The Office

Every morning, I take a ~20 minute shuttle to get to work.

We work in a RAC tent…


…located on Williams Field (an airfield) so that we have easier access to load and unload our equipment.

The view from the back of the tent. Two (broken) LC-130s sit on the runway.

Our RAC tent is split into two main rooms: the front room is our office space and the back room is our lab space.


Setting up the tent itself was an entire project. My intention was to upload a stimulating time-lapse of the process, but unfortunately McMurdo’s connection is quite stubborn.

The office is where all the data archiving, QC’ing and processing occurs, to ensure that each flight of data is sound and secure. The lab space contains all the hardware that will be installed in the plane.

Obtaining a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was a hard-fought process, and given the high frequency of flight cancellations due to gnarly weather and/or mechanical issues, we use our time on the ice as efficiently as possible. Each opportunity to fly is critical, the data we collect from each flight precious. After each flight – the goal is to fly twice a day – the data is carefully archived and copied to several safe locations. The data is then QC’ed. Lines, or even segments of lines for flights are closely examined so that we can be confident that our surveys are producing good, usable data.

These processes can take many hours, since our survey collects data using a variety of instruments. For details on methods and instrumentation, check the blog soon!




Published by Alec

Hi. My name is Alec Lockett, and I am senior, geology major. I grew up in Belmont, MA, and chose Colorado College primarily because of the block plan, the rad location, and the awesome vibes I got from the students; I cannot imagine such a wonderful four years at another school. For my senior thesis, I will use airborne gravity and magnetic data from the ROSETTA-Ice 2015-2016 surveys to investigate two cross-Ross Ice Shelf transects in West Antarctica for geophysical modeling. ROSETTA-Ice (A systems approach to understanding the Ross Ocean and Ice Shelf Environment, and Tectonic setting Through Aerogeophysical surveys and modelling) is a current project that is acquiring geophysical data over the Ross Ice Shelf through airborne collection. I have the extraordinary opportunity to participate in this field data collection. When I am not busy geologizing, I enjoy reading, watching films, spending time outside whether skiing or biking, and drinking coffee.

One reply on “The Office”

Comments are closed.