Today marks the 2011 Winter Solstice which means the days are getting longer in the U.S., but in my case, the days are about to get much longer. Rather than a paltry 10 hours of daylight per day, starting today I am embarking on a journey that will be providing continuous, 24 hour-per-day sunlight! If […]
The winter of 2011/2012 was unlike any other in my life. Snow and ice covered the ground incessantly while the temperature never got above freezing. Yet oddly, it was one of Colorado’s most mild winters on record. This seeming contradiction was made possible by the fact that I spent the winter away from home on a scientific expedition to Antarctica followed by a vacation in New Zealand.
It was truly a trip of a lifetime, and I knew how important it was to document the experience for posterity. My family was most certainly intrigued by this rare opportunity, as were my friends who are scattered around the US. Additionally, my colleagues at LASP wanted a glimpse into this foreign world where research is conducted in an almost space-like environment.
Fortunately, I have spent almost a decade honing my ability to share experiences digitally. My website, www.patrickbrown.org (aka digital. stories.), has become a passion unto itself and has provided a medium to share my life while simultaneously exploring the ever changing world of digital media. So when I decided to join the expedition to Antarctica, I also chose to share my experiences on my website. I knew that free time would be scarce and that my readers’ attention would be limited, so I planned to write articles on a weekly basis that explored the full range of experiences–my personal take on the trip, descriptions of the continent itself, and explanations of the science. And of course, I wanted to share the experience visually with photography and videos that captured the essence of the far away place.
This page is a consolidation of all those posts presented in chronological order. I.e. if you read them from the top down, they will be in the correct order. I also created a book from all of these posts that you can check out over on My Books page. Finally, the slider below highlights a few featured posts that stand out in my mind from the rest.
It was an incredible journey to the end of the Earth, so I invite you to join me as I share my chronicles of Antarctica and New Zealand.
This holiday season, I feel great sympathy for Santa Claus and the extreme journey he takes around the globe each year as he delivers presents to all the children of the world. My own journey may not have been quite as arduous as Saint Nick’s, but traveling half way around the world for over 24 […]digital, New Zealand, photos, stories, video
Months of anticipation were finally satiated by our arrival in Antarctica last night! Following numerous flight delays to our previously scheduled December 28th departure due to foggy conditions in McMurdo, we were finally manifested on an LC130 instead of the C17 and the wheels left the tarmac at 1:23pm bound for the Great White South. […]Antarctica, photos, stories
I awoke to silence and an oddly blue linear pattern of light above my head. Within moments I realized that I was buried under 5 feet of snow and was thousands of miles from civilization on the Ross Ice Shelf, but panic did not set in. Rather, I was filled with satisfaction knowing that I […]Antarctica, photos, stories
Children are known for insatiable curiosity that manifests itself with endless questions of, “What is that?”, “How does that work”, and quite often the simple ponderance, “Why?” Although this behavior is most obvious in our developmental years, I can assure you that adults continue to ask these fundamental questions as I attempt to field responses […]Antarctica
My anticipation for this moment had been building for 6 months, yet I found myself in a panic ridden state as the whine of the rotors increased in pitch directly over my head. The immense bulk of my Big Red parka and the Lilliputian dimensions of the cabin restricted my motions while the multiple legs […]Antarctica, gps, photos, stories
While there are many unique aspects of the Antarctic environment, one of the most interesting that it shares with the northern pole is its preponderance of sunshine during the summer months. For the majority of people who have spent their entire lives in the mid-latitudes with its daily cycle of light and dark, it is […]Antarctica, digital, photography, stories, video
There has been a distinct change in the air around McMurdo the past few weeks. While the cracks in my dry skin have been racing those in the sea ice of McMurdo Sound, the arrival of the Russian ice breaker, Vladimir Ignatyuk, advanced the break up of the sea ice in a way that I […]Antarctica, gps, photos, stories
The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf not only in Antarctica, but the whole world. In contrast to sea ice that is formed when sea water freezes on the surface of the ocean, ice shelves are created when glaciers flow from their land-borne origins to the sea. Upon reaching the sea, they maintain […]Antarctica, photos, stories
For the first time during my 6 week stay in McMurdo, the phone in our dorm room rang to life. Awaking from a deep, restive sleep after our Ross Ice Shelf adventure, I noted that the time on the digital clock read 9:00am. In my groggy state, I overheard a conversation with none other than […]Antarctica, New Zealand, stories
The grass is always greener on the other side. No where does this expression hold more truth than Antarctica where grass has not existed for eons. Not surprisingly, visitors to the white continent spend much time daydreaming of their return to a place where the grass is greener both literally and metaphorically. And since Christchurch, […]Antarctica, New Zealand, photos, stories