Commerson’s Dolphin

Whale biologist Dave Johnson took this picture of a Commerson’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii).  This dolphin also goes by the names Skunk dolphin and the Piebald dolphin.  Note it’s distinct black head, dorsal fin and flukes.

Commerson's dolphin (Photo credit: Dave Johnson)


-Dena Seidel

For more information on the Commerson’s Dolphin, see:


Drake Passage

We are traveling thru the Drake passage. Everyone is prepping their science stations. Sampling won’t begin until after we leave Palmer Station. Today we interview Donna Frasier, penguin biologist. We will get to film the declining Adele penguin colony when we are at Palmer. Donna will be staying at Palmer and won’t be going on the next cruise with us.

Sunset view from the Gould, Drake Passage

All very exciting. It is great working with Chris. We feel very honored to be here.

-Dena Seidel

Where is Palmer Station?

Where is Palmer station located?

  • Latitude: -64.77417° (south)
  • Longitude: -64.05450° (west)

Palmer Station is located by Hero Inlet, South Arthur Harbor, a protected harbor on the southwest coast of Anvers Island off the Western Antarctic Peninsula. The station, built on solid rock near a glacier, is a cluster of approximately five buildings. The station operates in conjunction with a research vessel, the ARSV Laurence M. Gould.   Approximately 40-45 people occupy Palmer in the summer. The winter-over population varies from 15 to 30.


Palmer Station, Antarctica


What is Palmer Station?

Palmer Station in Antarctica is the first destination for the AQ Team.  But what exactly is Palmer Station, and more importantly, where is Palmer Station?  Let’s start with what it is. Palmer Station was established in 1968 and is one of three U.S. Antarctic stations governed by the Antarctic Treaty.   Since 1990, Palmer Station has also served as a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site located in a Western Antarctic Peninsula marine biome. In other words, it is a place where scientist gather to collect data and make observations on Antarctic and Southern Ocean Marine Ecology.  As for where it is located, see if you can find it on the map below and then see the next Blog post.

Map of Antarctica. Palmer Station is located on the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

Sources: and



Heading to Palmer Station, Antarctica

The AQ Team has arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile and have boarded their ship, called the RV Laurence M. Gould (red ship in photo below).  This ship is an icebreaker used by researchers from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) as a research and supply vessel.  To learn more about the life aboard the Gould, see the United States Antarctic Program.

The AQ Team are now steaming toward Palmer station.  Here are two recent photos from Dena Seidel in Punta Arenas.

The AQ Team head to Antarctica aboard the icebreaker Gould (red ship).

View from the deck of the Gould leaving dock from Punta Arenas, Chile.

AQ Team in Chile

After leaving New Jersey on a rainy December 26, the AQ team arrived in Chile.

AQ Team Flying into Chile

AQ Team Gets Local Press

Rutgers Oscar Schofield and Dena Seidel were featured in the Asbury Park Press on December 25, 2012.

To see the article click here:


Film Bureau crew packs for Antarctica

Dena Seidel gets help packing the equipment for the Antarctic Quest trip

Our Rutgers Film Bureau team is madly packing for Antarctica. We have two 35 mm HD movie cameras, 6 interchangeable lenses, 4 DSLRs with a total of 5 more interchangeable lenses, underwater housing, Go-Pro, shotgun mics, lavaliers, boompoles and tripods, 40TB of storage – we shipping 3 pelican cases full of camera gear. We are trying to prepare for filming on a deck at high seas, in a zodiac or on a penguin colony. Chris Linder and I are speaking every day making sure we are not forgetting anything!

Dena Seidel

Antarctica Photo

Oscar Schofield last made the journey to Antarctica earlier this year.  Here’s a stunning photo he sent back to us at Rutgers:

Adelaide Island in the background with iceberg in the foreground. January 2012.

What is “Antarctic Quest”?

Welcome to the Rutgers Antarctic Quest (AQ) Blog.

The “Antarctic Quest: Racing to Understand a Changing Ocean” documentary project combines innovative science, dramatic imagery and a decade of scientific collaboration into a compelling character driven narrative.  This is an unique inter-disciplinary educational project bridging Art, Science and Storytelling funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Follow us as Oscar Schofield (Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences) and film-makers Dena Seidel (Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking) and Chris Linder leave New Jersey on December 26, 2012 and travel to Antarctica to join the LongTerm Ecological Research Team at Palmer Station as they explore the most rapid winter warming place on the planet.   This is a journey you won’t want to miss!

To learn more about the project, Watch the trailer.