Image courtesy Joanna Hubbard.

From: Joanna Hubbard
McMurdo Station, Antarctica, October 14, 2007

Skua Boots

After hiking Ob Hill in my super-warm and huge Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) boots, I need to find another pair of boots for hiking. My feet were just slopping around inside the issued boots and it didn't lead to a very secure feeling climbing up a rocky slope or down areas of packed snow on the hill. My trail running shoes work well around town but are too well ventilated to stand up well to more than half hour outside. Several folks on our team tried to be more prepared for this and mailed hiking boots to the station... but packages haven't come in yet from Christchurch. With a weight limit of 75 lbs including all the ECW gear, one of the hard packing choices most people make is bringing only a limited number of shoes - usually shower shoes and a tennis shoe/light hiking boot of their own. Other than borrowing shoes (tough when no one has lots of extras), I can go to Skua Central and see if someone else's castoffs will fit.

Skuas are a gull-like scavenging bird, very good at picking up anything edible or interesting. Skua Central is the place where all the reusable but currently unclaimed/donated clothing, personal items (like games or appliances), or food are stored and anyone can come by to find something they need. There is a whole half wall rack of shoes, many workboots, lots without laces... and I found a yellow paint spattered pair that fit! They are even well insulated and big enough to fit a good pair of socks.

Postcards from the Field: ANDRILL

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Mt. Erebus from Observation Hill, Ross Island, Antarctica

Dear everyone, I am settling in to life at McMurdo Station as we wait for the first core samples to be brought to Crary Lab from the drill site, which is about 25 km to the NW of McMurdo Station. While...more

En Route to Antarctica - First Stop New Zealand

Hello Everyone! We are not in Antarctica yet - but we are getting closer! We are now in Christchurch, New Zealand. We still have to get all our Extreme Cold Weather Gear from the Clothing Distribution...more

Skua Attack

The invading bird in this photograph is called a skua. Skuas fly over the nesting areas all day long looking for opportunities to carry off a meal. They too have chicks to feed and rely on the penguin...more

Joanna Hubbard

This is my 10th year with the Anchorage School District as a science teacher, currently working with K-12 teachers around the district rather than in a classroom. My most recent classroom time was as a...more

Robin Frisch-Gleason

Robin Frisch-Gleason brings a background in both geology and teaching to the ANDRILL Project. Robin's first career was geology. She received her B.A. in Geology from Oberlin College in 1982, and her M.S....more

Robert (Bob) Williams

I'm a New Zealand teacher. I teach geography to high school students before some of them go on to university. We try to teach as much geology and earth science as we can, and we go on lots of field trips....more

ARISE Team Enjoys Spring Colors and Fragrances in NZ

After arriving in New Zealand the ARISE team realized that we will not see or smell flowers for a very long time. When I was in Antarctica in 2002 it was amazing how devoid of senses we were - there were...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA