The WAIS Divide, Antarctica DISC Drill crew in January, 2015. From left Rick Smouse (ASC), Otto Neumuth (ASC), Jim Koehler (IDDO), Mike Waszkiewics (IDDO), Jeffrey Donenfeld (IDDO), and Don Kirkpatrick (IDDO).

Living and Working at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Field Camp, Antarctica – Summer 2014-2015

My name tag and program patch on my "Big Red" parka. Note I also added my Explorer's Club members pin.
My name tag and program patch on my “Big Red” parka. Note I also added my Explorer’s Club members pin.

After a very successful 2014-15 summer season working at WAIS Divide, Antarctica, we’ve wrapped up our operations and redeployed. Here’s a quick summary of the season:

This year in Antarctica, I worked at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core Field Camp for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) Ice Drill Design and Operations (IDDO) Group as a Field and Drill Specialist. I was on a team of four, with our primary mission being to disassemble, catalog, and package the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill and related equipment. The drill had operated for the past 7 or so years, and had completed its job and been decommissioned, so that we could pack it up and ship it back to Wisconsin for refurbishment and redeployment to a new site at some point in the future. Everybody had responsibility for multiple aspects of the mission. My specific responsibility, in addition to general mechanical and team duties, photographing and cataloging all gear and equipment that was disassembled and packed, as well as generally documenting our entire season – as catalogued in this blog.

This year’s primary mission: Disassembling the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) Drill at WAIS Divide, Antarctica

Blog posts:



Video clips:





  1. Catherine Smith says:

    Thank you for the blog. I don’t comment much but I’m an active follower.

Comments are closed.