Antarctica New Zealand wishes all a safe and happy Christmas and very best wishes for a fulfilling 2011. Our offices will be closed until 8am Wednesday 5 January.
The latest issue of Antarctic Science (22 no. 6) is devoted to research from the New Zealand-led Latitudinal Gradient Project. The LGP has been operating for 8 years, has involved over 15 separate research groups and has entailed over 3000 field-person days. It has enabled relatively small research programmes, ranging from marine ecology to glacial history, to contribute to exploring the changes along a latitudinal gradient as a proxy for climate change.
There is much interesting Antarctic news in the latest issue of our Science and Information update. Information relating to the SCAR Open Science Conference (the 2014 meeting of which will be held in Christchurch), scholarships available, potential science funding and research review and Scott Base visits are among the miscellany of items of interest. You can read or download here.
The first Antarctic painting by Peter James Smith who visited Antarctica as an Invited Artist in 2009, will be included in the exhibition Frieze, running at the Gow Langsford Gallery in Auckland from 1 December 2010 - 29 January 2011. The exhibition will include paintings by a number of artists including John Walsh who also travelled to Antarctica as an Invited Artist, in the 2007/08 season. For more information go here.
The Postgraduate Research Scholarship Programme is designed to encourage researchers to pursue interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. This year Antarctica New Zealand will be encouraging applicants to focus on projects with specific themes including climate data that is available on the Ross Sea Region, including data collected as part of the LGP project. Another target project is to advance work that Antarctica New Zealand is completing with Biosecurity New Zealand on non-native species risks. More information on these projects, application procedures and requirements, can be found in the Scholarships and Fellowships section of this website.
A joint service of remembrance to mark Armistice Day was held at the Chalet at McMurdo Station today. It was attended by defence and other personnel currently resident both at McMurdo Station and Scott Base. Speakers included the United States Antarctic Program representative, George Blaisdell and Commander of the 13th Air Expeditionary Group, Colonel Gary James. Those speaking on behalf of those currently at Scott Base were Antarctica NZ's senior representative Ed Butler, and the Senior National officer of New Zealand Defence Forces at Scott Base Lt Commander David Washer.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on the strength of the US/NZ Antarctic relationship at a function held in the Antarctic Departure Terminal, Christchurch on Friday 5 November. During the visit she was hosted by Antarctica New Zealand Board Chairman Rob Fenwick and was presented with an Antarctica New Zealand cold weather jacket. Her speech, along with that of Rob Fenwick, and Art Brown representing the National Science Foundation, the manager of the US Antarctic Program, can be read here.
Information about the Scott Polar Centenary scholarship, along with the MFAT Scholarship in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies on offer from Gateway Antarctica at the University of Canterbury can be found along with other items of interest in the latest science update which you can read or download here.
The Korean icebreaker Araon was in Wellington last week and hosted a number of diplomats from Antarctic Treaty partners along with several New Zealand scientists. It then sailed to Lyttelton to take on Korean scientists for a trip to the Korean research base, King Sejong Station at King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. Later it will return to Christchurch before sailing to Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea region where preparations will begin for the construction of South Korea's second Antarctic research base, Jang Bo-go, scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.
Canterbury artist Jan Chaffey is holding an exhibition of Antarctic paintings at COCA, 66 Gloucester St, Christchurch. Jan visited the Antarctic Peninsula several years ago and this exhibition of images of her trip shows the vast distances and enormity of the Antarctic continent as experienced over many days at sea; passing frozen islands, watching the flight of seabirds, meeting with some apprehension the enormous icebergs, then the ice shelf itself. The exhibition runs until 7 November in the Front Gallery.
Final findings from the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) were presented in London recently. CAML is a major International Polar Year (IPY) initiative and a component of the Census of Marine Life (CoML). The London event marks the end of the 10-year programme and celebrates the work of more than 2700 scientists from 80 nations. For the CAML investigation marine biologists from around the world were involved in the largest-ever Antarctic marine survey, which saw 19 separate voyages to Antarctic waters to collect marine life samples from over 2000 locations all around Antarctica. Understanding what lives in the Southern Ocean has helped to establish a benchmark against which we can measure the effects of climate change. The marine life studied in Antarctica is, naturally, vulnerable to these effects including warming sea surface temperatures, rising ocean acidification and decreasing winter sea ice. The CAML programme has, however, illustrated just how resilient some of these creatures can be, surviving in some of the most challenging conditions on the planet.
In the recent announcement of successful Marsden grants there are two that have an Antarctica New Zealand logistics component. Charlie Lee from Waikato University has been granted a total of $300 000 over 3 years for his programme titled: Microbial diversity in the extreme-Abiotically driven biocomplexity in the Antarctic Dry Valleys and launches off the work Craig is doing around biocomplexity in the Dry Valleys. Also successful with a grant of $300 000 over 3 years was Hinrich Schaefer from NIWA with his programme: Stable carbon isotope constraints on methane sources during fast climatic transitions. This is a joint research programme with the US and will investigate past climates from ice cores and using the National Isotope Centre's ice core laboratory.
Antarctica New Zealand congratulates these successful recipients and looks forward to supporting their work.
After recording the two most successful sediment recovery projects in Antarctic history, ANDRILL, the Antarctic Geologic Drilling programme, is set to begin an ambitious survey project in the 2010-11 Antarctic field season.
The joint United States-New Zealand expedition will operate from a remote camp on the Ross Ice Shelf from late October through to early February, studying the ice and its movements, the sea beneath the ice and its movements, and the rocks beneath the seafloor. The Coulman High Survey Project is funded by a $2.68 million grant from the US National Science Foundation through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with significant additional support coming from the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and Antarctica New Zealand. It is led by Frank Rack, executive director the ANDRILL Science Management Office at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the United States, and Richard Levy, a paleoclimate research scientist for GNS Science in New Zealand.
To read the full press release or view associated media files go here.
The first of the Mainbody flights is due to leave for Antarctica on 23 September, with an Airbus A319 scheduled to deploy up to 70 people south, followed by the first C17 flight on 28 September formally opening the season at McMurdo Station. During the season there will also be four flights by the FNZAF Boeing 757 and six by the RNZAF C130 Hercules. The South to Antarctica church service will be held at 10am on Sunday 26 September, at ChristChurch Cathedral which has now re-opened after its post-earthquake closure. The last of the summer season flights is scheduled for 4 March 2011.
Seminar Room, Third Floor, Cotton Building, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
Thursday 23 September 3-4pm
Colin was Senior Lecturer in Physics at VUW 1956-61 and leader of the 2nd VUW Antarctic Expedition in 1958-59. By dint of personality, vision and administrative style he had a lasting influence on Antarctic research at VUW, and glaciology world-wide, through his role as Professor and later Dean at The Ohio State University.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: Colin acquired several degrees from Birmingham University (1945-51), following which as a Cambridge PostDoctoral Fellow he led several expeditions to the Arctic. He then married Gillian and came to VUW (see above). In 1961 he, Gillian and family left VUW for The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, where he became Assistant then Associate then Professor of Geology, Director of the Institute of Polar Studies (1965-69), chairman of Geology (1970-76) and Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Engineering (1976-86) He retired with Gillian to become an Emeritus Professor and Polar Bibliophile on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. In his career he attracted and inspired a number of staff and graduate students, including pioneering glacial geologist John Mercer, glaciologists Ian Whillans and Lonnie Thompson, and VUW's Peter Barrett. He also attracted VUW's first Antarctic student (with Barrie McKelvey) and geologist Peter Webb to become Chairman of Geology at OSU for many years. This added significantly to the OSU-VUW connection, as Peter also led the US component of a partnership with VUW in Antarctic offshore scientific drilling in the period 1970-2001. Colin died two weeks ago (September 7) on the first night of cruise to coastal Alaska to take Gillian to past research areas. Peter Webb noted last week "Colin would be pleased to reflect on the fact that both he and Shackleton checked out while on a ship headed into the high latitudes."
PLACE: Seminar Room, Third Floor, Cotton Building, Kelburn Campus, VUW
DATE/TIME: Sep 23, 3.00-4.00 pm, followed by refreshments, Antarctic Research Centre, 5th Floor
A Royal New Zealand Airforce P3 Orion has successfully completed a medical evacuation of a seriously ill resident of the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. After 3 days of delays due to blizzard conditions on the Ice the P3 Orion was able to land in calm and clear conditions at Pegasus Ice runway near McMurdo Station today. The patient who is in a serious but stable condition has been transferred to the aircraft and is on route to Christchurch International Airport. For more information read the press release.
TVNZ weather presenter Karen Olsen is currently at Scott Base from where she will deliver live broadcasts. The expected schedule includes a live broadcast into the 6pm news today, Friday and Saturday. She will also be broadcasting live into the Breakfast Show at around 7.40am tomorrow.
An exhibition of early Antarctic photography is currently showing at Canterbury Museum's Robert McDougall Gallery. It features extraordinary images taken by Herbert Ponting during Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova expedition (1910-13) and dramatic icescapes by Frank Hurley on Shackleton's Endurance expedition of 1914-16. The exhibition runs until 20 February next year. For more information go here.
TVNZ weather presenter Karen Olsen is currently at Scott Base from where she will deliver live broadcasts. The expected schedule includes a live broadcast into the 6pm news today, Friday and Saturday. She will also be broadcasting live into the Breakfast Show at around 7.40am tomorrow.
The first flight of the season departs from Christchurch today. Over the past two years successful trials have been held for night vision landing and so the first of three Winfly night vision flights will depart at 3pm today, and land around 8pm this evening. With a short on-ground time, the flight is scheduled to arrive back in Christchurch around 3.15 am tomorrow. An increase in early season science means that there will be a total of seven Winfly flights, the last being on 26 August. Summer season flights are due to begin in about one month on 23 September. Read or download the Press release here.
Now that light is returning, after four months of total darkness, the webcams at Arrival Heights and at the Wind farm on Crater Hill have been re-activated and can be viewed here.
The date and location of next year's Antarctic Conference has been announced. Information regarding that and the decision to hold a bidding round this year for logistics support is included in the latest science update which you can read or download here.
Following a very successful trial last season the Scott Base Volunteer Programme will continue this year. The work undertaken will be predominantly exterior and interior painting; two applicants will be selected and will spend about 4 weeks at Scott Base from mid-December 2010 to mid-January 2011. Applications close 20 August 2010, and further details and application forms can be obtained from the Society's website or read the press release here.
Antarctica New Zealand is very pleased to have gained CEMARS certification and is committed to a four-year plan to reduce its carbon emissions. CEMARS certification (certified emissions measurement and reduction scheme), is essentially the first two steps (measure and manage) of carboNZero certification. These two steps are independently verified (both the method used, and the measurement made, are audited) and then certified.
The Disclosure statement says that: Antarctica New Zealand meets the requirements of CEMARS certification having measured its greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with ISO 14064-1 and committed to managing and reducing its emissions in respect of the operational activities of its organisation. The full disclosure statement can be read here.
At the recent Antarctic conference students were judged for their oral and poster presentations. Prizes were awarded as follows: best student oral presentation: first: Jessica Ericson - University of Otago; second: Rachael Rhodes - Victoria University of Wellington; third: Ruma Ghosh - University of Otago. Best student poster presentation: first: Mette Riger-Kusk - Gateway Antarctica; second: Rory Mearns - Victoria University of Wellington; third: Chelsea Vickers - University of Waikato; fourth: Kurt Joy - Gateway Antarctica; fifth: Oliver Marsh - Gateway Antarctica. Congratulations to all on the very high standard of poster and oral presentations.
The spectacular ridge of wind-sculpted granite towers at the entrance to Antarctica's Wright Valley has been named the McPhail Turrets recognising Rob McPhail’s huge contribution to scientific research on the Ice.Rob McPhail, well-known to all Antarcticans, who has flown for Helicopters New Zealand for four months of each of the past 19 years in Antarctica, has clocked up about 4000 flying hours in the region.
The New Zealand Geographic Board approved the name in March and a presentation was made to Rob when it was announced at the annual Antarctica New Zealand conference at the University of Canterbury on Monday night.
Rob said the outcrops that now bore his name were an incredible example of ventifacts, or wind-scoured rocks. He describes them as a stunning piece of natural art.
The name McPhail Turrets was proposed by Victoria University scientist Nancy Bertler. She said she spoke for all Antarctic scientists who trusted McPhail with not just their research, but often their lives.
Textile artist Clare Plug travelled to Antarctica through the Artists to Antarctica programme in 2006. A major exhibition comprising 30 textiles and banners detailing Clare's response to her Antarctic experience, is now on at Canterbury Museum, running until 26 September.
Reports from workshops and conferences attended by Antarctica New Zealand staff as well as the imminent Annual Antarctic Conference are a few of the many items of interest to be found in the latest science update which you can read or download here.
Applications close on 16 July for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at NIWA. The successful candidate will have a PhD in marine ecology as well as extensive experience in modelling physiological and ecological processes. This post-doctoral scholarship is funded by Air New Zealand and NIWA, in collaboration with Antarctica New Zealand and WWF-New Zealand and does not involve any Antarctic field work. For further information about NIWA, a full position description and online applications please visit the NIWA website.
Antarctica New Zealand has a large image collection holding photographs from the beginning of New Zealand's involvement in Antarctica during the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1956-1958, through to the present. The collection is held as part of the public record, and will eventually be transferred to Archives New Zealand for preservation in perpetuity. In the meantime it is held at Antarctica NZ in a variety of formats: transparencies, contact prints and digital images, and is available for researchers to use by appointment. We are now hosting some image galleries on this website with a selection of images under the following categories: Science, Environment, Historical, Scott Base, Transport, Out and about, Special Events, Wind farm construction. Click here to see the images currently in these galleries.
Antarctic research at the University of Waikato has received a major financial boost with the establishment of an endowment fund. Antarctica New Zealand has provided $50,000 in seed funding to the University's International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research (ICTAR), to establish the Antarctic Research Endowment Fund. An additional $50,000 in matched funding will come from the University of Waikato. Read or download the Press release here.
The draft Science Strategy: New Zealand Antarctic and Southern Ocean Science Directions and Priorities 2010 - 2020 is now available for public consultation. It is anticipated that the document, if adopted, would provide a coherent strategy to guide New Zealand Government agencies in investing in research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean over the next ten years.
Written submissions are requested by Friday 6 August 2010. To read or download the document and accompanying letter go here.
Prominent landscape photographer, Andris Apse, received a Queen's Birthday honour for services to photography. As well as his work in New Zealand, he has twice travelled to Antarctica, as an Invited Artist in 2003/04 and again in 2007/08.
Antarctica New Zealand congratulates Andris on his appointment to the New Zealand Order of Merit.
The statement of intent, setting out Antarctica New Zealand's programme for the next three years is now available. It can be downloaded here.
New Zealand singer and song writer Dave Dobbyn, photographer Laurence Aberhart and sculptor Joe Sheehan, are the three recipients of the 2010/11 Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellowships. The artists will travel to Scott Base, Antarctica in November to take part in the programme, which targets prominent New Zealand artists. For more information read the Media release here.
The 33rd meeting of the Treaty Parties and 13th meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) have concluded in Punta del Este, Uruguay with accolades for retiring Chair, Neil Gilbert. Neil is Antarctica New Zealand's Environment Manager and has been Chairman of the CEP for the last four years.
The CEP reports directly to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) which gives effect to the principles of the Antarctic Treaty and the Environment Protocol. The latest meeting discussed issues relating to the management of Antarctic tourism, managing the effects of climate change in the Antarctic, biosecurity and bio‐prospecting and at its conclusion Neil Gilbert received an unprecedented standing ovation. ATCM Chair, Dr. Roberto Puceiro, thanked Neil for having achieved a "Herculean task in chairing the huge workload of the CEP over the last four years through some very challenging issues and for a warmth that will remain with us for many years to come". Dr. Roberto Puceiro described Neil as "a leading light for our organisation, that will go down in the history of our work."
The ATCM Chairman's comments were backed up by many other nations who thanked Neil for improving relations between CEP and ATCM and making a significant contribution to environmental protection in Antarctica. Antarctica New Zealand warmly congratulates Neil on this tremendous achievement.
Antarctica New Zealand is interested in receiving feedback on two issues: holding a bidding round every year that will offer logistics to successful applicants for up to four years; and a proposal to extend the breadth of the information we collect on outputs from research programmes. More information on these two issues along with a reminder for the Antarctic Conference can be found in the latest update which you can read or download here.
A recent Colmar Brunton survey has revealed New Zealanders hold Antarctica, and New Zealand's involvement there, in high esteem. Of all respondents to this public awareness survey 70% indicated it was "quite" or "very" important for the New Zealand Government to be involved in Antarctica. For more information download the Media release here.
For those who want to explore the Scott Base environment, we have now uploaded a 3D model of the buildings created in Google SketchUp. In order to use it you will need to download the model. You will also need Google SketchUp Viewer which is a simple tool for viewing the 3D files. We have also provided a document that explains how to navigate around the model. Go here to download the model, instructions, and a link to the 3D viewer.
The latest Science and Information Update is out now with its usual mix of interesting items - you can read it or download it here.
The 33rd meeting of the Treaty Parties and 13th meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) will take place in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 3-14 May. Antarctica New Zealand will be represented by Jana Newman, and Neil Gilbert who will also chair the CEP meeting for the last time. Antarctica NZ has submitted papers on protected area management plans, and tourism impacts.
Other issues that are anticipated to dominate the discussions include the management of Antarctic tourism, managing the effects of climate change in the Antarctic, biosecurity and bio‐prospecting. For more information visit the Antarctic Treaty website.
On Monday 24 May, 7-8pm in the A2 Lecture Theatre at the University of Canterbury, Robert Bindschadler, NASA Emeritus Scientist, Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory will present the ST Lee Lecture for 2010. For more information download the pdf here.
It may be a long way from New Zealand, but the Dawn Service commemorating Anzac Day has long been held at Scott Base and this year was no exception. The tradition of holding the service at dawn was also maintained. For those living at Scott Base on Ross Island, with declining sunlight hours as it descends into its total winter darkness, it meant that the service was held at 12.30 just as the sun was rising.
The service was held at the flag pole with around 35 in attendance. It included a short history of ANZAC day and the poem For the Fallen, and then the Last post was played through the base PA, echoing atmospherically around the buildings, followed by a minute's silence.
Air New Zealand in collaboration with Antarctica New Zealand, the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), and WWF-New Zealand has announced support for a $100,000 post-doctoral Antarctic marine science scholarship. For more information download the Media release here.
Antarctica New Zealand's Board chair, Rob Fenwick, will today be conferred with the degree of Doctor of Natural Resources, honoris causa, by Lincoln University. Rob is co-founder of Living Earth Ltd, New Zealand's principal commercial compost company. He has had a long association with Antarctica: for nine years until 2007 he was a director and later chairman of Landcare Research, one of several CRIs involved in Antarctic research, and is also former chairman of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. Antarctica New Zealand congratulates him on being awarded this degree.
New Zealand fiction writer Owen Marshall has had his second collection of poetry published by Canterbury University Press.
Titled Sleepwalking in Antarctica the collection contains a number of poems written after Marshall's visit to the Ice in January this year as an Antarctic Arts Fellow. The rest of the poems in the collection, written by the Timaru writer since the publication of his first collection Occasional (2004), are rich in the themes and preoccupations that have made his short stories and novels so admired. Marshall says while he is principally a writer of prose fiction he loves to read poetry and his own poems tend to come in "bursts" while he's working on longer term projects.
An Antarctic Treaty Meeting of Experts (ATME) on Climate Change is being held in Svolvær, Norway from 6-9 April. The Treaty Parties have requested the ATME to examine:
Antarctica New Zealand's Environment Manager Dr Neil Gilbert, in his role as Chair of the Committee for Environmental Protection, will deliver a keynote address entitled: Managing a Changing Antarctic Environment. It will explore the implications and possible response options for: science, environmental management, national Antarctic Programmes and the Antarctic Treaty System. More information on the meeting and the Antarctic Treaty system can be found here.
As has been the case in previous years, all essential power, including all lights, were turned off at Scott Base on Saturday evening between 8.30-9.30 pm. While some of the winter team were at McMurdo Station, the Fire crew, seen in the photos below, were still on duty. The second photo was taken at the Scott Base sign, and, as even the outside lights were turned off, it's not possible to see the Base behind the team.
The latest Science and Information Update draws together many useful items: newsletters, conferences, travel grants and fellowships, for those with an interest in Antarctic research. Read or download it here.
The position of Christchurch as an Antarctic gateway could be further strengthened by the recent decision of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs to site its second base at Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea region.
The selection is based on an analysis of data collected by South Korea's first icebreaker Araon during its three-month exploration around the region and follows the visit of the Araon to Lyttelton in January.
The research base will be 3,300 square metres, and will be located at 74° south and 164° east, in a location near to the Italian base Mario Zucchelli and the German station Gondwana. Construction of the base is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.
Antarctica New Zealand is very pleased to have achieved Diamond level Enviro-Mark®NZ certification through an external audit. Both its Orchard Road operations and management of its Scott Base activities were considered for the audit.
For the past few years the organisation has been certified to Gold level. However after significant work in refining its systems and processes, particularly those relating to its Health, Safety and Environment system, it was confident that this level had been surpassed - so confident, in fact, that instead of applying for the next stage (Platinum) it applied for and was successful in reaching Diamond certification. For the Diamond level there is a particular emphasis on documentation of implemented environmental management processes.
Having now reached the highest of the five Enviro-Mark levels, thus establishing its commitment to managing and minimising environmental risks and impacts within a national framework, Antarctica New Zealand will next consider applying for an audit against the international standard for Environmental Management, ISO (International Standards Organisation) 14001. The work already undertaken in gaining the Enviro-Mark Diamond certification, which Antarctica New Zealand also aims to maintain, stands it in good stead for international certification.
More information on Enviro-Mark®NZ, marketed and supported throughout New Zealand by Landcare Research can be found here.
The 2009/10 Antarctic summer season closes today with an Australian Airbus A319 flight to Pegasus Runway. This season has seen 59 C-17 flights, 7 RNZAF Hercules flights and two successful trials of the RNZAF Boeing 757. Aimed to operate along with the Hercules, the B757 may prove a more efficient method of transporting passengers, and takes about half the time that the Hercules does. The next flight, a winter fly-in (Winfly) will not take place until mid-August.
The February 2010 Science and Information update is now available. It has a number of reminders including: closing date for Scholarship applications, Data policy feedback; information on an interim bidding round, and Canadian collaborations. Read or download it here.
As the 2009/10 Antarctic season draws to a close, with the last flight only two weeks away, the sun has set for the first time in about four months.
2006/07 Antarctic Arts Fellow, Joyce Campbell is showing two collections of work at the Christchurch Art Gallery, Last Light and LA Botanical. The daguerreotypes of Last Light are the results of her trip to Antarctica. The exhibition runs from 20 February to 9 May 2010. For more information visit the Christchurch Art Gallery website.
With the arrival of the MV Italica at Lyttelton today, the removal of rubbish from Cape Hallett Station is complete. Over 30-31 January the remnants of the US/NZ Hallett Station were removed by helicopter to the MV Italica. Some of the items removed earlier have found a permanent home at Canterbury Museum. The current load of 18 000kg, the bulk of it comprising steel from the large fuel tank, completes the removal of all traces of the station which was operational between 1957 and 1973.
Clean-up began in 1984 and in 2001 a joint US/NZ team carried out an environmental site assessment, which led to a multi-year remediation plan for the station site and surrounding area. More information on Cape Hallett Station can be found here.
Antarctic Arts Fellow Clare Plug's Look South exhibition has now opened at Te Manawa, Palmerston North and runs until 5 April. The exhibition comprises 30 textiles and banners, Clare's artistic response to her 2006 Antarctic experience.
The New Zealand Air Force will be conducting a second trial flight of their B757 aircraft to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica on Wednesday. The return flight will take approximately 8 ½ hours including a refuelling stop at the Pegasus Ice runway. For more information download the Media release here.
It seems that more and more people are keen to share their Antarctic science and experiences on-line. Dave Collett who works for Land Information New Zealand has written a blog for the past two seasons, and, along with many photos to see, it can be read here. His previous season's blog is here.
To celebrate and publish early results from the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, a major polar science conference is to be held in Oslo, Norway from 8-12 June 2010. This will be the largest polar science meeting ever held, and more than 60 countries will participate in the conference, including at least 14 participants from New Zealand. For more information on New Zealand's involvement in the International Polar Year, go to Antarctica New Zealand's IPY website. Visit the IPY Polar Science Conference website here.
Two more Antarctic blogs have come to our attention.
The first is written by Matthew Wood who recently launched a podcast and accompanying blog on Antarctic science. These have been produced in association with the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University and the Royal Society Science Media Centre. The podcasts are approximately 15-minute, interview-based summaries of interesting scientific research that are suitable for a layperson audience. To read the blog, visit Journeys to the Ice.
The second is Gateway Antarctica (University of Canterbury) student, Matthias Wagner's (hand)-written diary kept during his 2-week visit to the Ice as part of the Post-Graduate Course in Antarctic Studies, in late December 2009. You can read it here.
The first Science and Information update for 2010 contains much useful and interesting information, including the Draft Scientific Data Policy which is now available for comment. Read or download it here.
Graeme Connell who was a member of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Programme team over the 1968-69 summer season is writing a book about his adventures that year. He also has a blog with reminiscences from 40 years ago. Read the blog here.
Natalie Miedema, the 2009 Antarctic Youth Ambassador travels to the Ice today. During her time at Scott Base she will assist with environmental monitoring at the wind farm site on Crater Hill, amongst other projects. She will be writing a blog during her visit and will return from Antarctica on 22 January. You can read her blog here.
Lyttelton will be the first port of call this summer for Korea's new Icebreaker the Araon. The 6950-ton ship which has recently been launched will be conducting sea trials in the Ross Sea in January 2010. The media release can be downloaded here.