Saturday, December 29, 2012

Antarctica Expedition: Here I come!

Aquarium senior educator Jo Blasi is on expedition to Antarctica to study the impact of climate change in these areas and changes in the marine ecosystem. She will be live blogging frequently about the expedition, research technologies and marine life encountered during the trip. 

“Hello everyone and welcome to the New England Aquarium!”

Those are words that I say a lot at the Aquarium while teaching visitors about the world of water! The Aquarium has lots of interesting creatures, including fish and sea turtles from the Caribbean, stingrays that visitors can touch and tidepool animals from our local waters. It’s my job to share these amazing animals and their stories with visitors, hoping to inspire people to learn more and take action help solve the problems facing the ocean.

Teaching about turtles

Though most of my time is spent at Aquarium, an upcoming adventure has me looking beyond Boston. In just a few days, I’ll be headed south….way south! I’m joining a team of scientists, researchers, photographers, film crews and support staff that will travel to Antarctica! Why are we going? This group of people will continue work being done at the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) station to study how things like climate change, warming temperatures, decreases in sea ice and other factors can drive big changes in food webs. These changes can impact everything from tiny phytoplankton to whales and penguins.

Adelie penguins, photo: Beth Simmons

During this journey, my job is to help a team from Rutgers University study some of these changes using underwater gliders (torpedo-shaped autonomous robots) to collect data. Talk about cool technology! These researchers hope to understand how oceans and atmospheric changes are connected and to document the current condtions.

Cool technology! Photo: Rutgers University

I’m not only excited to take part in the research but am excited to be able to share that information and findings with students, teachers and Aquarium visitors. I’ll be communicating while on board the ship, posting pictures, answering questions and showcasing the work being done on a daily basis. Check back often to read the latest post and learn more about the expedition! Cheers!

Satellite photo of Antarctica, via Wikimedia commons


All of Jo's entries will be cross posted on the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research Station site hereLearn more about the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research Station.


  1. We'll miss you at the Aquarium but can't wait to hear about your adventures!

  2. Ha! Thanks Will! Hopefully I won't be too cool with all of the hats, mittens, wool socks and fleece that I'm packing!