Education and Outreach

WISSARD Young Scientists

Join us on our Antarctic adventure as we explore one of the last unexplored environments on Earth. A team of scientists and engineers from 9 universities across the United States are exploring the environment under the West Antarctic Ice Shelf and  are preparing to drill through almost a half a mile of ice to reach subglacial Lake Whillans, one of more than 250 lakes buried deep beneath the Antarctic ice.

Research teams are interested in whether active subglacial lakes play an important part in stabilizing or destabilizing the West Antarctic Sheet—an enormous ice sheet the size of France. Scientists hope to learn more about the history of the ice sheet and how the ice sheet moves and behaves.  This information is important as we face a changing global climate. Scientists are also interested in what types of microbial life exist in extreme environments. We may find novel organisms that are new to science!  

This large interdisciplinary project funded by of the National Science Foundation, incorporates the best of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and includes glaciologists, geologists, geophysicists and geochemists, hydrologists, microbial ecologists, molecular biologists, and engineers.

Follow our Expedition and Explore Antarctica!

Follow the 2014-2015 season on the WISSARD Facebook Page, WISSARD Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling Project

OR on this seasons blog, UCSC glaciology, curated by graduate student Carolyn Branecky.