Thursday, 30 August 2012

Polar News through the Week

Arctic Risk Management Study Released by DNV & FNI

A new study about crucial risk management issues relating to Arctic operations is released by DNV and the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI).

Denmark's Claim to Arctic Continental Shelf a Step Forward

Scientists aboard Swedish icebreaker 'Oden' prepare Danish claims as they reach the North Pole.

China's space research in Antarctica

Arctic Greenpeace Activists Board Drilling Platform

Greenpeace personnel board Russia's Gazprom Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea. 

Fort Story Soldiers Build Floating Causeway at McMurdo 

Story by Mike Hixenbaugh in the Virginian-Pilot, Aug. 24, 2012: "Last winter, when a melting ice pier in Antarctica prevented scientists with the National Science Foundation from receiving food, water and other essentials, soldiers from the Newport News base flew to the icy continent, quickly built a floating causeway and unloaded a year's worth of supplies."

Northwest Passage Wrecks Hunt Launched

The Canadian government launches its largest search yet for the lost ships of Sir John Franklin's doomed 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage.

Arctic Rescue Base Set Up by Rosneft

Russia’s largest oil company is establishing a permanent Arctic base of rescue personnel & divers in Amderma, a village on the Kara Sea coast.

Monday, 20 August 2012

More on the Launch of NZARI

Following yesterday's exciting announcement regarding the launch of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI), the following article was published by the NZ Herald covering the mission of the institute and the generous donation that made NZARI possible.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

New Antarctic Research Insitute Receives Billionaire's Backing

The New Zealand prime minister will be launching the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) in a special event in Wellington tonight.

New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute - Job Title: Director | New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute

New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute  - Job Title: Director | New Zealand Antarctic Research InstituteJob Number: 7044653
Date Posted: 05/01/2012
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

For position and application details:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Call for Applications: Scott Base Volunteer Programme 2012-13

The following volunteer opportunity is being distributed on behalf of the New Zealand Antarctic Society. Position description and application forms are available for download by following the relevant web link at the bottom of this announcement.

Title: New Zealand Antarctic Society - Scott Base Volunteer Programme 2012-13
Deadline: Wednesday 12 September 2012
Please find attached an opportunity for 'current financial' members of the New Zealand Antarctic Society residing in New Zealand to work as part of a volunteer work scheme supporting New Zealand's activities in Antarctica. SBVP Application Form attached.

Two successful applicants will be selected to work at Scott Base for approximately four weeks (December 2012 to January 2013). They will help with maintenance tasks primarily painting mainly exterior window frames at Scott Base.  Several Society members have performed this role in recent years.

This is an exciting opportunity to live and work at Scott Base, complete Antarctica Field Training and experience Antarctica first hand. The base work week is Monday to Saturday with Sundays off.

You will also be invited to take part in base activities including 'Fam Trips' to various locations, cross country skiing, local walks, skiing at the Kiwi ski field and social events including Christmas and New Year. 

The US McMurdo Station with about 1100 people is only a 3 km stroll over the hill providing you with some momentary respite from Scott Base and various social and sporting activities. The area is steeped in Antarctic history with Scott's Discovery Hut just a further stroll from McMurdo as is Observation Hill with the memorial cross to Scott's Terra Nova expedition at it's summit.

Many science events pass through Scott Base over the summer season and you will have the chance to meet some leading Antarctic scientists and learn of their work.

Applications close Wednesday 12 September and returned to the branch you are affiliated to.

All applicants must be current financial members of the New Zealand Antarctic Society and be resident in New Zealand.”

For further information on the New Zealand Antarctic program and Scott Base:

To discover more about the New Zealand Antarctic Society:

Position description and application forms:

Saturday, 11 August 2012

2012 Phillip Law Memorial Lecture

Title: Why Here? The context of Hobart's Antarctic visitors (2012 Phillip Law Memorial Lecture)
Speaker: Professor Patrick Quilty, AM
Date: Thursday 16 August 2012, 6:00PM
Venue: CCAMLR Headquarters, 181 Macquarie Street, Hobart 

From the earliest days of European settlement, Hobart in Southern Tasmania has seen a long line of explorers and scientists depart for Antarctica.  Biscoe and Weddell, Dumont d’Urville, Ross, Borchgrevink, Mawson and Amundsen all used Hobart as a jumping-off point. The Australian Antarctic Division moved here in 1981, confirming the city’s Antarctic culture and community.  The Antarctic connection is more important to Tasmania than ever before, but what does the future hold?

Professor Patrick Quilty, AM is a former Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Division, now Honorary Research Professor in Earth Sciences at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania.

The Phillip Law Lecture honours the lifetime achievements of the first director of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE).  Entry is open to the public and free, RSVPs not required.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

3 in 1 AAD Seminar!

Upcoming Seminar

Date: Thursday 16 August 2012, 11AM
Venue: Theatrette, Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania

Please join us for a 3 in 1 seminar session showcasing 3 talks from the recent Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) conference in Portland. Each talk is 20 min and promise to be user friendly.

Dana Bergstrom 
The Terrestrial Ecosystem
SCAR's current biology program , "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic – The response of life to change" (EBA) began in 2006 and is now winding up. Substantial progress in understanding Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems has been made under the banner of this program. I highlight approaches and major findings in three areas of research,  patterns in biodiversity and the impact of current and future environmental change on biodiversity and ecosystem function and science for conservation outcomes.

Justine Shaw 
ASPAs at risk: conservation planning and non-native species in the Antarctic protected area network 
Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) are designated to protect outstanding environmental, scientific, historic, aesthetic or wilderness values, any combination of those values, or ongoing or planned scientific research. To what extent these ASPAs meet these multiple management aims is yet to be fully evaluated. Establishment of non-native species in the terrestrial Antarctic has the potential to alter ecosystem function and ultimately biodiversity values. Here we examine the current Antarctic conservation framework with regard to the threat to terrestrial biodiversity by non-native species.

Aleks Terauds
Environmental change captured by repeat photography: using the South African Antarctic legacy
There has been a long history of South African presence in the broader Antarctic region. Over this time, several generations of scientists and other expeditioners have photographed significant human and environmental features. Recent research into the human history of Marion Island has revealed the existence of a plethora of images. Long-term changes at a landscape scale can clearly be documented by comparison of old images (late 1960s and early 1970s) and repeat images taken at the same sites approximately 40 years later. These changes include species range expansion, increases in invasive species and climate-change mediated vegetation succession.  The original images were some of the first colour representations taken of these landscapes, and even though the original intent may not have been for monitoring purposes, their use in these comparisons makes them a unique set of baseline data.  Our work demonstrates the value of archiving historical pictures, not only for understanding the social dimensions of the human presence in Antarctica, but also for comprehending human impacts. Of particular interest are the changes in indigenous – invasive diversity relationships, and these photopoints, which have now been documented with appropriate metadata, will prove extremely useful in monitoring these changes at a landscape scale into the future.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Music, Adventure and Art from Antarctica

With National Science Week 2012 just around the corner, 11-19 August, and the Australian Antarctic Division celebrating a centenary of Antarctic expeditions there is no shortage of polar inspired events to enjoy!

Dots on the Rox

Title: Dots on the Rox
Date: Saturday, 11 August 2012, 7:30PM
Venue: Conservatorium Recital Hall, 5 Sandy Bay Road, Hobart

Scientists from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and musicians from the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music have collaborated to create a unique musical experience inspired by the tracking of southern elephant seals. Free Entry

More information at:

Cas and Jonsey 'Extreme South' Australian Tour

Title: Cas and Jonesy 'Extreme South' Australian Tour:
Date and Venue: Various around Australia ***Canberra, Wednesday, August 8th***
Tickets: General Admission $29.70 (+$0.30 booking fee)
Student Concession $19.70 (+$0.30 booking fee)

On Australia Day 2012, 'Cas' and 'Jonesy' became the first and youngest pair of adventurers to trek unsupported from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Come join them for a night of adventure as they recount their history-making journey.

For venue dates and ticket bookings visit:

Art installation - Mirage Project by David Burrows

Title: Mirage Project [iceberg] (David Burrows, 2011 Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellow, Visual Artist)
Date: 3 August - 22 September 2012
Venue: Federation Square, Corner Swanston Street & Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria

David Burrows spent seven weeks capturing the beauty of Antarctica's icebergs in 3D using a stereoscopic camera system. The installation uses strategically positioned binocular shaped viewers to recreate the actual scale of icebergs. Free of charge

Installation details:

Artist website:

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

AAD Seminar: Kite Photography in Antarctica

Kite Photography in Antarctica

Speaker: Chris Henderson (Mawson's Huts Foundation)
Date: Thursday 9 August 2012, 11 AM
Venue: Theatrette, Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania

Kite photography is a cheap and easy way to get low-level aerial photographs without disturbing the local fauna.  Dr Chris Henderson developed the technique as part of the Mawson's Huts Foundation trip to Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay in 2010.  About 6,000 photographs were taken at heights ranging from 5-50 metres on many flights.  As you can imagine flying kites at Cape Denison - the windiest place on earth - proved a bit of a challenge.  It has been tried and failed 3 times in the past - this is the first successful attempt.  The talk will cover the techniques of kite photography, demonstrate the equipment and discuss the numerous ways in which it was used for various projects during the 2 month visit.  

BIO: Dr Chris Henderson has degrees in science, medicine and engineering.  He went to Casey in 1986 as a scientist studying motion sickness, to Cape Denison in 2009 as the Doctor, and 2010 as the Engineer.  He spent several years at university, became a GP, then a remote area doctor for 10 years in NW Australia.  Then he went to prison as Director of Health Services in WA and Tasmania for 7 years before regaining his freedom.  Now he is a university tutor and GP, and develops equipment for filming in remote locations.

For people residing outside of Hobart the following link accesses archived pdf files of past seminars:

AAD Seminar: In the spirit of Mawson

In the spirit of Mawson: the next 100 years of Antarctic ecosystem research

Speaker: Andrew Constable (Australian Antarctic Division & Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative)
When: Wednesday, 8 August 2012 3:00 PM-4:00 PM
Venue: Theatrette, Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania
AAD seminar announcement: You are invited to hear Andrew Constable give a practice talk for a presentation he will be giving at the National Archives of Australia as part of National Science Week celebrations (Science Week flyer pdf file).

Andrew Constable
Australian Antarctic Division & Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre
In the spirit of Mawson: the next 100 years of Antarctic ecosystem research
The heroic legacy of Mawson to push the boundaries of science in Antarctica shaped Australia’s programs there for the next 100 years.  During that time, Antarctica has become the world’s greatest success story in political and scientific cooperation.  It has also become the focal point of great tragedy (the decimation of the great whales), great environmental achievement (the conservation of land and sea), potentially the world’s largest fishery (Antarctic krill) and the harbinger of global climate change (the ice sheet and Southern Ocean).  The parallel scientific and technological revolution, unforeseen in Mawson’s day, has us poised at a new frontier where science and knowledge can easily be integrated into our cultural and political activities.  This talk will explore the next 100 years of marine ecosystem science in the Southern Ocean and why it will remain a priority component of Australia’s scientific endeavour over that time.  In particular, it will discuss the boldness and heroism required, and exemplified by Mawson, to meet the current challenges for positioning Australia to reap the rewards of progress in science in the next 100 years.