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Friday, November 16, 2007: Getting rearranged
Rusty and BLee are almost through the training process and ready to start. Having new ideas and fresh energy added to the team will be great. The down side is that today Marcus and Mindy left. We will miss them! They contributed a lot to the team with their hard work, great attitudes, and individual skills. And their departure reminded us that we do not have that much time left before we too will be going home.

Marcus and Mindy are ready to leave Antarctica.

Rusty is a marine chemist, who runs a large and busy lab in California, the Marine Pollution Studies Lab. His interest in environmental issues has led him into projects that include monitoring, contaminant surveys, and introduced species studies. His diving and shoveling skills will be utilized intensely within the SCINI project. Rusty is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman, but I do not think the former will be very useful here!
Rusty doing some sampling back in California.

BLee comes from a background with the Alvin manned submersible at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Aside from piloting the sub, he was also an expert power systems engineer, which developed from his Navy work on nuclear submarines. His experience with the operational side of a very busy research sub will be very important to us to streamline our operations as we deploy our ROV more often.
The Alvin submersible ready for launch.

Mindy is on her way back to Flagstaff, Arizona, where many eager students – and her husband and daughter - await her return. Her PolarTREC online journal and the 4 webinar outreach events we conducted from McMurdo have helped connect the SCINI project with interested students and others back in the “real world.” I will miss her wonderful willingness to attempt things even when she doubted her ability (and she was always able to do them), and having another woman on the team.
Mindy ready to head out for another day of work on the ice.

Marcus is returning to his wife and 4 kids in Pennsylvania, and his real job with VideoRay. We have been very fortunate to have use of one of his commercial ROVs, and more importantly, to use of his brain and hands to help us develop and improve SCINI. I was very impressed with the scientific capabilities of the VideoRay, and I already miss all of Marcus’ great ideas, and his ability to wear stupid hats with style.
Marcus trying to recover some drill flights by climbing into a 6 ft deep hole in the ice.

The team has a new flavor with the changing members as well as our experience and increasing familiarity with each other and with SCINI. Thank you to Mindy for early mornings, camaraderie, teaching us how to teach, and helping us connect with learners of all ages. Thank you to Marcus for being willing to join us, work with us, stress with us, and succeed with us! We’re very glad that you’re both part of the SCINI team!

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Here's a short video summarizing our mid-season accomplishments.

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This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.