||May 21, 2000 pm
Graduation in the Antarctic
Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Southern Oceans.
A special ceremony was held on the Nathaniel B. Palmer at noon today, Sunday 5/21. Biology major Courtney Zimmer and geology major Nat Warner missed the graduation ceremonies at Hamilton College today, so we held them on the ship. Presided over by Captain Joseph Borkowski and Chief Scientist Eugene Domack, degrees were conferred on Nat and Courtney. Dressed in their academic gowns of extra-extra-large float coats and with tassels adorning their hard hats they were presented Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Southern Oceans before the assembled ship's company. According to the Captain this is the first graduation ceremony held on the ship. Gifts from the Captain's private stash of T-shirts and hats, along with some stickers and small gifts from the Italian seismology team and a CD of Antarctic images taken by Tobias Schunck and myself made for a very special day, and a bit of envy from those students who weren't graduating. No champagne, the Palmer is a "dry" ship, but enough cake and ice cream to satisfy everyone.
Photos from graduation ceremony.
After graduation it was back to work. We will spend one or two more days in this area before moving to another part of the Larsen Ice Shelf breakout area.
You may have seen that 3 large icebergs have detached from the Ronne Ice Shelf, which is further south of us in the Weddell Sea. We received a notice to mariners in the Weddell Sea along with satellite photos of the bergs. They are quite large, (168 x 33 km, 84 x 35 km and 60 x 32 km) and will eventually move north. The remarkable thing
is that successive satellite photographs show the ice shelf intact on the morning of May 4th, and the bergs were afloat on the morning of the 5th so they had to break off on the afternoon or evening of the 4th.
Today's shift started on an interesting note musically. When we came in for our breakfast at midnight the kitchen staff was playing the soundtrack from Titanic. An interesting choice of music as we are dancing through icebergs in a snowstorm at night.
Best wishes to all Hamilton graduates on this special day. Hope you have good weather for your celebration.