The thermostat may read 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside the sprawling federal research complex in Lakewood, Colorado, but inside, CU Boulder undergraduate student Casey Vanderheyden is donning a bulky winter coat, gloves and boots as though she is headed to the South Pole.
In a sense, she is. Vanderheyden is reaching the end of her six-week summer work stint at the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL), one of the country’s most prominent storage facilities for ice samples collected from around the world. Inside the deep freeze room—which is kept as cold as a crisp minus-36 degrees Celsius—cylindrical tubes of ice cores line the shelves in a vast archive that, cumulatively, represents a sizable amount of U.S. polar research dating back decades. Read more.