Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Digger w/goggles

Dispatches From
Antarctica

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages,
bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness.
Safe return doubtful. Honour and
recognition in event of success."

- Ernest Shackleton (expedition advertisement?)

Kevin, our youngest, graduated from the University of Central Missouri in May, 2009 and applied to Raytheon Polar Services Company (RPSC) for a job working in Antarctica. To the surprise of all of us, including him, he got the job! He has been there since the first of November and has been communicating with us in a variety of ways, including email, satellite phone, and Facebook. This page is an attempt to document his Antarctica experience through his communications and pictures as well as supplemental information about Antarctica and the South Pole station.

Most of the pictures and discussions presented below are focused on the South Pole Dome, a structure that served as the primary South Pole operations structure from 1975 until 2009 when it was replaced by the new South Pole Station. The reason for this focus is that Kevin's primary job during his stay at the South Pole was to serve as a member of the crew taking down (deconstructing) the old Dome.

The Dome Is Down

March 31, 2010 : South Pole

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Kevin has departed for New Zealand and beyond (see the 'Big' page) and the Antarctic Sun has published a piece wrapping up the story of the Dome deconstruction: The Dome Is Down. For posterity's sake, here are a couple of other articles in the Sun that describe the deconstruction activities: Deconstruction of the Dome, and provide some good photos (some of which Kevin is in): Dome Deconstruction Photos.

Dome Crew - Official Portrait

January 19, 2010 : South Pole

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Dome Deconstruction Crew

This is the official portrait of the deconstruction crew. It is supposed to be placed permanently on display at the station. Click on the image to see a much larger version.

In Front of Dome Deconstruction

January 15, 2010 : South Pole

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Here is the summer staff (or as many as they could round up?) in front of the deconstructed Dome before they took down the last pieces.  The sign they are holding was over the main entrance to the Dome.

Summer Staff In Front of Deconstructed Dome

Kevin is in the lower left portion of the picture, near the Australian flag and behind the bald guy in the red coat.    Click on the image to see a much larger version.

Deconstruction Crew In Front of Deconstructed Dome

This picture is of the Dome deconstruction crew in front of the same background as the picture above. Click on the image to see a much larger version.

Buckminster Fuller

January 13, 2010 : South Pole

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Bucky Fuller

Buckminster Fuller is credited with perfecting and popularizing the Geodesic Dome upon which the design of the South Pole Station Dome is based. Fuller was born in Milton, MA in 1895 and died in 1983. Although he characterized himself as a misfit, and was expelled from Harvard twice, he spent most of his life as a college professor in the Midwest. He erected his first geodesic dome building in 1949. It was constructed of aluminum aircraft tubing with a vinyl-plastic skin. After proving the strength of the structure by hanging from the framework with several of his students, he was hired to make small field domes for the army. Examples of some of the estimated 500,000 geodesic domes that have been constructed around the world can be found on the Buckminster Fuller Institute's (BFI) website. These include huge structures such as the Fantasy Entertainment Complex in Kyosho, Japan (710 ft diameter):

Fantasy Ocean

and the Montreal Biosphere, designed by Fuller in 1967 (250 ft diameter). Click on the image to see a much larger version:

Montreal Biosphere

The BFI site also includes
this recognizable picture:

South Pole Station Dome







A geodesic dome and its "dual" (i.e., the vertices of one correspond to the faces of the other):

Geodesic DomeGeodesic Dome

Compare the sphere on the left-hand side to pictures on this page of the South Pole Station Dome.

Buckminster Fuller (or "Bucky" as he was called) was a visionary who recognized before most the finite nature of the Earth's resources and believed that humanity would soon need to rely mainly on renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind. He was named the 1969 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about his philosophy and worldview:

"The grandson of a Unitarian minister (Arthur Buckminster Fuller), R. Buckminster Fuller was also Unitarian. Buckminster Fuller was an early environmental activist. He was very aware of the finite resources the planet has to offer, and promoted a principle that he termed "ephemeralization", which, in essence – according to futurist and Fuller disciple Stewart Brand – Fuller coined to mean "doing more with less". Resources and waste material from cruder products could be recycled into making more valuable products, increasing the efficiency of the entire process. Fuller also introduced synergetics, a metaphoric language for communicating experiences using geometric concepts, long before the term synergy became popular. Buckminster Fuller was one of the first to propagate a systemic worldview, and he explored principles of energy and material efficiency in the fields of architecture, engineering and design. He cited François de Chardenedes' opinion that petroleum, from the standpoint of its replacement cost out of our current energy 'budget' (essentially, the net incoming solar flux), had cost nature 'over a million dollars' per U.S. gallon (US$300,000 per litre) to produce. From this point of view, its use as a transportation fuel by people commuting to work represents a huge net loss compared to their earnings. Fuller was concerned about sustainability and about human survival under the existing socio-economic system, yet remained optimistic about humanity's future. Defining wealth in terms of knowledge, as the "technological ability to protect, nurture, support, and accommodate all growth needs of life," his analysis of the condition of "Spaceship Earth" caused him to conclude that at a certain time during the 1970s, humanity had attained an unprecedented state. He was convinced that the accumulation of relevant knowledge, combined with the quantities of major recyclable resources that had already been extracted from the earth, had attained a critical level, such that competition for necessities was not necessary anymore. Cooperation had become the optimum survival strategy. "Selfishness," he declared, 'is unnecessary and hence-forth unrationalizable.... War is obsolete.'"

"I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe."

- Buckminster Fuller, from his 1970 book, "I Seem To Be A Verb"

Buckminster Fuller's gravestone

"Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary -- the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.
It's a miniature rudder.
Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, call me Trim Tab."

- Buckminster Fuller, Playboy magazine, February, 1972

Images in this dispatch are courtesy of Wikipedia and the Buckminster Fuller Institute website.

Dome and Crew on Dome

January 12, 2010 : South Pole

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Dome and Crew Before Deconstruction

This is the deconstruction crew standing on top of the Dome before the crown was removed. Click on the image to see a much larger version.

Dome Deconstruction

January 10, 2010 : South Pole

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Dome Deconstruction Crew

During his stay, Kevin has been primarily involved with the deconstruction of the Dome as described in this article from The Antarctic Sun. This is pretty cool because the Dome has been an iconic structure at South Pole Station since its dedication in January of 1975 and its deconstruction is therefore a high profile job. Brandon Neahusan, is the lead person for the deconstruction project. Here is a quote from him:

“Demolition is inherently dangerous work, so we take every action possible to mitigate the risks associated with it,” he said. “This is a handpicked crew that I’ve worked with for several seasons now, and as this is a very high-profile project, it’s my responsibility to not let my crew feel any of that pressure and just allow them to do their jobs.”

While Kevin was not a part of the original handpicked crew, he is one of the GAs assigned to the project. The picture above is of the crew posing in front of the crown of the Dome which was the first portion removed and will, along with the top two rows of panels, be donated to a Navy museum in Port Hueneme, Calif.

The Dome has been replaced as of 2009 by the new Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The picture below shows the station with vacant Dome and Skylab (red) in the foreground. Kevin also participated in deconstructing the Skylab building.

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Geographic Pole Move

January 9, 2010 : South Pole

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Geographic marker moved. Photo courtesy of NSF/The Antarctic Sun.

Each year, on January 1, a ceremony is conducted to adjust the location of the marker indicating where the actual south pole is located.  This is necessary because the ice sheet at the pole actually moves about 10 meters/year.  Even though Kevin was there, he was disappointed that he was unable to attend the ceremony because he was working the "night" shift.  Here is a link describing the ceremony.

Solstice & Sunlight

January 7, 2010 : South Pole

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Here's a video showing the how the Earth's tilt and rotation around the Sun affect the seasons. You can see how, as the Earth rotates, the Arctic is in continuous sunlight when the Earth is near the northern hemisphere's summer solstice and the Antarctic is in continuous sunlight when the Earth is near the northern hemisphere's winter solstice.

Christmas

January 5, 2010 : South Pole

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Christmas party at SP. Photo courtesy NSF.

Kevin was at this Christmas celebration. He told us in a phone call about seeing the BBC film crew from Planet Earth (see link).

Antarctica - The Continent

November 19, 2009 : Antarctica

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The following information comes from the U.S. Antarctica Program website, the CIA World Factbook, and a variety of other sources.

Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, harshest continent, and with little precipitation (roughly 2 inches per year) is the driest place on earth. It is a huge continent - roughly 14 million sq km (5.4 million sq. mi.). Here are visual comparisons of Antarctica to the continental United States and Europe:

US/AntarcticaEurope/Antarctica

Antarctica has an average elevation of more than 2,000 m (6,500 ft.), and 98% of the landmass is covered by an ice sheet estimated to be 29 million cu km (7 million cu. mi.). It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, which is considered to be an extension of the southern parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

Antarctica Geography

The average annual temperature at South Pole Station is -56°F. During the austral (southern) summer, temperatures at McMurdo Station may reach as high as 50°F, while at South Pole Station the summer temperature may reach 0°F. Palmer Station has a milder climate, with summer temperatures reaching as high as 55°F. The South Pole Station webcam shows the current (depending on satellite availability) weather conditions and temperatures. The winds can be severe and often result in wind chill temperatures well below the ambient air temps. These are footprints sculpted by wind removing the loose snow from around the compacted areas:

Footprints

Temperature patterns vary so widely because the continent is covered in continuous darkness during the austral winter and continuous sunlight during the austral summer, with a few weeks of sunrises and sunsets in between seasons. Plant life in Antarctica is limited, consisting of mostly algae, lichens, and mosses, and there are only a few known species of flowering plants. As far as animal life, only microscopic animals (such as mites and worms) and insects exist on the land; however, the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica is full of sea life, including phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, squid, seals, whales, and seabirds. Penguins (seabirds) are the Antarctic's iconic animal. Emperor penguins actually breed on the edges of the continent during the harsh winter season. Here is a great photo of some Emperor Penguins:

Dome Walk-Through

November 15, 2009 : South Pole

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Here are a pretty good amateur videos of a walk through the Dome. I believe these were taken in 2006 when they were still working on the new station building and hadn't yet started the Dome de-construction. I included the second video because I believe it takes you on a walk through "tunnels" that are in fact the "arches" that Kevin refers to in one of his emails. The walk appears to proceed through a passage way on the outside of a series of wooden crates that are probably used for heavy machinery and power plant storage as Kevin mentioned. The walk goes from the Dome to the "beer can" entrance of the new station building.

Nature of Work

November 14, 2009 : South Pole

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Email from Kevin: I don’t remember the last time I wrote to you so this will kind of be a guess as to what I have told you so far.

My day starts out like this. I get up around 6am. I takes a while to get geared up. I’ve changed my mind again about my boots. I actually do like the ones I brought better and I have been wearing them most of the week for work. My glasses are nice but I have to wear my goggles this time of year or else I might get frostbite.  I have a Balaclava that covers my entire face and has netting for breathing.  I wear it most of the day but there are times when it warms up and I can expose my face.  One of the other GA’s got frostbitten on his nose the other day.  I wear the Carhart jacket as the red parka is overkill when you are working hard.  I do get cold all the time, everyday, but over the last week it has really become a norm and I don’t notice it at all anymore.  The only part of my body that I have to watch out for is my hands.  You can wear three layers under the biggest gloves and still get cold hands. Luckily they have hand warmers everywhere here and they usually last all day.  Walking between the Jamesway lounge, the bathroom, rock gym, and my room you can just wear a t-shirt.

Anyway, then I go have breakfast and sit around and talk until 7:30 when all the FEMC members go to the gym for about a half hour of stretching. FEMC are the construction arm of the Raytheon contracts.  They consist of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, GA and a few more.  One of the GA's has a background in yoga and stretching so she leads stretching every morning.  After that all the GA’s go up to the conference room on the second floor and meet with our boss and go over what we are going to do today and write out a bunch safety crap.  Our boss is head of the electricians, plumbers, and GA's.  He’s in his sixties and is a pretty straight forward guy. He's nice and to the point.  After that we head out to our various job sites until 12:00 when we have lunch. 

The first three days I shoveled snow. No way right? We cleared all the stations decks and stairs the first day and built ice steps leading up to them.  The second day I spent digging out equipment for the carpenters out at the berms.  The berms are rows and rows of stacked boxes that contain just about anything you can think of.  It resembles that last scene on Raiders of the lost ark when they box the ark up and hide it in that building full of boxes. It's actually quite sad how much crap they have just laying around in such a great place. I hope when they finally complete the station this year and deconstruct the dome that they start shipping all this stuff out. The third day I dug out a bunch of fuel tanks for the hyperstacks and then went to the berms and dug out drilling equipment for the ice cube project. 

The fourth day I spent time digging out the cargo arch.  There are two “arches”. They are basically two underground half cylinder things. One is for the heavy machinery and the other is for the power plant, storage.  You can rarely see them in pictures because they are buried in snow.  They are connected to the beer can, which if you look at a picture of the station, is that can looking entry way into the station on destination Zulu which is the name for that exit. This is where all the underground ice caves are.  They are especially cold sometimes -70 inside.  It is really hard to describe the arches. I suggest looking up some pictures of the base because I can’t describe it well. The arches run almost to the door of the Dome.  The second part of the fifth day I became a fire watcher for the welder.  Which means I'm pretty much his assistant for the day.  He's a really nice dude and he taught me some stuff about welding and what not.  He asked for me back for the fifth day.  On the sixth day I constructed shelves for the storage area and bolting them together is truly horrendous.  The only way to get a good grip on the bolt is to strip down to your glove liner and your hand freezes in a matter of minutes.  It was first time I was seriously concerned about frostbite because I couldn’t move my hands and when I went inside to warm them up they stung really bad when they were warm again.  The second part of the day I took a snowmobile out to the Ice Cube Project and flagged some areas off and helped open some huge containers to get to their drilling equipment.  There was some other stuff I forgot, like helping the electricians move these massive cables and hook them up to the generators at the dark sector.   I’ve pretty much got to do a lot of stuff the first week and it is a much more diverse position than I thought.   Different departments barter for our use everyday, and although we are low on the totem pole everyone in the station seems to have a great respect for us. 

All the GAs are really cool. Our age ranges from 22-29 I think. One of the cooks was trying to find out the youngest person on station and right now I think I hold that title. So I should be getting a certificate and a statue soon. Not really.  I would love to talk more about specifics and individual people but I am tired.

Last night about 150 people played bingo in the galley and drank cocktails and beer and then moved the party to the Jamesway lounge that I had talked about in my last email I think.

Kim Stanley Robinson

November 9, 2009 : South Pole

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Antarctica book cover

Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of the highly regarded series of science fiction books about the settlement of Mars. The books are entitled Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars and together comprise the Mars Trilogy. The Mars Trilogy focuses on themes of science and ecological sustainability in telling the story of the settlement and terraforming of Mars in response to overpopulation and ecological disaster on Earth. In a follow-up book entitled "Antarctica" he focuses on many of the same themes. From the dust jacket: "As complex and compelling as his Mars saga, as powerful and majestic as the continent itself, Kim Stanley Robinson's Antarctica takes us to the remote and awe-inspiring world at the South Pole."

 

Much of the background for this novel was obtained when Robinson visited Antarctica in 1995 as part of NSF's Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Here is a quote from page 2 of Antarctica:

"But then the place has its own specifically Antarctic heartbreaks as well, more impersonal than the worldly kinds, cleaner, purer, colder. As for instance when you are up on the polar plateau in late winter, having taken an offer to get out of town without a second thought, no matter the warnings about the boredom of the job, for how bad could it be compared to General Field Assistant? And so there you are riding in the enclosed cab of a giant transport vehicle, still thinking about that girlfriend, ten thousand feet above sea level, in the dark of the long night; and as you sit there looking out the cab windows, the sky gradually lightens to the day's one hour of twlight, shifting in invisible stages from a star-cluttered black pool to a dome of glowing indigo lying close overhead; and in that pure mere sliver of a crescent, which nevertheless illuminates very clearly the great ocean of ice rolling to the horizon in all directions, the moonlight glittering on the snow, gleaming on the ice, and all of it tinted the same vivid indigo as the sky; everything still and motionless; the clarity of the light unlike anything you've ever seen, like nothing on Earth, and you all alone in it, the only witness, the sole inhabitant of the planet it seems; and the uncanny beauty of the scene rises in you and clamps your chest tight, and your heart breaks then simply because it is squeezed so hard, because the world is so spacious and pure and beautiful, and because moments like this one are so transient-impossible to imagine beforehand, impossible to remember afterward, and never to be returned to, never ever. That's heartbreak as well, yes-happening at the very same moment you realize you've fallen in love with the place, despite all."

I like this quote for several reasons: 1) it mentions General Field Assistant - the job Kevin is performing in, 2) it mentions the transport vehicle and I know Kevin was driving a similar, though maybe not the same, vehicle as part of his job for a while, and 3) it evokes feelings similar to those expressed by Kevin in his first emails to us after he arrived at the South Pole.

McMurdo Station

November 8, 2009 : Antarctica

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McMurdo Station

by: Corey Anthony, National Science Foundation, Antarctic Photo Library
Date Taken: January 24, 2009

McMurdo Station as viewed from Observation Hill. the cyclindrical objects in the foreground are fuel storage tanks. The smaller objects beyond them are cargo being staged for transport to field camps, the South Pole, or use in the immediate vacinity. The buildings to the left are dormitories and work centers. The annual sea ice can be seen in the left distance. McMurdo Station sits on the volcanic lava of Ross Island. Click on the image to see a much larger version.

"Or when you discover that McMurdo, the place to which you are confined by the strictest company regulations, resembles an island of traveler services clustered around the offramp of a freeway long since abandoned."

- quote from "Antarctica" by Kim Stanley Robinson

Nalgene

November 7, 2009 : South Pole

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Email from Kevin: So they gave me this new e-mail address and I can open it anytime through Outlook in the Computer Lab. I am going to use this from now on because you can write e-mails and then when the satellite is activated for the hour and half period, Outlook automatically sends the emails I wrote.  This is better because I won’t have to be in the Computer Lab when the Internet is on to send emails. I am usually going to be working anyway so this is the best way.  To make sure it works, be sure to respond to this email so I know you got it.

I got in about two days ago and getting off the plane was unreal. I was about 50 below while crappy Mcmurdo was about +20.  The walk to the station was about 200 yards and in about the ten minutes it took to walk I already had the full snow beard look.  Taking deep breaths feels extraordinary, and very refreshing.  They are right about how dry it is. It’s dry.  The ECW gear works great and at first I was skeptical of why I needed so much of it.  The Red Parkas (Big Red) are more than enough to keep warm. I also got a hardcore Carhart Jacket, wind pants, Carhart work/wind pants, a fleece, 5 pairs of socks, an assortment of hats, facial gear, snow visors, about six different pairs of gloves ranging from glove liners to those massive sheep skin ones who see in the old Shakletons crew photos. Those are great to wipe the ice burgers gathering beneath my nose.  Actually there are not that many ice burgers because it is so dry, but when you spend a good amount of time inside your nose becomes moist again.  Anyway walking back and forth in anything more than just your red parka is overwhelmingly hot. You would think at -50 you would need a collection of fleeces and long underwear underneath but you would be more likely to succum to heat exhaustion rather then the elements walking and working in a excessive amount of underwear/fleeces.  I am sorry to say that although my Baffin boots are top of the line and do work just fine I prefer the Blue boots they gave me.  They allow for better flexibility, are lighter, and just as easy to put on. All of the gear they gave me is old, worn, and very unattractive. However its effectiveness is beyond measure. Great Gear.  You can tell most of the veterans know what they are doing by what they wear.  They all shed the red parkas in favor of the Carhart jackets and generally wear less clothes that suit their work.

My Jamesway is better than I expected. Its small of course but its privacy is understated.  Yeah, I live with about 15 other people but I never hear them at night.  My room is as dark as can be and has contributed to very good nights sleep since I have been here. My bed is small but comfortable, I have a shelf that doubles as a desk, a closet and several lights which include some cool red party lights that have a neat effect.  The first night I forgot to pick up my pee can and I figured I could survive one night without it.  I was wrong.  I woke up about 3AM needing to relieve myself but the prospect of undertaking the exhausting process of putting on my gear to walk a mere 50 ft to the bathroom was too much.  Also, you have to understand that at 3AM you would be walking out into a blinding white light since the sun never gives. So I resorted to using my Nalgene bottle as a urinal for the night.  This may seem very primitive but if you can appreciate the circumstances then you may very well accept it.  I did get a metal can from the galley so I am set in that department. The GA’s spent our first “work day” cleaning up the Jamesway lounge.  It was a complete mess but anyone walking in would realize it had great potential.  There is a bar, about seven couches, a big, but old TV, a surround sound system, a disco ball about eight different colored light systems designed for a club six times the size of the Jamesway.  Crap is written on the ways everywhere and old broken guitars and Mexican piñatas decorate the ceilings.  I spend most of the time rewiring the speaker for the stero system and when I finished the only CD in the entire place was a Bob Dylan mix of old bootlegs that I have played for you before, however there were a few songs I’d never heard. I guess it’s a good CD to be stuck with.

The AS station is a real thing to see.  Walking from the Jamesways or the plane in full decked out gear included a full face mask leaves you entire body covered.  I do not know how astronauts feel on the moon but this is probably as close as you can get.  The landscape in barren and every step is a major effort.  The ground is dry and leaves footprints you might find on the moon in Neil Armstrong’s wake.  The station only adds to this affect. Walking in the station there are big huge metal freezer doors that have to open and then you are only half way in. Then there is middle section, I can only imagine are designed to prevent the cold from the first doors.  Walking around the station resembles a space station from Hollywood.

South Pole Arrival

November 5, 2009 : South Pole

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Email from Kevin: I am at the south Pole and it is amazing! I can't describe how cool it is here.  Mcmurdo totally sucks hands down. I had frost beard within 20 seconds of getting off the plane.  I have to go check in and stuff but I will update you later in the week.

Antarctic Treaty

November 4, 2009 : South Pole

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The Antarctic treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. Here is a succinct description of the Antarctic Treaty System taken from the website of The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Reasearch (SCAR):

"The Antarctic Treaty System is the whole complex of arrangements made for the purpose of regulating relations among states in the Antarctic. At its heart is the Antarctic Treaty itself. The original Parties to the Treaty were the 12 nations active in the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. The Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961. The Consultative Parties comprise the original Parties and a further fourteen States that have become Consultative Parties by acceding to the Treaty and demonstrating their interest in Antarctica by carrying out substantial scientific activity there."

"The primary purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to ensure "in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord." To this end it prohibits military activity, except in support of science; prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of nuclear waste; promotes scientific research and the exchange of data; and holds all territorial claims in abeyance. The Treaty applies to the area south of 60° South Latitude, including all ice shelves and islands."

Anarctica is the only continent without a native human population and contains the only major land on earth not claimed by any country.

 

Antarctica territories claimed

While large areas are claimed by one or more countries, most countries do not explicitly recognize those claims (the treaty "holds all territorial claims in abeyance"). As you can see, some claims overlap.

Many governments (18 at last count) maintain permanent research stations throughout Antarctica to comply with the scientific intent of the treaty. Many of the stations are staffed year round. The population on the continent (remember, there are no native people on the continent so all population is comprised of scientists and support personel) and its nearby islands varies from approximately 4,000 in the summer to 1,000 during winter. Approximately 30 non-permanent research field camps are also established each summer. Click here for a tabulated list of research facilities. Click here to see a map of Antarctica facilities, claims, and boundaries. Notice that all claims end at 60° South Latitude per the treaty.

Beagle

November 3, 2009 : Christchurch, New Zealand

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Typical beagle

Email from Kevin on way to South Pole: I am in Christchurch now.  They searched my bag using a Beagle at customs and he found a twisler I was gonna eat. Bastard. (see image of a typical bastard Beagle)

Travel Itinerary

October 29, 2009 : Enroute

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Kevin departed on 10/28/09 from Springfield, MO and flew to Denver, CO via Dallas, TX.  In Denver, he spent 3 days doing paperwork and training at RPSC's headquarters.  He left Denver for Los Angelos, CA on 10/31 under the following travel itinerary:

Denver - LA .... 2 hrs 20 min (left LA Oct 31)

LA - Sydney, Australia .... 14 hrs 55 min (arrived Sydney Nov 2 after crossing the International Date Line)

Sydney - Christchurch, New Zealand .... 2 hrs 55 min