learning to power drill through the ice to the sea beneath...
Working and living in the Antarctic environment requires specialized training, especialy if your job has you off-station out on the ice or up in the mountains. Whether you are a scientist or merely supporting science (as I and most of us on station do) there is needed training. From snow- mobile operation to what we call 'Happy Camper' school, (basic polar survival skills) the training is usually intense given the environment, but it can be fun and sometimes awesome! Sea Ice School is one of these, learning how to 'read' the Ice for signs of its condition and thickness, how to drill down and see if its safe to walk or drove over-your life can literaly depend on it, and others with you. Plus you get to go to some cool places! In this class we traveled to Cape Evans, where explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his party began their ill-fated conquest of the South Pole. we practiced our new skills by circumnavigating around a city block sized iceberg, stranded from the previous summer.
Just over ten years ago, I walked away from my career as a space shuttle systems and launch pad technician, a job I actually loved, and many would say, crazy to leave. Shortly after, I flew 9000 miles by way of New Zealand, to the the 7th and most remote, unexplored continent-Antarctica. This for a much lower level job that would last less than 6 months. From a career progression point of view it was like driving down a steep mountain in my old 88 GMC pickup truck-the brakes would very likely fail! I was 40- not a particularly good point in life to just 'bail' on the job and the 401K- but ... full info
scotts hut view the hut has survived here for a hundred years, still intact and still full of artifacts from the age of polar exploration, and who knows --the ghosts of the British Antarctic expedition.