The bumper December issue of the monthly science update is now available for reading and downloading here.
Electrical energy susbtainability arrived at 5pm on 5 December 2009, when Scott Base was connected to the wind energy supply for the first time. With the No 1 turbine producing at full capacity it was covering all of the Base's electrical demand. A new webcam has also been installed on Crater Hill at the site of the wind farm. See the webcam here.
Congratulations to the following people who have recently been in the news: Tim Haskell, Don Cowan, Tim Naish, Kate Sinclair.
Haskell Strait was officially gazetted last month. The large expanse of ice between McMurdo Sound and White Island has been named by the New Zealand Geographic Board as Haskell Strait. The strait, which is about as wide as Cook Strait and up to 900 metres deep in places, is an area of relatively high human activity, with two airfields above it. Dr Haskell, a senior scientist at Industrial Research in Lower Hutt, has previously been a recipient of the Antarctic Medal, amidst a host of other prestigious science prizes and awards in his long career. He first travelled to Antarctica in 1978, and is now the leader of the sea ice programme, supported by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.
Don Cowan has recently been elected as Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (FRSNZ). Don is currently Professor of Microbiology at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and Director of its Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics, but is an alumnus of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Waikato, undertaking his Masters under the supervision of Prof Alan Green and PhD with Prof Roy Daniel. Throughout his time overseas he has continued to collaborate with University of Waikato researchers.
Tim Naish has been appointed to the Marsden Fund Council for a 3-year term. Professor Naish is director of the Antarctic Research Centre and the Joint Antarctic Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington and a principal scientist with GNS Science. He is the Chair of the International ANDRILL science planning committee and leads the ANDRILL programme.
Kate Sinclair, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the New Zealand Ice Core Programme at Victoria University of Wellington, has been appointed Vice-President of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS). New Zealand continues to have strong representation on this body with 2 of the five-member Executive Committee being from New Zealand.
The latest Science update is now available. It discusses Antarctica New Zealand's response to the recent Ministry of Research, Science and Technology document on government research funding that proposes that Antarctic research be separated into its own research domain. It also has a reminder that the application round for Antarctica New Zealand's Postgraduate Scholarship is now open with a deadline of March 5th 2010. For information on this and other Antarctic science news download the 2009 updates here.
The latest Science update is now available. Amidst many items of interest to those in the Antarctic science community, and others, it advises that the application round for Antarctica New Zealand's Postgraduate Scholarship is now open with a deadline of March 5th 2010. For information on this and other Antarctic science news download the update here.
The latest findings from ANDRILL sediment core samples indicates that 15.7 million years ago there was a remarkably warm period in Antarctica. The evidence, which includes fossils of marine algae and pollen of woody plants, indicates that land temperatures reached a January average of 10° C while estimated sea surface temperatures ranged between 0 and 11.5° C. The algae and pollen were found in sedimentary rock cores drilled in 2007 from beneath the sea floor of McMurdo Sound during ANDRILL's Southern McMurdo Sound Project. For more information read the Press release here.
Professor Tim Naish of the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, has been awarded a New Zealand Science and Technology medal by the Royal Society's New Zealand Science and Technology Medals Committee. The medal acknowledges his scientific leadership and contributions of fundamental new knowledge on how the Antarctic ice sheets have influenced global sea-change and climate, with implications for our warming world. Professor Naish was co-chief scientist for the 2006/07 McMurdo Ice Shelf project of ANDRILL, when a 1285m-long sediment core was successfully recovered from beneath the Ice Shelf.
A website for the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) has been launched. The website contains general summary information about the Area's unique environment and features, maps and images, both science and non-science related current activities in the Area and the management plans for the ASMA and Specially Protected Areas within the ASMA. It is also the host site for the Management Group to add and share information about activities, management planning and archiving documents. You can view the website here.
The latest Science update contains local and international items of interest. The first biennial Polar week (a continuation of the IPY International Polar Days) occurs in the first week of October and is entitled: What Happens at the Poles Affects Us All, while the data focus this month is the Antarctic Biodiversity Database. For information on this and other Antarctic science news download the update here.
Antarctica New Zealand, in collaboration with the New Zealand Antarctic Society, is seeking volunteers for this coming summer season in Antarctica. The two volunteers will be sourced from New Zealand Antarctic Society membership and will be helping with project work at Scott Base during January 2010. Applications close on 30 September, and an application form can be accessed from the New Zealand Antarctic Society website. For more information read the press release.
The University of Canterbury is offering 6 Antarctic-related summer scholarships. Topics covered are: Climate history in Antarctic snow-analysis of ice radar data from Ross Island; Flow speed of ice streams and glacier tongues in the western Ross Sea region; The cumulative impacts of Antarctic site visitation; Flow features of the Darwin-Hatherton glacial system, Antarctica; Neutrino astrophysics using the IceCube detector at the South Pole - improved modelling of the ice properties; and The Politics of Antarctica. Each scholarship is worth $5000 and applications close on 18 September.
The latest Science update notes that the FRST portal is now open for proposal development and submissions (until 2 October) and, amongst other news items, there is information about six Antarctic-related projects offered as part of the University of Canterbury Scholarship Scheme. Download 2009 science updates here.
The arrival of spring heralds the start of flights to Antarctica this week, following four months of total darkness and six months of isolation for New Zealand's winter-over team on the Ice. The initial flight of this year's annual programme, known as WINFLY, departs from Christchurch on Thursday. For more information read the press release .
Antarctica New Zealand has been successfully re-accredited for the Gold Standard of Enviro-Mark NZ through an external audit. Both its Orchard Road operations and management of its Scott Base activities were considered for the audit.
Enviro-Mark NZ is an environmental management system marketed and supported throughout New Zealand by Landcare Research. It provides a step-by-step process to enhance business performance in a number of areas including: achieving health, safety, and environmental legal compliance, reducing environmental risk, increasing resource use efficiency (water, waste, energy, and raw materials) and improving status with stakeholders by demonstrating environmental commitment.
Enviro-Mark was developed in the United Kingdom to provide an Environmental Management System (EMS) accessible to all organisations. In 2001 Landcare Research, a Crown Research Institute, secured the New Zealand licence for Enviro-Mark and it has been adapted for use in this country and registered as Enviro-Mark NZ. Enviro-Mark NZ provides businesses with a framework to systematically assess their performance against agreed standards. Businesses using Enviro-Mark NZ are: reducing energy consumption; reducing waste to landfill; reducing potential legal compliance risks and raising staff awareness.
The latest Science update contains information on Antarctica NZ's contribution to the University of Canterbury's Antarctic Research Endowment Fund as well as the good news of the 850 metadata records compiled and reported to the Antarctic Master Directory. It also notes that the FRST portal for submitting proposals for Antarctic research will be opened at the end of July, and contains other items of interest to the Antarctic community. Download 2009 science updates here .
Several Antarctic Arts Fellows are currently holding exhibitions. Clare Plug's Look South textiles continue at the Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery in Napier until 1 November. Meanwhile Antarctica, an exhibition of photographs by Joyce Campbell, Anne Noble and Connie Samaras opened at the Tauranga Art Gallery on 25 July until 11 October, and Kathryn Madill's No Man's Land, which includes some wonderful new Antarctic paintings opened at the Gallery at Woollaston, Nelson on 13 July and will be on show until 20 August. Finally a major showing of Ronnie van Hout's work, Who Goes There, running until 18 October at the Christchurch Art Gallery, includes the first fruit of his Antarctic trip in 2007.
The University of Auckland is proud to host this year's Antarctic conference, 1 - 3 July 2009. As well as presentations covering the latest scientific findings from Antarctica, there will be other Antarctic-associated events held during the conference. These will include the announcement of the winner of the Sir Peter Blake Trust award and also the recipients of five post-graduate research scholarships. For more information read the Press release here.
The latest Science update is now available. It updates information on the science strategy and the science bidding round and request for proposals information, as well as reminders and links to various newsletters and information of interest to the Antarctic community. Download 2009 Science Updates here.
New Zealand writer Owen Marshall and painter Peter James Smith, are the two recipients of the 2009/10 Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellowships. Timaru-based Marshall and Melbourne-based Smith will travel to Scott Base, Antarctica in January next year to take part in the programme, which targets prominent New Zealand artists. For more information download the Press release here.
Antarctica New Zealand has published its Statement of Intent 2009-2012, which sets out its projected activities for the next 3 years. The document can be downloaded here.
The international secretariat of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programmes (COMNAP) will be based at Gateway Antarctica at the University of Canterbury for the next six years. Michelle Rogan-Finnemore, Gateway Antarctica's centre manager, has been appointed to the position of COMNAP Executive Secretary. Lou Sanson, CEO of Antarctica New Zealand, says the New Zealand Antarctic community is delighted: "This reinforces the international quality of the case that Christchurch City and the University of Canterbury put forward to the selection committee. The appointment will see the 29 Antarctic Treaty countries funding the office and secretariat in Christchurch. There is also potential for further Antarctic meetings to be held in the city. This honour reinforces Christchurch as a key gateway city to Antarctica." You can read the full press release here.
The iconic A Frame Hut near Scott Base, Antarctica burnt down on Saturday evening. A routine inspection and change over of diesel fuel tanks, which supplied the heating to the hut, was being completed by Scott Base Staff. Upon re-ignition of the heater the priming fuel flashed over and set fire to the hut. For more information read the press release.
The latest Science update is now available. It updates information on the science bidding round and the proposed marine science cruise, as well as reminders and links to various newsletters and information of interest to the Antarctic community. Download 2009 Science updates here.
Applications are now being invited for this year's Antarctic Youth Ambassador. The successful applicant will travel to Antarctica in the 2009/10 season and participate in Antarctica New Zealand's environmental work. More information about becoming the 2009 Antarctic Youth Ambassador and an application form can be found on the Sir Peter Blake Trust website. Applications close on 10 June.
The first major exhibition of work by Antarctic Arts Fellow Clare Plug from her trip to Antarctica in 2006 is now on at the Hawke's Bay Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition comprises 30 textiles and banners, Clare's response to her Antarctic experience. It runs until 1 November after which it will tour to other venues.
The latest Science update is now available. It includes information on the next bidding round, with invitations to comment on the draft process and timeline (by 13 May). It also has information about a proposed Beardmore camp in the 2010/11 season, and links to various newsletters and information of interest to the Antarctic community. Download the 2009 updates here.
Applications are now open for positions at Scott Base, for the summer season (October - February), as well as some that will extend through the winter 2010. For more information go to Employment Opportunities.
Antarctic Arts Fellow Denise Copland is holding an exhibition at the SOFA Gallery at the Christchurch Arts Centre from 8 April until 10 May. By Degrees is an exhibition of her work over the decades, but more than just a simple survey of Copland's work to date, two curatorial threads have shaped the exhibition: nature in the hands of man and man in the face of nature. Through this lens, the exhibition addresses understandings of survival and includes a range of her works, from earlier tree-based works of the late 1980s and early 1990s through to her Antarctic works and those of more recent times. More information can be found on the SOFA website.
Antarctica New Zealand's Annual Antarctic Conference will be hosted by the University of Auckland from 1 - 3 July 2009. It will include oral and poster presentations as well as workshops on special topics.
On 28 March between 8.30 and 9.30pm Scott Base will shut down all non-essential energy sources in recognition of Earth Hour. While plenty of New Zealand businesses and individuals are signing up to Earth Hour it will present unique challenges to the 26 member winter team at Scott Base. For more information read the Press release .
The latest Science update is now available. It includes information on the draft Science Strategy (submissions close tomorrow), the 2009 bidding round and a Proposal Writing Workshop to be held at the Antarctica NZ Conference. It also reports on discussions Lou held recently with the new Director and Chief Scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division. Download the 2009 Science updates here.
Antarctica New Zealand and Meridian Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out how the two organisations will work together to achieve their mutual aims of long-term environmental viability in Antarctica. For more information read the Press release.
New evidence has recently been published indicating that even a slight rise in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that drives global warming, affects the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The massive WAIS covers the continent on the Pacific side of the Transantarctic Mountains. Any substantial melting of the ice sheet would cause a rise in global sea levels.
The research, which was published in the March 19 issue of the journal Nature, is based on investigations by a 56-member team of scientists on a 1,280-metre-long sedimentary rock core taken from beneath the sea floor under Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf during the the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) Project of the ANDRILL research programme (2006/07). Read the press release here.
During the southern winter, from February to October, the sea ice project team will be carrying out an extensive programme of sea ice and ocean measurements in McMurdo Sound. This is a collaborative project between the University of Otago, NIWA, IRL and Victoria University of Wellington. The research is aimed at understanding the interaction between the Ross Ice Shelf and the ocean and the effect this interaction has on the growth of the sea ice. The team is based at Scott Base but will also establish a research camp on the sea ice from where most of the fieldwork will be carried out. They are keeping a blog on the IPY website.
Earth Sea Sky have used the contract for Antarctica New Zealand clothing to undertake extensive research and development of their extreme cold weather clothing range. Redundant clothing will go to the Sherpa people in Nepal through the Himalayan Trust and also to Canadian Arctic Inuit communities via the Canadian Embassy. For more information read the Press release here.
The Draft Antarctic Science Strategy is now being circulated and feedback is welcomed. There is also information in the latest Science Update about other Antarctic-related events, including the celebrations to mark the end of the International Polar Year. Download the 2009 Science updates here.
Ice Terrane is an exhibition of Antarctic-inspired jewellery by Kirsten Haydon, Arts Fellow 2004/05, being shown as part of the Auckland Festival. The exhibition runs from 28 February - 9 April at Objectspace. Her inspirations were both the landscape and history of the continent, and the work reflects something of the climatic conditions as well as the elusive detail of that environment. She will give a talk about her work on Saturday 28 February 11am at Objectspace gallery.
Prime TV's extraordinary Kiwi this week (Sunday 1 February, 8.35pm) is Antarctic researcher, Dr Victoria Metcalf. Victoria is studying how fish manage to survive in water so cold it should freeze their blood. Swimming under the Antarctic ice shelf, they live in water as cold as -1.8º. The documentary brings into sharp focus the challenges of living in such an extreme climate, for animals and humans alike, and the effect global warming is having on the planet.
The January Science Update has information on the collection of data on scientific publications and metadata from New Zealand-supported Antarctic research work. There is also a note on the closing date for scholarship applications and there are also reminders for various forthcoming events. Download the 2009 Science updates here.
Work on the wind energy project that will reduce dependence on fossil fuels at Scott Base and McMurdo Station has progressed over the summer season. This morning the Scott Base generators were switched off and Scott Base was powered through the new frequency converter from an American test generator located at the Crater Hill wind farm site. This is a major step in the testing and the proving of the integrated electricity network between McMurdo, Scott Base and the wind farm.
An outcome of the VII Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Biology Symposium held in Christchurch in 1998 was the establishment of the SCAR Biology Student Travel Award Scheme, set up specifically to help NZ-registered postgraduate students to attend SCAR symposia. The award is administered by a group of executors set up under the auspices of the Royal Society of NZ's Committee on Antarctic Science.
The travel awards will enable three currently registered postgraduate students to attend the X SCAR International Biology Symposium to be held in Sapporo, Japan during 26-31 July 2009. The successful recipients are Dana Clark (University of Otago), Crystal Lenky (Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury), Angela McGaughran (Massey University).