“Ice. Rock. Water. That’s what’s there,” Ted Daeschler said, discussing his upcoming field research expedition to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic.
And that’s about all that’s there. No trees to cut down for firewood. No roads, houses, stores, or built civilization, apart from one small town on the far southern end of the island. Ellesmere, which sits above the Arctic Circle and is more northerly than any part of Alaska, is not exactly an ideal spot for a summer camping trip. There isn’t even much soil to sink tent stakes into.
But Daeschler, a paleontologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will depart this week to spend most of the month of July at this remote destination with a small team of colleagues who include Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago. It will be…
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