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    OKU Faculty Member Reports on Participation in Antarctic Research Expedition
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OKU Faculty Member Reports on Participation in Antarctic Research Expedition

Professor Hiroyuki Konishi, from Science, Mathematics and Information, part of the Faculty of Education’s Department of Educational Collaboration, reported on his Antarctic research expedition in a presentation on May 19 (Fri.) to an audience of 25 students and faculty members.
Prof. Konishi traveled to Antarctica as a member of summer team of the 58th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition from November 27, 2016, to March 23, 2017. This was the second time that Prof. Konishi participated in an Antarctic expedition; the first was the year-long 30th Antarctic Research Expedition, 28 years ago.
This time, he conducted surveying for 45 days at the S17 Camp near Showa Station. His research included changes in sublimation evaporation from the surface of the ice sheet due to solar radiation, temperature, wind speed and snow quality, key to clarifying how the water vapor from which snow forms is carried to the interior of the Antarctic continent, where water vapor from the ocean does not reach.
At the presentation, Prof. Konishi gave a brief summary of the Antarctic survey team and Japan’s research outposts such as Showa Station, showed weather data taken at S17 Camp, and explained aspects of Antarctic weather, including 30m/s blizzards, the constant wind direction and fluctuations in temperature. He also talked about daily life during the expedition, showing images taken from the icebreaker of rough seas and broken ice in the sea near Antarctica and a group of penguins curious about the stopped icebreaker, time lapse video of the fixed-point photographs of the sun that never sets, and photos of team members washing their hair outside since there is no bath at the camp.
One of the students who attended remarked, “I was amazed to learn about life in Antarctica. It was incredibly interesting.” Yuki Sugiura, first-year graduate student majoring in Science Education, is one of the members of the 59th Antarctic Research Expedition this summer. He stated, “I was really looking forward to this presentation. I’d heard Prof. Konishi talk about the winter team before, and there was a lot that was different, so it was very interesting. When I go to Antarctica, I’ll observe sunlight and the blueness of the sky. There is very little human activity in Antarctica, so I’ll be researching how much influence that has on the color of the sky. The color of the sunset is supposed to be very different from Japan, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

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