Agronomy seniors Sage Coffman and Gavin Anderson took a study course to Antarctica from January 2-January 16, which was led by Dr. Stephen Dinsmore and Dr. Julie Blanchong, Natural Resource Ecology and Management. The course titled “Natural History of Antarctica,” took students to Antarctica through Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. They spent 12 days on a ship exploring the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Expedition leaders and lecture staff guided students in viewing wildlife, which included whales, a variety of seabirds, penguins, and seals. Students explored the icebergs, mountains and waterways of Antarctica’s geography.
Coffman says he enjoys study abroad classes because they are interactive and feedback is immediate. “I learned a lot more than I would have expected from the birds and mammals in Antarctica. Antarctica is more diverse in life than I previously expected, with many different species of penguins, seals, and whales, plus plants and other birds. My favorite part of the trip was getting to climb a mountain in the snow on the continent of Antarctica with my fellow classmates to see and learn about some chinstrap penguins that live on a rocky mountain ridge. Learning in person and learning about the history, cultures, and languages is awesome, and making new friends is always a great experience,” said Coffman.
In photos at top: Sage Coffman with an iceberg in the background. Group from left: ISU CALS students Cameron McNally (Environmental Science), Gavin Anderson and Sage Coffman (agronomy). Photos provided by Sage Coffman.