Women in Science!!!

Please pass this on to all who might be interested! Join an expedition to discover the world of glaciers Girls on Ice is a unique eleven-day leadership program for teenage girls that combines leadership, mountaineering and science. The program takes place *July 28-August 7, 2008 * and is free to girls who qualify via a merit-based application process. It is open to girls 15-18 years old who have shown a keen interest in exploring the world of science and the outdoors. Nine young women will be selected and the ideal candidate will be an inquisitive, adventurous girl who would like to learn more about scientific inquiry, research, careers in science and the North-West environment. It is the only program in the nation that combines leadership, scientific inquiry and mountaineering for teenage girls. Itprovides a rare opportunity for young women to feel at home in the wilderness while observing the natural world through the unique lens of science under the guidance of professional female glaciologists and mountaineers. Applications due March 15, 2008 Please visit Girls on Ice for more information and an application packet or feel free to contact Erin at epettit@pdx.edu.

Female Explorers:

The last frontier?
Yes the frozen desert of Antarctica has been called the last and only true frontier on Earth. And who is exploring this frontier?

I will just let the WOMEN tell you about it.

On a personal note, Saint Mary's ladies, this one is for YOU!

Female explorers at the bottom of the world

Just click on the photo above, then a clip will start (after one add). The segment is a clip from the Today Show, Feb 5, 2007. Note that the entire show is longer and continues on Tuesday Feb 6th as well.

Female explorers at the bottom of the world


If you have been to the partner blog then you already know a little about what extremophiles are and where you can find them. But let's go a little more in depth, shall we? When I first heard about an upcoming lecture by Dr. J. Priscu, I had never heard anything about extremophiles. Right away I did a bit of preliminary research.

Extremophiles (see photo) are organisms that thrive in extreme environments. Examples of these extremes are: hot (240F), cold (-90F), acidic (salty), basic, dark, highly pressurized, (1,100 times atmospheric pressure), high radiation or toxicity levels, low O2 levels, and there are even those that thrive on a very low consumption of carbon sources (metabolites). Just think, if humans were to endure one of the many items on this list, we would not survive. And yet these microbes do just that, and have done for millions of years.

Objectives of Research: The central objectives of Dr. J. Priscu's Antarctic research are to monitor the physical, chemical, and biological activity of the extremophiles found in the lake ice of four different Antarctic lakes.

Methods: One means of doing this will be to anaylyze the presence of chlorophyll-a using fluorescence. Another is to look at the activity of phytoplankton found in the gathered samples and major ions using ion chromatography (IC). Anions and cations are analyzed in separate runs on the IC.
Major anions: F-, Cl-, Br-, NO3-, and SO42-.
Major cations: Li+, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+. Dissolved organic and inorganic carbon sources, organic nitrogen, ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate, are some of the other molecules we are interested in.

The Bigger Scope: When looking at the data gathered from this reaserch in over the past 20-30 years, the scope of understanding expands to include hydrology and ecology of the lakes. Furthermore, correlations between extreme life in Antarctica and the orgins of life or life on Mars can be found and expanded. (see article: How Life Began)

Assortment of Phytoplankton found at lake sites (see: photo Lake Bonney):
Protozoans & Other