This week, we start out with a safety segment on recognizing mental health risks among our work peers. Then, host Brock Yordy and editor Jeremy Verdusco welcome mechanical engineer and driller Tanner Kuhl to hear about his recent scientific expedition to Greenland’s ice sheet.

Drilling through 1,600 feet of glacier to recover just a few feet of rock core would be challenging under good conditions, but the region’s extreme weather and remoteness significantly complicate things. Kuhl gives us his driller’s perspective as part of the Ice Drilling Program through the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We’re almost always going into the middle of nowhere where there is no infrastructure,” Kuhl tells us. “So the first thing we need to do is build a camp.”

And it’s not like they just drive a rig up to the site. Every bit of equipment — the drill, fluids system, rods, specialty bits — needs to be flown in.

“We assemble the system piece by piece,” Kuhl says of the program’s Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) drill. “We drill inside a tent with the ASIG drill. Because the weather can be so bad — lots of blowing and falling snow — we try to get the tent up as soon as possible and do most of the assembly inside.”

This episode covers:

  • Noticing the warning signs of suicide and mental health risks 
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) 
  • Other mental health resources for at-risk peers 
  • How drilling can help advance climate science 
  • Preparing to drill in remote areas with extreme temperatures 
  • The Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) drill used in Greenland and Antarctica 
  • Drilling ice versus clay or rock 
  • Fluids for sub-zero drilling 
  • Tips for young people considering engineering or drilling fields 

Thanks for joining us. Whether you’re at your desk or on the way to the jobsite listening in the truck, start your week with us.

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Thanks for joining us. Tune in each Monday morning for the latest video or podcast. Whether you’re at your desk or on the way to the jobsite listening in the truck, start your week with us. You can also find our show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Drilling expert Brock Yordy is a regular The Driller contributing writer. Send news tips and interview suggestions to