Rutgers University students Taylor Dodge and Rachael Young have a lot in common: They’re friends, roommates and South Jersey natives – and now they’re both studying in Antartica.

The seniors headed to opposite sides of the continent last month as part of separate research projects to gather data on the effects of climate change. the undergrads, who met as first-year students in an oceanography class, will be conducting their research during the Antarctic summer, where the average February temperature is a balmy -18 degrees.

Dodge, from Woodstown in Salem County, will spend six weeks at sea surrounding the West Antarctic Peninsula, the fastest warming place on the continent. She’ll then spend another six weeks at Palmer Station, an American research station on the peninsula.

Young, from Ocean City, will spend 12 weeks at sea in Terra Nova Bay in the western Ross Sea, close to the International Date Line.

Watch below as Dodge and Young talk about their trip preparations (and how they packed)!


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