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‘Scherer’ beauty: Blog by NIU geology professor chronicles life, historic research in the Antarctic

February 12, 2013

penguin-featureA lounging Weddell seal, wandering Adelie penguin, stark white landscapes, the Transantarctic Mountains and lots of scientists in action.

All of that and more can be found on this micro-blog created by NIU Board of Trustees Professor Reed Scherer in geology. Scherer just recently returned from a historic research expedition in the Antarctic.

He was part of a large team of researchers who successfully drilled through the overlying Antarctic ice sheet and sampled directly the waters and sediments of Subglacial Lake Whillans. The effort, which made headlines worldwide, marks the first successful retrieval of clean whole samples from an Antarctic subglacial lake.

The National Science Foundation-supported project is known as WISSARD, for Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling.

NIU Board of Trustees Professor Ross Powell served as one of the lead scientists on the expedition, and other NIU participants included doctoral student Timothy Hodson; undergraduate geology major Brian Guthrie; computer science research associate John Winans; and adjunct professor Betty Trummel, a Crystal Lake elementary school teacher and education outreach specialist.