Friday, October 30, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Packed camera bag complete with luggage tag. 
My bag is packed. The sturdy black duffle, delicately perched on top of my dresser, stares me down. This is it, it's really time. As we near departure, everything seems much more real. The cameras and batteries are all laid out in the lab, ready to be placed into our carry ons. I've said my goodbyes to my family, and my roomies keep giving me random hugs. I've cut out the pictures for and written addresses into my journal. It's really only two days away!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nisha Kishore - Presenting Chapter

Presenting Chapter

Laptop? Check. ID? Check. Nervous? Check. Definitely check. I looked into the mirror and straightened my tie for the last time before heading downstairs. It was time to give my BU RECS presentation. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Alexandra Theodosopoulos - Hope and Climate Change

Hope and Climate Change

by Alexandra Theodosopoulos

Hope. It is what keeps us curious, emotional human beings going through our lives, and it gives meaning to our actions. It is a powerful concept, which has been at the center of many of the world’s most pivotal moments—the catalyst for powerful change throughout history. In the modern-day world, there seems to be an ever-increasing number of overwhelming issues looming around every corner. One such issue is climate change and the threat of a climate disaster not too far down the road. Most of the population has had some exposure to the information that the planet’s climate is experiencing rapid and drastic changes, and that all the scientific research points to a man-made cause. Whether people choose to believe this, or better yet, choose to act on it, is the question which is key to preventing the destruction of the home we all depend on to survive. In my personal experience, I have met people who are aware of global warming and the human threat to the planet, and believe the science is accurate. However, many of these people use plastic water bottles recklessly, forgetting to even do the simple act of recycling, print a myriad of unnecessary pages, and drive their cars multiple times every day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jack Of All Trades

I never thought my ice chipping skills would come in handy at a science laboratory.

For most of my high school career I worked part time at my aunt's home made ice cream shop.  Every thursday the 1st waitress had to scrape the front display ice box, as ice would build up on the edges. Today Drew and I spent the morning chipping away ice from the freezer we keep our frozen Antarctica samples in. Apparently all freezers are just as guilty of doing their job more than we would like them to.

T-Minus 9 Days

Time is moving quickly, and it hasn’t really hit me just how soon I’m leaving for Antarctica. I have I feeling none of this will seem real until I actually step foot on the ice. These past two months have been a whirlwind of learning, reading, interviewing, algae-picking, shopping for the warmest, wooliest socks, and perfecting my 30-second elevator pitch on my research.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What Is Science?

The other day I was asked "What Is Science?". Well, that's a toughy - very philosophical for my right-brained self... but I sat down and thought it out. Here are my thoughts, pre-Antarctica.

Science is an adventure. It’s a quest for knowledge that never ends. It takes time and effort, but it’s really quite simple once you get to the heart of it. People like to learn new things. This is especially true when it comes to the world around us. So they come up with stories of what they think will happen, and then create controlled experiments to see if they’re right. It is a process… and a messy one at that. Filled with lots of mistakes, lots of work - and if you really love what you’re doing, lots of fun as well! Science is opportunity. It’s an opportunity to show the world that there’s more out there than meets the eye. It’s an opportunity to shine a light on the very small,
SEM image of Biotite, a mineral found in ash.
(the very small)
and pull into perspective the very large. It’s an opportunity to discover something that no one else thought of, or find something unexpected. Science is not only for the stodgy, bearded, academic. Science is organic, and holds a place in everyone’s hearts. While there are many fancy words, impressive citations, complicated formulas etc. Everything begins with a question. And that question sparks new questions. From a child asking where rain comes from, to NASA wondering if there’s water on mars. Everything stems from that integral human trait - curiosity.

I mean, I know that’s why I agreed to a six week journey to Antarctica - the coldest and most desolate on Earth. It's curiosity, adventure, the idea of discovering something new! The opportunity to stand on ground that no one has ever stood on before! One doesn't just suffer through weeks of no showers and no internet for kicks. Besides, many people have been through much worse for the sake of discovery. Science is messy. It's sloughing through marshes, playing with lightening, exploring in the jungle... and camping in the cold and wind of
BUARG camp site juxtaposed to the TAM
(the very large)
Antarctica. In order to learn how nature works, you need to go up and poke it with a stick.
I'm so excited to have this opportunity to actually get in there, roll up my sleeves (or layer them on) and figure it out for myself!

Yet, science is an enterprise that affects so many more people than just the solitary scientist. It builds upon years and years of hard work by others in our fields. When I was a kid, I used to wonder why nature does what it does. But this is an age old question that humans have been tackling for centuries. It began with the very first people and simple experiments like "is this berry safe to eat", or "can I touch fire". As time went on people soon realized that science is methodical, a process. It involves experimentation, and data collection. Plus the invention of written language probably didn't hurt. Thus over centuries of hard work, we have transformed "science" into the large body of knowledge that we have and enjoy today. Yet even now, with the scientific method, peer review, modeling, and new technology... it still all begins with a simple question. An observation. A spark. An adventure!

-Emelia Chamberlain

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mars Updates and Antarctica

   Mars Updates and Antarctica

   Over the past few weeks, NASA has released several important updates about the atmospheric conditions of Mars. These developments and their relation to the BU Antarctic Research Group's (BUARG) work in Antarctica have me very excited. 

Nisha Kishore - Earth-centered Ethics

Earth-centered Ethics

Have you considered the focus of our ethics system? I did, or at least I thought so, during my ethics course junior year of high school. I was surprised by today’s seminar because it challenged my beliefs and allowed me to view the Earth from a fresh perspective.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Hi everyone! 
I thought I would share the answers to some of the questions people commonly ask me. If I forgot anything please leave a comment with your questions and I will do my best to answer them!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

BURECS Beginnings by Nisha Kishore

BURECS Beginnings

8:03 pm, my watch read. I’m late! I thought. I started running down Commonwealth Ave to get to ultimate frisbee practice. As I started jogging, I felt a few drops of rain fall down my face. I looked up to the sky and couldn’t help but let my mind wander to Earth’s climate change, and to what I’ve been learning in with BU RECS.

I’ve had a great time in class these past two weeks. Drew Christ, our graduate fellow, gave the first two presentations. Last week, he focused on the Earth’s current climate system. He emphasized that the radiation from the sun is not received evenly throughout the Earth, resulting in a large solar radiation imbalance. Several factors contribute to this imbalance, including varying levels of albedo and changes in the Earth’s tilt due to its rotation. This week, Drew concentrated on climate models. He introduced climate proxies, which are indicators of previous climatic conditions. He taught us about collecting data by studying tree rings, caves, and radiometric dating. The lesson concluded with learning about different types of climate models and their uses.

Overall, I’m excited about how much I’ve learned about Earth’s climate in such a short time. I’m looking forward to next week: the first presentation by my peers! 
--Nisha Kishore

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Heigh Ho It's Off To Work We Go!

Wow. Less than a month until departure!
Natalie Robinson working hard picking some algae.

These past few weeks have been so crazy... and they've gone by so fast! First we welcomed the new freshman class of BURECS (woooo!).  Then they put up a program poster on Warren Towers (featuring my lovely co-ambassadors and me). Then the three of us were interviewed on BU radio! It's great to see the program getting such recognition and promotion. Communication is of course the C in BURECS so its exciting to see us really reaching out and sharing our research with the community.

As for me, I just finished my final for the a marine estuaries class  in  the Boston University Marine Program. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work. Although it was a great experience, I'm glad its over-  now I have time to really focus on preparing for the expedition - and get some lab time in!