SMU Earth Sciences, Antarctica

Earth Sciences master’s student Chris Strganac, doctoral student Yosuke Nishida and Professor Louis Jacobs are part of a team traveling to Antarctica to discover 120 million-year-old mammal fossils from Livingston Island and other places around the Antarctic Peninsula.
They hope to link the evolutionary history of mammals across South America to Africa and Australia through ancient Antarctica when climates were warmer. So far in their journey, as chronicled by Chris, they have found ancient plants, but mammal remains have been elusive. They are still looking…

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Dallas to Punta Arenas via Santiago

We (Louis, Yosuke and Chris) left Dallas in the late afternoon to Punta Arenas.

During the 10-hour flight to Santiago, the Atacama Desert of Chile was in view. Slow latitudinal drift of South America, ocean circulation off the coast, the rain shadow, and strong winds have allowed the Atacama Desert to persist for over 150 million years. Some of the landscapes haven’t changed much in 20 million years. Unfortunately, some of us were on the wrong side of the plane (Chris and Yosuke), or asleep during this part of the flight (Chris).

Upon arrival in Santiago, we were greeted by the smiles of the other team members. We made our connection to Punta Arenas despite the short layover and going through customs.

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