2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Adélie study

no photo available


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Ms. Valentine Kass

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Jennifer Blum

Principal Investigator

Mr. Joseph J Wilson

Bristol, Undefined


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Cape Crozier / icebreaker channel


This project plans to create "Penguin," a feature length nature documentary highlighting the ecology and behavior of Adélie penguins in Antarctica through a character narrative. The planned release date in cinemas is 2019. The project's goal is to capture the entire breeding cycle of the Adélies from Cape Crozier and Cape Royds, use aerial photography to capture the landscape of the Ross Sea ecosystem, and use polecam photography to work on the ice edge and capture orca behavior transiting through McMurdo Sound. Combined, the project team hopes to deliver the most extensive insight into Adélie penguin behavior and ecology ever attempted.

Field Season Overview

The team will fly by helicopter to three different locations on Ross Island. Two to three team members will be at Cape Crozier at a time, with three separate groupings deploying to this field camp throughout the season. A film crew of two, based out of McMurdo Station, will use a gyro-stabilized externally-mounted camera system to film 20 hours of aerial footage in the area. A third crew will film at the ice edge, if conditions allow, with ASC Field Safety Coordinator support. The crew will also film for a period of one week or less at Cape Royds, depending on the amount of time required on the ice edge.

Deploying Team Members

  • Matthew Aeberhard
  • John Aitchison
  • Thomas Beldam
  • Sophia Darlington
  • Michael Kelem
  • Mark Linfield (Team Leader)
  • Julie Moniere (Team Leader)
  • Mark Smith
  • Jesse Wilkinson
  • Joseph Wilson (PI)