Driving across the Chilean Atacama desert on the way to Volcan Llullaillaco. Large black hill behind the trucks is a lava flow. April 2016.

The hike along the Toklat River toward its source, the Middle Fork Toklat Glacier. Denali National Park is one of the prettiest places I've ever been. July 2014.

Hiking through the Peruvian Andes into the Laguna Sibinacocha basin (~5000 meters above sea level). The large snowy mountain in the distance is Nevado Chumpi. November 2012.

My friend and backpacking mentor, Preston Sowell, taking photographs of Mars. Not really; this is at Llullaillaco base-camp in the Chilean atacama desert. April 2016.

Mushrooms growing on a log in Dorrigo National Park, in the Australian rainforest. March 2011.

Llullaillaco lit by morning light. The false summit visible in this picture is roughly 6300 meters above sea level. April 2016.

My labmate Lara Vimercati and I standing amongst Penitentes on Llullaillaco (Chilean Andes). Penitentes are formed by wind and sun, and are named after the pope's hat. Their infrequent melting provides refuge for microbial life in an otherwise barren and (mostly) sterile landscape. Photo by Steve Schmidt. April 2016.

Leolemus lizard, who was hiding under a rock near Laguna Sibinacocha in the Peruvian Andes. March 2015.

Moss growing on a caribou bone near the Toklat Glacier in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The bone likely provides key nutrients that are not yet present in the newly de-glaciated terrain. July 2014.

Me, flying a drone near the Puca Glacier (pictured) in the Peruvian Andes. The drone took aerial photographs of a long-term experiment. March 2015.

The last two Hilux trucks of our convoy, driving through the hyper-arid Atacama Desert (Chile). April 2016.

Our campsite in the glacial chronosequence of the Puca Glacier. Field work was very cold that year. March 2015.