Meet the Team – Britney!

Welcome to the first of edition of “Meet the Team”!

Each Monday (starting today), we will be highlighting a member of the Icefin team with seven very serious questions. Today’s victim, er, subject, is our wonderful and fearless leader, Dr. Britney Schmidt (known to most as just Britney)!

brit_ice_eyes - Britney Schmidt_wm

Britney in Antarctica kit on a balmy day. Credit: Peter Kimball

Who are you?

I’m an astrobiologist and ice nerd interested in learning everything I can about oceans on Earth and beyond.

Bagels or donuts?


A Christmas Story bunny onesie

With bunny feet! (From

What onesie are you bringing to the field next season

Bunny suit from Christmas Story.

If you could have one thing to have an endless supply of, what would it be?

Candy canes.

Title your autobiography.

“Adventures In Being Human”




Rockhopper Penguin
The rockhopper penguin. Very metal. Credit: Graeme, via
Case II Quad Track

The Case II QuadTrack. Credit: Eddie Dawson, from

How do penguins make you feel?


What kind of penguin are you?

Rockhopper Penguin–the most metal of penguins.



What is your favorite Antarctican vehicle?

The Case Quadtrack Tractors.





What is your favorite picture from the 2017 field season and why?

sphere_fan - Britney Schmidt_wm

Taken by Icefin, 2017, on the sea floor underneath the Erebus Glacier Tongue, showing an as-of-yet unknown object (left, spherical thing) and a sea fan (right, with a stalk).

I love this photo because it shows an almost alien sea floor under the Erebus Glacier Tongue.

2 responses to “Meet the Team – Britney!

  1. Greetings Dr. Schmidt, your website is very interesting. I had no idea that all this exploration was happening on Antarctica. Your team is made up of quite a variety of people.

    Questions: CNN recently reported that Antarctica’s snowfall is increasing which changes circulation patterns, do you believe this change is due to global warming?

    Central Arizona Student, LaJean Jackson Environmental Science 101


    • Hi LaJean,

      Yes, among the things that evidence shows are changing in Antarctica due to global warming is the pattern of snowfall. As the atmosphere warms, there is more melting and more evaporation as well as changing currents that shift where snow falls. The type of snow is also changing–we are getting bigger fluffier snow since the atmosphere is warmer and wetter. The Antarctic is a complicated system and that’s one of the reasons we’re spending so much time trying to understand all the inputs.



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