It’s that time of year again! We’re gearing up for a new field season in Antarctica. This year we’re heading further south in the TransAntarctic Mountains to map and collect a suite of samples for analysis. We’re scheduled to depart Santa Barbara for Christchurch during the first week of November, so we have a lot of preparations to do before then!
More details about our trip preparations soon, but first, let’s meet this years team. John and Graham will be heading down again, and in addition, we have a couple of new members joining us. Here are some quick introductions:
Forrest Horton is a PhD student at UCSB. Born in Montana, Forrest moved to the East Coast for school, receiving his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in Maine. Traumatized by the flat landscape of New England, Forrest has subsequently sought mountainous environments for work, study, and recreation. After dabbling with gold exploration (and mosquitoes) in the Kuskoquim Mountains of Alaska, he raced cross-country ski marathons in Idaho. Eventually realizing that wearing bright spandex doesn’t pay the bills, Forrest embarked to the Indian Himalaya to begin a Masters Degree at San Francisco State University; his research focused on determining the age and origins of granites near the India-Pakistan border. Hired temporarily as a geologist by the Department of Defense, he worked for a stint with the Afghan government to identify mineral resources. At UCSB, Forrest studies the heating of middle and lower crust in young/active (Himalaya) and old/eroded (Madagascar) continental collision zones—for more on his research, visit his website for further details. In California, cold weather and helicopter withdrawal have driven Forrest to take up telemark skiing and paragliding. However, he spends most of his spare time tromping along trails and consuming spicy foods.
Sophie Briggs is a first year PhD student at UCSB. She is originally from New Zealand where she developed an interest in geology while working as a tour guide on White Island, an active marine volcano near her home town of Whakatane. She completed her undergraduate degree in geology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. For her senior honours thesis she investigated the petrology of the Alpine Dike Swarm in south Westland, New Zealand. Before coming to California, she spent four months working in gold and uranium exploration in Western Australia. Sophie enjoys camping, surfing, waterskiiing and playing the ukulele, and is very excited about her first trip to Antarctica. Experiencing a white Christmas in the southern hemisphere will be a first!