SIU Students Study in Antarctica - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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SIU Students Study in Antarctica

SIU Students Study in Antarctica

When you think of a cruise, you usually think bikinis, drinks with little umbrellas, and an exotic locale south of the border. Some SIU students and a professor went as far south as you can go, and spent the polar summer in sunny Antarctica.

"While we were on the cruise, we went to the Larsen-B Ice Shelf, it had recently collapsed," said SIU Senior Stephanie Dulgar.

Scientists speculate the ice shelf is melting due to global warming. By collecting seafloor sediment in areas that used to be covered with 600-foot thick ice, the students will be able to document trends in the Antarctic climate over thousands of years.

"Basically what I'm going to do is look at the magnetic bacteria and from that kind of say there was a warming trend here, and a cooling trend here," Dulgar said.

The students will begin studying ancient single-celled organisms preserved in the sediment fall semester, and may be able to publish their findings.

"It's exciting for an undergrad to be able to do something like this, and maybe get a paper published before grad school," said SIU Senior Paul Dixon.

While it is an opportunity for the students to get a head start in their careers, Associate Professor Dr. Scott Ishman, who accompanied the students on the trip, says the young researchers are also helping to shine a light on the potential environmental dangers of global warming.

"I think the results that we've presented contribute to the argument that global warming is a problem and is affecting the global climate system and we have to make some changes," said Dr. Ishman.

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