Herbold, valedictorian of his 1995 Thayer High School class, and two other Waikato (New Zealand) University scientists left for the summit of Mount Erubus in Antarctica last week to uncover traces of ancient life.
The team will descend into "ice chimneys" deep into the slopes of the mountain to collect remnants of some of the world's oldest -- and hardiest -- organisms.
The team expects to find evidence of ancient life forms that survived in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, with temperatures in the volcanic soil on the slopes of Erebus reaching more than 149 degrees Fahrenheit. Surrounded by 932 miles of ice, and two-and-a-half miles above sea-level, the earth has barely been disturbed.
Team members will post blog updates as they can. In an email message to the South Missourian News, Herbold said his team was adjusting to the altitude and low oxygen for two to three days at Fang Camp before heading to the science camp on about Nov. 9.
To follow the expedition, go online to www.waikato.ac.nz/news-events/waikato-on....