Researcher of UGM, Nugroho Imam Setiawan, Ph.D, on Friday (23/12) landed in the Antarctica on the Shirase expedition ship. The Geology engineering lecturer has been selected to join the research into the future of planet Earth, organised by Japan Antartic Research Expedition (JARE).
In an email sent by Nugroho, he said the team was currently in the midst of sea of ice at Lutzow - Holm about 10 km from the Japanese Syowa research station on the coordinate of S 69 01 02.71 and E 39 15 73.42. “The condition outside the ship is very cold at -5°C. Thank God, the storm was over but we don’t have dark nights here because the sun shines for 24 hours a day,” said Nugroho.
He added the Shirase ship was equipped with ice breaker technology which makes a group of penguins of the Adelie species to fish along the trails of the Shirase.
“This mountain is called as the Langhovde, a term coined by the Norwegian people as the founder, meaning a long head,” he explained.
Groups of researchers have been flown to Syowa by helicopter. Nugroho described there was a change to the schedules of the geology team after one helicopter suffered a damage, making the date delayed to 27 from 19 December.
Nugroho added the Terrestrial Biology team would install motion sensors and camera on seals of Weddel Seal species (15 female and 5 male) to observe their habitat and activities. They had to vote to name each of the seals.
“Of the two names I proposed, only one was selected for the female seal, which was GAMA from GAdjah Mada, to be used for the research,” he said.
The geology team, said Nugroho, would start the first project for 41 days until 5 February 2017. Nugroho is the only expedition member from Southeast Asia along with two other from Mongolia and Sri Lanka after they passed interviews and recommendation.