The far reaches of Antarctica are no longer visited only by scientists and their support staff. Adventure tourists and curiosity seekers from Europe, North America and beyond now come by the boatful — and they’re bringing some souvenirs from home. Ecologist Steven Chown tells Robert Siegel that visitors unknowingly carry seeds on their clothes and bags. He says they’ve helped spread dozens of invasive plant species on the continent and risk permanently changing Antarctica’s ecology.
Do-it-yourselfers have made everything from bamboo bicycles to 3-D printers, but nothing as ambitious as the Open Source Ecology project. On a farm in northwest Missouri, tractors and other industrial machines are made from scratch, with detailed plans on how to do it yourself shared online.