An office on an ice shelf

In some ways, I start my work day like a lot of people:  I ride in a van pool about 9 miles to my office. But my public transportation is a snow-worthy 15 passenger van,

Public transportation in and around McMurdo is often in 15 passenger vans.

and my office is a tent on the McMurdo Ice Shelf.

The “office” tent at Williams Field.

The tent is heated, has electricity, and even has a (slow!) computer network connection.  The front half of the tent is a rather typical office space; people working on computers.

Inside the tent we are busy working on our data analysis procedures.

The back half of the tent is for maintaining and storing our scientific instruments.

In the left foreground are the gravimeters and on the right are the control systems for the Icepod. These will be moved onto a C130 plane. Barely visible on the left are crates containing the ALAMO floats.

Our tent is at Williams Field (“Willie Field”), which is an airport with runways on packed and groomed snow.  The planes that take off and land here have skis rather than wheels on their landing gear.

An LC130 Hercules (or “Herc”) lands on skis at Williams Field. The runway is a groomed snow surface on about 8 meters of snow lying on the McMurdo Ice Shelf.

We work at Willie Field because our scientific study relies on the use of C130 transport planes, and we need to be near them to load and unload our gear and personnel for two flights per day.

When it is time for lunch, we walk about 5 minutes to “Willie Town”.

The ROSETTA crew walking to WIllie Town for lunch.

Willie Town is a small collection of portable buildings. Two important buildings are the galley (cafeteria) and the bathroom!  The other buildings support airfield operations.

Downtown Willie, taken from in front of the galley (cafeteria). The red building on the left is the bathroom facility. The checkered building at the end of the road is the control tower for Willie Field.

At the end of the workday a van picks us up and takes us back to McMurdo Station.