I'm sure they are very excited to hear all your comments
about their proposals and I appreciate you putting into perspective
the size of the icebergs compared to the country of the last
proposal that you reviewed.
As you said, let's go ahead and move over to Ken and listen to
what he has to say.
I want to let our audience know since Ken is joining us by phone
we'll roll a video that will play on the screen as Ken talks
and offers his feedback and comments.
And as was mentioned, I did read through all the proposals.
And as my colleagues mentioned I found every proposal had a good
idea for an interesting observation.
Congratulations to you all on that.
What impressed me most was the range of topics that these students
thought worthy of research.
It was amazing.
As a group you managed to touch on just about every major topic
in Antarctica science and that's great.
For example, as people have mentioned earlier, there are several
proposals concerning Antarctica geology.
Interesting topic from volcanoes into the Ross island area including
mount discovery and mount ser bus.
Several po poseals made connection between geology and glais
The dry valley lakes alone fascinated many of you.
I liked the ways you looked at the ways lakes help support life
and others wondered how glaciers might erode mountains or --
several people thought about connections again between geology
and biology in Antarctica through the curious existence of these
hardy endolithic organisms.
A number of them focused on the icing blanket in Antarctica.
Some people thought about the physics of crevasse formation.
Some wondered about the relationships between the glacier ice
and ocean speculating on how icebergs might be -- there were
also a number of good ideas about the polar atmosphere and how
the winds might shape the surface of the ice sheet as Ted mentioned
and how they also then redistribute sands in the dry valleys.
I have to say my favorites were about the ice shelves.
I began my own research on the Ross Ice Shelf so I looked all
of those in particular.
But there was one proposal about another ice shelf where one
of our friends, Ted's and Bob's and my friends made measurements
using dog sleds to traverse the ice shelf from end to end.
People that we know began their careers with dogs and now we're
studying the Antarctica from space.
But some of your ideas even convenient toured beyond the coast
and thought how the ice shelves might interact with the ocean
and how climate change might affect Antarctica and how it might
contribute to sea level rise.
All in all I think you did a good job.
As a group across the board you discovered the secret of why
Antarctica science is so much fun.
You can find interesting and important topics in whichever science,
discipline most interests you.
Whether it be geology or biology or glais yol gee or whatever.
Go to a scientist to tell you about stuff that is entirely new
I think you all did a good job.
>> Thank you very much, Ken.
We're going to transition now to the Q and A part of our webcast
and as questions come in, we're going to have Bob from Goddard
space flight center kind of assign those questions and have
the scientists that are joining us today answer those as we
So Linda, what questions do we have so far?
I think our watchers and listeners have been fascinated because
they haven't been typing a lot of questions.
Let's start with one we got from Joe in Iowa.
He asks could a crevasse open to become a ditch?
>> Well, I'll take the first question.
A crevasse opens quite slowly and in essence it is a ditch.
We think that in some cases the forces involved in a crevasse
limit how deep it would go.
Typically they can go about 30 feet just because the ice at the
bottom of that 30 feet is trying to close it up.
But if you fill it with water it actually can keep going all
the way through.
We think that's responsible for some observations that have been
made by satellites of disintegrating ice shelves where they seem
to fall apart in a very short period of time.
But it's not the Hollywood view of crevasses opening up very
suddenly and either closing to capture somebody or not.simply
That does not happen.
That's Hollywood's view of crevasses and it is not the real world.
We have a question here from Caiden.
He says do you think any grown person with the right equipment
could live in Antarctica?
>> Well, Ken is living there right now so I'll let him
take that one.
I think he's grown up.
>> And the right equipment is key.
Basically trying to make living in Antarctica means paying attention
to the weather all the time, the conditions, making sure that
all of your equipment is working.
Making sure you have lots of food and ways to make water from
the ice along with you.
In terms of surviving on your own in Antarctica, no, it's completely
inhospitable unless you were to come here with greenhouses and
an infinite supply of food you couldn't make it on your own.
It takes a big center.
There are three large bases in Antarctica which allow us to get
things staged and put together so we can go out into the deep
field and make measurements in places where people have never
gone before to try to find out more about how Antarctica and
the rest of the planet works.
>> Just a comment about the NSF arrangements there.
They've been kind enough to allow us to hook up today and so
giving us the unique opportunity of being able to talk all
the way down to Antarctica.
And Tom was very instrumental in that, too.
Paula gardener's class appreciates the comments made about their
I'll go on to Caiden again.
He asks why are ROVs so expensive?
>> Well, let me give that one to Tom since he hands out
>> I can be the catch-all person.
You guys do all the important ones.
The ROV question is a good one and they are really expensive
for a couple of reasons.
If you're talking about something that goes in the water, the
idea of having all those electronics that are separated from
the water and don't short out but at the same time can guide
this thing around without any contact to the surface, that's
really, really difficult to do because it's hard for us to send
signals through the sea water to the surface.
So it gets very, very expensive.
Then it gets even more expensive because you might think there
are plenty of toys out there that you have that can go in the
water and be driven and fly around but they don't carry a scientific
That probably weighs five times as much as the toy does plus
it has all of its own requirement in terms of power and temperature
and those kinds of things.
When you consider all those factors together, it makes using
in any kind of remotely operated vehicle in the ocean still pretty
expensive to use.
I went to a talk by someone from NASA saying that it's so expensive.
If you can do the mission with the person it's cheaper to do.
With Antarctica it's so expensive and difficult to work there
that we are investigating using remotely operated vehicles in
a couple of places.
Two key things, one is mapping from the air and there is a group
called creases based at the University of Kansas which has --
is building an unmanned Ariel vehicle to fly around the map the
Another place we're talking about doing them is under the ice
If you look at a map and look at the Ross Ice Shelf this is many
hundreds of feet thick and it extends back hundreds of miles
about the size of France.
We would like to know what's going on underneath the ice shelves
and an ROV is another way to do it.
Another way to do it is Bob's project that maybe he'll talk about
Back to you, Rebecca.
>> One quick comment.
I know you had -- for those who haven't seen other webcasts introduce
him to us.
>> Do you have a good picture?
>> You need to talk a little.
There we go.
>> How about that?
This lived a couple hundred million years ago in Antarctica.
One of the reasons I bring it around.
We think of Antarctica today and the ice there today started
40 million years ago but it has a deep time history.
One of the oldest continents of the Earth and used to be the
Antarctica was located kind of in the center.
The crossroads for animals to migrate around.
The way like kangaroos and possums and things.
The reason they're distributed around the whole world is because
they walked through Antarctica.
You can think of this as the great grandmother of T-Rex.
This is 200 million years old.
For 135 million years there was a T-Rex size animal stomping
around the Earth.
Compared to how long we've been around as human beings for less
than a million years.
These are successful creatures for a long time.
It points out one of the importances of doing research in Antarctica.
Because it's so difficult, so little of it has been explored
and we've only gone to a couple of places and found dine Sawyers.
When they found this one it completely rewrote that whole Clay
of the T-Rex style dinosaurs, divided them from one to four.
Also you can see Elvis -- he gets nicknamed Elvis.
When the scientist who found him first gave a talk he noticed
there was a crest on his head like Elvis's hair.
They don't know what the crest is for.
They think it's too small for fighting but maybe related to an
expandable spine that maybe it could put up when it was looking
for the mate.
There has been some other recent research that just came out
and it might be used for generating or receiving sound.
>> He's always fun to hear about.
We have a couple more comments.
I want to encourage classrooms if you've got a question, get
it in now because we're wrapping up pretty soon.
But we have a question about how much new information do you
find in Antarctica every month?
>> Oh, boy.
Well, I want to spread these questions around so I'm going to
give that one to Ken, I think.
I think I can answer that.
One way to look at it is just how many countries around the world
are actually collecting data about Antarctica.
And as people have pointed out, there are many different groups,
many different countries working on the ground in Antarctica
but both Bob and I are involved in an activity to encourage all
of the space nations of the world to use their satellites to
focus on Antarctica and collect data.
You can imagine how much information that is.
There are many different satellites and they're collecting a
tremendous amount of data, much more than would fill any of your
personal computers in just a matter of seconds.
So the interest of many of the world's countries is really focused
on Antarctica right now and using the incredible technical resources
to get the data that we need to answer the kind of questions
that were posed in your proposal.
>> Great, thank you.
Have any scientists been the mount KAHI to explore and if so,
how does the temperature compare with the other parts of Antarctica?
>> Ginny, you haven't had a question yet.
Do you want to take that one?
>> I can take that one.
I haven't been there but I've been close to it and not many people
have been there because it's in a fairly remote place in Antarctica.
But there have been some airborne surveys that have been flying
over that area in the last couple of years and what they see
are all the internal layers in the ice sheet and the base of
the ice sheet with a device called radar and those internal layers
are what you see on a road cut driving along and seeing where
the side of the road has been cut through the rocks and you can
see layers in the rock, you can see those with the radar in the
ice sheet without actually cutting through the ice sheets.
That provides a lot of valuable information for us.
But around that mountain you can see bright layers.
Some of it might be do to ash that falls out onto the ice sheet
when it was last active.
So that's picked up on the radar and they can see these bright
layers and trace them over large distances and try to map out
the fallout of all the ash throughout that whole region.
So in terms of temperature, I don't think currently it's any
warmer on the surface of the ice sheet there, it's just as cold
there as it is anywhere else.
But near the base of the ice sheet it may be a little bit warmer
because of the volcanic activity that's happening there.
There is very little information known about the base of the
ice sheet because we just don't have a lot of data right now
to tell us about the base of the ice sheet.
It is many kilometers thick so it's kind of hard for us to see
through all that us and understand the properties through that
big layer of ice.
There is a lot of effort to try to improve under our understanding
of the base load conditions in that area and all the places of
Antarctica in general.
I have a quick question for Bob.
I notice that Bob had his own -- congratulations.
What do you have to do to get one?
>> Is that a question from you, Linda?
>> No, no, no.
This is actually from a class in Iowa.
>> All right.
I just want to add one little addendum to what Ginny already
You said that question came from GARDNER.
I assume that's the teacher of that third and fourth grade science
I hope that when I'm 75 I'm going to read in the newspaper that
some scientists from Waco, Texas, has gone there and done some
new, exciting research.
I think it will still be available to those students.
I hope that's going to happen.
Getting things named for you in Antarctica.
There are over 14,000 different teacher's names?
Antarctica many acknowledging the contributions of a variety
Each country has a process that you go through and so there are
many, many U.S. scientists that Ken Jezek has a glacier named
Ginny, you're young and you're so successful I have absolutely
no doubt that you'll be honored equally.
It is an honor that colleagues suggest names of teachers be assigned
to honor the scientific contributions.
Actually right now I serve on the committee that decides about
those names and a good case has to be made and the case has to
be based on contributions of an individual to Antarctica science.
There are many, many more features out there.
I expect that tradition of honoring scientific contributions
this way will continue on into the future for generations to
Thanks for the question.
I do have a last question that I think may have a different answer
depending on which one of our scientists you ask so it might
be a good signoff question.
That is, what is the most interesting thing in Antarctica?
>> I think everybody ought to take 15 seconds to answer
that and I'll take the last so I have more time to think.
Let's start with Tom.
>> With who?
>> With Tom.
>> Let's go to -- if Tom isn't there we'll try him again
when we go all the way around.
>> Most interesting thing in Antarctica.
I think the large ice streams are the most interesting thing.
They are huge features, much bigger.
It's hard to understand just how big they are until you spent
a couple of days trying to drive across one and not even get
there after two days.
They flow very fast, they're very sensitive.
They've changed a lot.
That whole system of snowfall, huge glaciers flowing out to the
sea forming these large ice shelves I think that's a really interesting
system and really important one because it has a major control
on sea level and the system is changing as climate changes around
So I would have to say that the large ice streams are probably
the most interesting feature.
Let's try Ken.
>> Well, I agree with Ted.
Ice streams are very interesting and the big icebergs that come
off the ice shelves are interesting if for no other reason
than that process of iceberg carving is the fastest way to
change any coastline around the world so I always think that's
an interesting thing.
>> I'll go to Ginny next.
>> Well, you know, I live in Texas and they say that everything
is bigger in Texas but actually everything is bigger in Antarctica.
Its -- the scale of things there is enormous.
I got my start working on Alpine glaciers.
I had no idea how big something could be until I went there.
Kilometers deep in some places and the mountains are big and
the icebergs are enormous and even the logistics is just a big
Everything, all the trucks, everything there is really big so
if I have to say one thing it's the size of everything there
is just really fascinating.
>> Let's see if Tom is still connected or not.
>> Tom actually had to sign off so he's not with us any
>> Let me give my answer.
I would answer it just the thing is how much we don't know about
Antarctica and how much it matters to get the answers.
As Tom said, in deep time it was a crossroads of everything that
happened on the planet.
So many mysteries are still left unanswered and I guess that
view is popping into my head because we're talking to so many
students out there that there will be so many interesting questions
still unanswered when they've had their education and hopefully
become excellent scientists.
It's an exciting place to work.
New discoveries being made frequently and there is no better
place to do science on this planet than Antarctica.
>> We are at the end of the hour and will wrap up the
I want to thank our audience for participating in today's webcast
and participating in the whole challenge.
We really enjoyed receiving your proposals.
They were interesting and very impressive.
We had a great bunch of proposals this time around.
And I do want to inform you that the proposals are all posted
online so if you want to take a look at the proposals we've talked
about today in more detail they're on the website for you to
We're archiving this access and go to the same LIMA challenge
website and get the webcast from us.
And Tom, do you want to -- sorry, Bob, would you like to make
a final comment before we sign off?
>> Well, I do.
I was hoping you were going to ask just because I have a whole
round of thanks to give out to people.
And I'll start with you, Rebecca and Linda for the Quest Challenge
I think you've done a great job of organizing this.
It has been a very satisfying, gratifying experience for me to
take LIMA, which I had hopes and dreams for LIMA and I wanted
it to be used to bring Antarctica to people and make Antarctica
more accessible and you have certainly helped facilitate and
enable that so I feel very satisfied and very gratified that
that has been so successful.
Then I also want to thank my colleagues on the panel.
I asked them quite out of the blue would they be willing to be
part of this and not a single one of them said no or even had
any quaums about participating and they've been fantastic.
Thanks to Ken, Tom, Ginny and Ted.
They've been superb.
I think I chose them well and they certainly did a fantastic
And then finally I want to thank all the students and the teachers.
You mentioned 3200 students were involved in this challenge in
one way or another and I think that's a huge measure of great
success and again I just want to restate what you already said
that we kind of dangled the carrot initially that could proposals
might find their way onto the website.
All of these proposals are good and they're all going to be on
the website and I'll be seeing to that this afternoon, I think.
So again, thank you for everything and that thank you extends
>> All right.
Thank you again, Bob and Ginny and Ken and Ted and Tom.
We enjoyed the audiences's participation and hope you will join
us again for a future challenge.