As the polar summers get warmer and warmer, climatologists remain busy in both the Arctic and Antarctic acquiring ice cores for studying the atmospheric conditions of past millennia. Getting to these frozen time capsules isn't an easy task, though, hence the need for assistance from groups like the UW -- provides drilling support for National Science Foundation-sponsored research programs in polar and high-altitude regions. The group is charged with providing high-quality ice cores and creating boreholes that can be used for placing instrumentation or explosives in the depths of ice sheets.
The challenges faced by the ICDS are introduced in a short documentary titled Ice Drillers are Hard Core, produced by the science education series Passport to Knowledge. As detailed in an introduction to the video:
ICDS staffers Lou, Mike and Jay explain why they enjoy the life of drillers, braving extreme cold in some of the remotest regions of the globe. Mike says drilling requires both science and art, and why he keeps his hand on the cable even when it's minus 20; Lou talks about feeling connected to the equipment in order to keep it running properly, and Jay explains the satisfaction of having fun amidst beautiful scenery, and helping obtain good data for the researchers.
This six-and-a-half-minute online video about the ICDS follows.
Since launching its operations at the beginning of the decade, the ICDS has assisted the U.S.-International Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the South Pole Seismograph Station QSPA, on the Bindschadler Ice Stream in Antarctica, on the , along with a Isthmus YouTube group or send a message.