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Dale Andersen
Works at Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute
Attended McGill University
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Transglobe Expedition, Antarctica 1981

TBT: In January 1981 the Transglobe Expedition arrived at Scott Base having traversed by snowmobile across the continent from Sanae. Their relief ship, the Benjamin Bowring, arrived about 10 days later following behind the USCG Cutter Polar Star as it cut the ice channel to McMurdo Station. The Benjamin Bowring had also been hired by the Kiwi program to conduct oceanographic work in the area and remained in McMurdo Sound until mid-February before taking the expedition on to Lyttleton, NZ. The Benji Bee as it was called, did have some problems while there - as I recall the ship lost some of its navigational capabilities and had to remain off the ice edge until parts from the US arrived, and at one point during its work it requested that the Polar Star provide assistance to free it from ice. I had recently returned from Lake Hoare in the Dry Valleys and had the opportunity to visit the Polar Star (by helo), taking this photo from the helo pad just after my return from the ship.

#Antarctica #Exploration #USCG   #NSF  
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Arctic Awakening: Springtime in the High Arctic

Witnessing the spring unfold across the planet is a wonderful time of the year. We are still seeing snowfall in the Adirondack Mountains of NY, so it seemed appropriate today to share an image of April in the High Arctic.
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Arctic Matters

This is a nice (and short, at 36 pages) overview of the Arctic, climate change and the ensuing challenges global warming is having upon that environment. You can download a copy from the National Academies Press via the link below.

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=21717&page=R1

#Arctic #Climate 
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Dale Andersen

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New Map of Antarctica Available

The Polar Geospatial Center has just released one of the most detailed continent-wide maps of Antarctica to date, and various resolutions and file types for the map can be found at the link below. Great work Paul Morin and crew!



http://www.pgc.umn.edu/maps/antarctic/id/ANT_REF-MP2015-001

#Antarctica   #Maps #Polar   #Cartography
More map details. Map Title: Antarctica; PGC Reference ID: ANT REF-MP2015-001; Map ID: 666; Map Scale: 1:5500000; Projection: WGS84 Antarctic Polar Stereographic Projection; Orientation: Grid North; Authoring Organization: Polar Geospatial Center (PGC); Year of Authorship: 2015 ...
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Dragons in Space

From SpaceX:  After six successful missions to the International Space Station, including five official resupply missions for NASA, SpaceX is set to launch its sixth official Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission to the orbiting lab.The SpaceX CRS-6 mission is targeting launch at 4:33pm EDT Monday, April 13 from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

If you want to learn more about tomorrow's launch here is the link to the official Press Kit for the  SPACEX CRS-6 MISSION:

http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/spacex_nasa_crs-6_presskit.pdf

The launch will be webcast live, with commentary from SpaceX corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, at spacex.com/webcast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
Web pre-launch coverage will begin approximately 90 minutes before launch. The official SpaceX webcast will begin approximately 20 minutes before launch.

SpaceX also posted (the link is below) some pretty nice launch footage from previous events,. All footage used in this video was shot in 4K and posted onto YouTube in Ultra HD 4K.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=10&v=gmJgW-yMAIg


#SpaceX #NASA #ISS #Dragon
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Our paper at Limnology and Oceanography is now online and freely accessible for anyone to download via the link below.

Modeling circulation and seasonal fluctuations in perennially ice-covered and ice-walled Lake Untersee, Antarctica

H. C. B. Steel, C. P. McKay and D. T. Andersen
DOI: 10.1002/lno.10086

Lake Untersee, Antarctica, is a freshwater perennially ice covered lake bounded along its north by the Anuchin glacier. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model, used on a representative wedge-shaped lake and actual bathymetry for Lake Untersee, produces estimates for circulation and long-term temperature and mixing trends. Modeled circulation is dominated by an anticyclonic gyre in front of the glacier, with slower inline image flow exhibited around the lake's perimeter, allowing effective mixing throughout most of the lake with time scales of one month. Estimated velocities bound maximal glacial flour particle size at  inline image for effective transport throughout the lake, consistent with the sediment's mostly fine composition observed in field studies, and mixing time scales mean nonuniformities in measured  inline image concentration likely require recent or ongoing sources. Areas in which large temperature gradients prevent exchange of fluid demonstrate minimal mixing, such as the lake's upper water layers and the anoxic basin in the south, and circulation is consistently slowed in the northern sheltered bay area. Mean flow velocities fluctuate by about one fifth of their magnitude between summer and winter, and the lake's almost homothermal body temperature varies by about one tenth of a degree over the same period. While calculated temperature profiles qualitatively agree with field data, the model's long-term equilibrium temperature differs substantially, likely due to poor description of heat transfer with the glacier. Model robustness tests show results differ by ∼ 10% when either grid scale or water temperature are halved.


 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10086/abstract
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Arctic Ocean

Charlotte Vick of Mission Blue shared this video in Brussels during the Arctic Dialog meeting on March 4. Narrated by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, this short video captures the beauty and essence of the Arctic ecosystem, as well as the perils it now faces.


http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/oceans-narrated-by-sylvia-earle/oceans-arctic?source=relatedvideo



#MissionBlue   #SylviaEarle  
Crowning the top of the world, the frozen Arctic Ocean provides an unlikely home for a spectrum of enchanting creatures. Above the ice and below, beluga whales, narwhals, bowhead whales, walruses, and murres prosper. ;Narrated by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle.
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Martian Blues


This is pretty cool...be sure to download the KML files and take a look at what a warmer, wetter Mars may have been like in the distant past. And perhaps one day in the distant future Mars will once again have oceans......and life.

http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2015/04/oceans-mars.html

#Mars #GoogleEarth #Ocean  
We were recently reading this story from NASA that says Mars used to have large oceans. It includes a tantalizing picture reminiscent of Google Earth. So we decided to see if we could simulate oceans in Google Mars. We have looked at a number of stories in the past where people have used KML to …
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"Celebrate the Diversity of Life! Happy Earth Day!"
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Sylvia Earle likes to say she remembers when Clearwater had clear water. Some people laugh, thinking the 79-year-old is making fun of her age. Rather, it’s her way of pointing out how quickly people can destroy an entire watery ecosystem.
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Diving for Science

It really is important to love one's work!

Lake Hoare, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica




http://youtu.be/Aqk0P9Wevf0

#science #scuba #ice #Antarctica
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Ice Diving with a Robotic Friend

TBT: Diving with a telepresence partner - 1993 - while diving at "The Wall" a little ways out from McMurdo Station, Antarctica we had a telepresence partner - NASA engineer Butler Hines was driving the ROV from NASA's Ames Research Center, while conversing with me underwater, and others in the hut above us on the ice. 




#Antarctica  #telepresence   #NASA   #ROV    
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Work
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  • Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute
    Scientist, 1993 - present
    I am a scientist and an explorer and I conduct interesting and unusual research in some of the most extreme and remote places on the planet. I carry out research to understand how microbial life is able to exist in extreme environments on Earth. I use the resulting scientific findings to better understand Earth’s earliest biosphere and to help guide the search for life elsewhere such as on the planet Mars.
  • Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Co.
    Principal Scientist, 1987 - 1993
    Provided programmatic support for NASA's Space Life Sciences Division (mainly Exobiology, CELSS, Biospherics programs), NASA HQ, Washington, D.C.
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Job Description: To Explore the Unknown
Introduction

Dale T. Andersen, Ph.D.

Expertise: Limnology/Astrobiology

Affiliation: Carls Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute 

Fellow Member, 1987 The Explorers Club

Help Support Dale's Research!

https://www.teamseti.org/supportdale

Your support will enable our continued research of one of the most beautiful and fascinating ecosystems on the planet – one we discovered while diving beneath thick Antarctic ice.  Our work is a journey of discovery – one that encompasses adventure, curiosity, imagination, leadership and courage along with a burning desire to advance knowledge. Importantly, we are seeking adequate funding to support our ongoing efforts of scientific research, technical analyses and syntheses of scientific information that will help explain critical emerging issues pertaining to the conservation and preservation of fragile ecosystems in Antarctica. 

Certification/Education:

BS Biology, Va Tech 

Ph.D.,  Physical Geography, McGill University


Job Description: To Explore the Unknown


Dale has been a Principal Investigator at the SETI Institute’s Center for the Study of Life in the Universe since 1993.  During this time, his research has focused on microbial ecosystems in extreme environments including areas of the Arctic, Antarctic, Atacama Desert, Death Valley and Siberia.


Dale’s research interests are with the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe and he has been involved with NASA’s Exobiology and Astrobiology programs since the mid 1980’s.  He is interested in locating, characterizing and understanding environments where physical and chemical conditions approach or exceed the tolerances for life. This includes biogeochemical processes occurring in polar lakes, oceans, and springs, or in lithic environments such as sandstones or retrogressive thaw slumps harbouring massive ground ice. Of particular interest are the physical controls and ecological impacts that perennial ice-covers and thick continuous permafrost have on the structure and function of microbial ecosystems.


Dale has participated in field research in polar regions for more than 30 years having participated and led 14 expeditions to the Antarctic (each lasting 4.5-6 months on the continent) and over twenty-six expeditions to the Arctic. Dale helped pioneer scientific research diving in the perennially ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and the Bunger Hills and has made more than 600 dives beneath polar ice, north and south.  Dale was the first to use remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology in the Antarctic to help explore lake and marine environments and as a PI at the SETI Institute he helped develop and utilize telepresence technology to extend the capabilities of the underwater ROV’s. 


Dale’s research has been featured in numerous newspaper and popular journals such as National Geographic and Sky and Telescope as well as on the Discovery Channel Canada, National Geographic TV and in three PBS programs - Life on Ice, Antarctica and MarsLive! From Other worlds and The New Explorers - Crystal Lab.  Dale created and was the driving force behind the production of the award winning documentary Life on Ice, Antarctica and Mars and Live! From Other Worlds, a three part, interactive field trip that allowed students to make virtual dives with Dale under the ice in Antarctica while controlling telepresent rovers from their desktop computers. Dale is a Fellow Member of the Explorers Club (FN87), and an Eagle Scout.

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Education
  • McGill University
    2004
  • McGill University
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Groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture and history

COLUMN: Beneath 10 feet of ice
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LAKE PLACID Dale Andersen is one of only five human beings in history who have explored the depth of Lake Untersee, by diving through a hole

Lake Untersee, South Basin #1
gigapan.org

Lake Untersee, Dec 1 2011. Lake Untersee is one of the largest (11.4 km2) and deepest (>160 m) freshwater lakes in East Antarctica. L