Light & Verity

Heading south for the holiday

A student skis to the South Pole in record time.

Paddy Scott

Paddy Scott

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As many undergrads might dream of doing, Parker Liautaud ’16 left campus early in December. But he wasn’t trying to escape the New Haven weather. On December 6, the 19-year-old sophomore and his expedition partner Doug Stoup set off from the coast of Antarctica on skis, pulling their supplies on sleds for up to 12 hours a day. Less than 19 days later, on Christmas Eve, they arrived at the South Pole, breaking the speed record for the 315-mile trip. An American-born geology and geophysics major who grew up in England, Liautaud collected snow samples and weather data; he says he hopes the expedition will “contribute to reigniting the dialogue on climate change.” But Liautaud’s first order of business when he got back in January was to make up a geochemistry exam.

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