Dale Andersen's Field Reports

Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 29 November 2019: Diving For Science

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
Dale Andersen
November 29, 2019
Filed under
Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Antarctic Status Report 29 November 2019: Diving For Science
Lake Untersee Base Camp (Via satellite phone)
Dale Andersen

We have been keeping very busy these last couple of weeks, trying to take advantage of the nice weather (mostly calm and with clear skies more often than not).

Today I revisited several sites underwater in Lake Untersee, collecting samples of the photosynthetic cyanobacterial mats that cover most every surface. We also began melting out temperature/light sensors we have had underwater the last two years – these sensors, provided by Onset Computer (Hobo) will provide us with additional insight in regards to the light regime experienced by the cyanobacterial mats that are present. The sensors run from just beneath the 3.7 m thick ice-cover to the bottom at 160 m. But the lines, entombed in the thick ice must be melted out so we can pull the sensors to the surface through the 30 cm formed during the melting procedure.

This evening we celebrated American Thanksgiving (I am the only American in the group this year) with most everyone having freeze-dried turkey tetrazzini as the main course. It is always nice to share a holiday with fellow teammates, and to be able to celebrate, and give thanks to everyone who have made our Antarctic research possible. We have much more we hope to accomplish in the remaining days we have at Untersee,

Warm regards from the shores of a perennially ice-covered lake in the mountains of Queen Maud Land!


Latest Weather Observations for Novolazarevskaja, Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Antarctic weather satellite imagery
Earlier reports


Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻