2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Dispatches from Thwaites Glacier: A creative nonfiction inquiry into ice loss in Antarctica

no photo available
W-481-N Research Location(s): RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Ms. Valentine Kass

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Jamee Johnson

Principal Investigator(s)

Ms. Elizabeth Rush Mueller
Providence, Rhode Island


Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer


The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC) is the largest joint US-UK project undertaken on the southern continent in 70 years. The artist will participate in ITGC fieldwork. She plans to produce a collection of essays that bear witness to the changes physically transforming Antarctica and relay how those changes impact the polar scientists at the forefront of this research. Upon returning from Antarctica, she will design and teach a new advanced creative nonfiction writing workshop, based on her Antarctic experience, to help students develop the skills necessary to communicate science to a broader public.

Field Season Overview

The artist will sail on the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the Thwaites Glacier region on a cruise supporting the work of Pettit/Heywood (C-445-N), and Wellner/Larter (C-447-N). While onboard, she will interview and shadow members of the science party as they conduct their work and will capture the scenery, operations, and scientists through photography, audio recordings, and notes. Science planned for this cruise includes: sediment coring, multibeam swath bathymetry and sub-bottom profiling surveys for core sites, seal tagging, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) deployments and recoveries, conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) casts, and rock collection at island sites.

Deploying Team Members

  • Elizabeth Mueller (PI)
  • Elizabeth Mueller (PI)