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UNF Researcher's Dream Trip To Antarctica A Go Following Shutdown Setback


University of North Florida biologist Dr. Julie Richmond is headed to Antarctica to study Weddell Seals.

Richardson had been worried that her long dreamed of trip would have to be postponed another year as the result of the federal government shutdown.

She found out Friday that the trip is still on.

She leaves for McMurdo Station next Monday where, she says, she and her research team will spend two weeks preparing for life in the Antarctic’s 20 degree below zero temperatures.

"Where we learn how to dig ice caves and survive in this cold weather environment if we happen to get stranded. We'll learn how to drive some of those ice cats and some of those larger machines and things like that," she said.

Richmond says they plan to spend six weeks working out of a metal hut on the ice studying female Weddell seals to see which ones have pups and which ones decide to spend their energies on growing thicker coats. 

She says she’ll be the only one there from Florida. The others, she says, are all from Alaska.

You can follow Cyd on Twitter at @cydwjctnews.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.