Science Visitors Only: Watching Life Grow on a New Island

We spend a lot of time looking at history and imagining—”what was it like when…?” As a biologist, I find myself most drawn to stories about the evolution of life. Why does this plant have purplish leaves? How did this species end up in a symbiotic relationship with this other species? How did this animal get to this tiny island 20 miles off the Southern coast of Iceland?

The volcanic island of Surtsey erupting in 1963.
The newly formed island of Surtsey erupting in 1963.

That last one was too specific to be rhetorical, wasn’t it? The volcanic island of Surtsey broke the ocean surface on November 14, 1963, and continued to erupt until June 5, 1967, reaching its maximum size of 2.7 km2 (about the size of Central Park in New York City). At this size, it was large enough to be a good site for biocolonization. Only a few scientists are allowed to visit the island, ensuring that colonization of the island can occur without human interference. Continue reading “Science Visitors Only: Watching Life Grow on a New Island”

Travelogue Iceland: Visiting the Home of the Hellisgerði

In 2014, Promega created a special incentive to reward field science consultants who help the scientific community take advantage of the our on-site stocking program. The winners had to meet ambitious criteria to receive 2 round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world, a week of paid vacation and spending money. Our winners will share photos and stories about their journeys in a semi-regular feature on the Promega Connections Blog.

Today’s travelogue brings the adventures of Rebecca Hartsough Brentin , a Senior Client Support Specialist, who used her award to travel to Iceland.

The direct flight from Denver to Iceland was only 6.5 hours, which was the main reason we chose Iceland. It was never on the bucket list, but I’m so glad we visited.Iceleand 1

The culture was something I could get used to… coffee shops didn’t open until 7 or 8 am, no traffic outside our window in Reykjavik until 8am.

Iceland 2

We stayed in the old part of town directly above a heritage museum, which featured the foundation of a longhouse from the year 872! Continue reading “Travelogue Iceland: Visiting the Home of the Hellisgerði”