Author Archives: Hugh Powell; Photos by Chris Linder

Chris is a professional photographer based in Seattle, Washington. He uses photography as a tool to educate and inspire the public about science and conservation issues.


Icebergs shrink, glaciers melt, even in just one month. Take a look at some of the ways the passing season made its mark on Palmer.

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The Kind of Change You Can’t Say No To

Climate change can be hard to catch in action, but here in one of the fastest warming places on Earth, the evidence is right in front of us.

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Test Your Memory With “What in the World?”

Take a super-close look at some of our favorite photos, and see if you can match them to their originals.

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Sheathbill: The Most Peculiar Bird of the Whole Peculiar Continent

One of the most curious little troublemakers in all of Antarctica lives right beside us, and sometimes underneath us, at Palmer Station.

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Big and Bad, or Just Misunderstood? Meet the Southern Giant-Petrel

For decades most researchers were too afraid of southern giant-petrels to risk studying them. Donna Fraser changed all that.

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A Radar Station With an Oceanfront View

A trip to the Joubin Islands radar site coincides with only the second truly sunny day of the expedition. Here’s what photographer Chris Linder saw through his lens.

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How Gliders Work: A Look Inside the Blue Hen

Find out how a glider sinks into the ocean, measures the water, navigates to its destination, and sends back its data, all without an engine or a human aboard.

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Safety First in the Outer Islands

The team takes advantage of a calm but rainy day to visit the outer islands for maintenance on their radar site.

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This Is Life at 64 Degrees South

Take a look inside life at Palmer Station: where we live, how we eat, the chores we do, and the things we do for fun.

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A Peek at the Hectic Lives of Antarctic Seals

An Antarctic fur seal appears at Palmer Station, prompting the team to explore what they know about the napping habits of Antarctica’s five main seal species.

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Here Comes the Neighborhood

Gentoo penguins are taking over the waters around Palmer Station while Adelie penguins are vanishing. On a trip to Biscoe Point we take a closer look at their biology to understand why.

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Freezing Beauty in a Photo

The innumerable forms, sizes, and colors of ice give Antarctic travelers an endless source of fascination and beauty.

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Sights and Smells of Summer in an Adelie Penguin Colony

A day on Torgersen Island gave us the chance to watch nesting Adelie penguins up close and see their hungry chicks getting chubbier and tubbier.

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Gliding Into the Danger Zone

A glider spends the night trapped underwater, forcing an impromptu rescue mission to bring it home.

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Learning the Landmarks

Antarctica is a lot less dangerous than it used to be, when people like Ernest Shackleton explored it in the early twentieth century. But it’s still cold, windy, powerful, and very far from help. The U.S. Antarctic Program takes great precautions to keep people safe. At Palmer Station, where almost all the work is done […]

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A Glider Joins Forces With the Krill Team

One of our underwater gliders makes a hazardous journey back to Palmer Station to meet up with the krill team and compare notes.

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How to Follow a Penguin Out to Sea and Back

Hungry penguin chicks demand a constant supply of krill—satellite transmitters help the team find out where the penguin parents go to get it.

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Small Boat, Large Whales

Just before suppertime on Friday evening the krill team sent out a radio broadcast: they’d spotted five humpback whales feeding just off Outcast Island. The two whale biologists at Palmer Station grabbed their orange float coats and asked if we wanted to come along. What happened over the next three hours was well worth missing […]

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Meet the Penguins

Yesterday, while we were out searching for krill with Dr. Kim Bernard, we saw lots of gentoo penguins, quite a few Adelies, and several chinstraps. They were doing the same thing we were—looking for krill—although I think they were better than us at finding them. They were certainly better at catching them. Penguins are a […]

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Listening for Echoes of Krill

Today we went out to search for krill with Dr. Kim Bernard of Oregon State University and Shenandoah Raycroft, her assistant. Krill are an important stepping stone in Antarctic food chains because they eat tiny phytoplankton and then become food for almost all the large Antarctic animals including penguins, seals, and whales. Dr. Bernard and […]

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What Do Whales, Seabirds, and Seals All Have in Common?

A boat tour around Palmer Station turns up seals, penguins, whales, and a tiny creature with an oversized impact on them all.

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Robot Splashdown Over the Palmer Deep

The team launches four underwater gliders in the waters off Palmer Station. The gliders will be on their own for the next several weeks but will stay in touch by satellite.

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Taking the Scenic Route to Palmer Station

The science team sails through narrow passages full of penguins and whales, and gets their first look at their new home on Palmer Station.

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Meeting the Locals at Livingston Island

On a visit to historic Livingston Island, the team resupplies a remote field camp, sees their first gentoo and chinstrap penguins, and learns about Antarctic fur seals.

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Commuting to Work on an Icebreaker

Find out what scientists do, how they live, and what they see as they cross the Drake Passage aboard a ship.

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Welcome to the Southern Hemisphere

Although the winter holidays aren’t quite over yet, the CONVERGE mission to Palmer Station, Antarctica, has begun. On the day after Christmas, some 32 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and students said goodbye to their families, left North America, and flew down the entire length of South America.

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