Monday, 23 December 2013


Unfortunately, I’m still in Casey station, waiting for my turn to get into the ABN. It’s been frustrated week with waiting game for good weather to fly. This delay is all because of the weather, we cannot do anything. That is really frustrating. 

Finally, first planes flew to the ABN this morning with Mark, Simon, Malcolm and some important Cargos and second flights with David, Jerome and Trevor just before lunch with more Cargo. We allow to sending only 6 people at first day due to considering cold temperature, strong wind (-29°C with 15kts on Wed) and high altitude environment. These members are highly experienced crew to carry on science project; drilling 3 ice cores and firn air sampling. 

It was exciting moment when the first crews left after 2.5 weeks waiting. Mark was surrounding by several media crews and they were taking photo of him really close up. A media crew put a mike on Mark and following him with video. Put all personnel stuffs in bus, farewell to rest of members, some video interview and photo session. And ready to go.

Hopefully everything goes well continuously, and rest of us can get into the field soon. I don’t need Christmas present, so please give us few days of good weather! All my fingers and toes are crossed!

Thursday, 12 December 2013



It’s been a week since we arrived in Casey station.
We are settling in well and busy preparing for our field trip, sorting cargo, testing equipment, safety briefing for working in high altitude and cold weather. 
Malcolm, our field doctor, gave each of us a bag of medicine for the situation. We need to report our condition every day for first 10days when we get to the field for future reference. I hope We don’t need to use this much and adapt well in the special environment!

We are also helping other scientists out with their research by, shoveling snow, setting up instruments, and even doing house work, doing slushy in kitchen etc. Everybody down here are nice and are helping each other.

With our spare time, we went for a short walk to the wharf and Reeves Hill. I was expecting to see lots of penguins during this walk, but no luck. Well, we saw few penguins far far away. But it was too far that they just look like a few black beans in the snow.

My first Penguin was on Saturday night. After dinner, (people dressed up for Saturday dinner! This is special dinner for the week.) we were in the living area, relaxing with few glass of wine, when somebody looked outside the window and said ‘It’s a penguin over there!’ I ran back to my room and grab my jacket, got outside and there is a penguin wondering around nearby our heavy vehicles! He/she was just walking around the station for a while, then disappeared. Such an adorable little cutie animal!!

On Sunday with wonderful weather, field training officer James took us to Shirley Island. We walked on sea ice. Several little crack on sea ice reminds me of the possibility of danger and I think 'What if…. ' But the fear doesn’t last long with amazing view of ice/snow/blue sky/penguins/seals! Penguins are so friendly, of course, we are not supposed to get to close to them. But they are just coming up to us! A penguin came so close to us, and started walking on human track. He/she walk few step in front of me, looked back at me, walk few steps again, then look back me again. It’s like he/she is leading me to some wonderland! We then came to little junction and he/she choose to go left, while I went right. He/she stop there for a while, looking at me asking, why am I not following?!
A while later, he/she lost interested on me and just slide away.

We also saw few Weddell seals. They seldom move. They are just lying on ice. Sometime scratching their belly, rolling over to change sleeping position. We took a rest on top of the island, taking photo of everybody. Again, few penguins are come along to checking on us. They are really curious animals! That was amazing Sunday afternoon.

Highlight of this week was field training.
1st group of ABN on Casey station went to field training on Monday-Tuesday including Mark, Meredith, Jenny, Jerome, David, Trevor, Simon, Andrew, and me. First, we had a briefing.
We had to introduce ourselves and our role in the field, previous field and training experience, and something interesting about ourselves that nobody in the team knows. It was a funny moment when telling our ‘secrets’ to each other. James said this is not boot camp, this is for working together as a team and for getting familiar with your gear and equipment.

Next, we moved to field shed. All gear we need such as boots, gloves, sleeping bags etc in this shed.
We got a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, throw bag, 2 pee bottles, few hand warmers in a back pack.
Get all gear ready, packed our lunch, and ready to go!

We got on 2 hagglund to the Casey skiway, 30 mins drive from Casey station. We set up the mess tent first and put out the table and chairs. Looks like a comfy dining area little bit small for a total 10 ppl with big jackets.We then set up several polar pyramids as our sleeping tent, and for toilet.

Now some of you may be interested in how we go to the toilet in the field in Antarctica. As there are no toilets in Antarctica (except at field stations) we have to use a bucket. The bucket is lined with double black plastic rubbish bags, with a toilet seat attached, we sit down on the seat, a do our business. For boys, number 1's is much easier, just use a bottle and empty it into the big bin.For girls, however, things are little bit more complicated.We are issued special funnel for the small business. Use it to do in bottles as boys usually do, standing!!! Personally, I hate it. But when nature calls you have no choice.

Anyway, back to the field training. After we set up camp, we practice how to use our GPS. That is cool equipment. If we get lost in the middle of nowhere, it will lead us to the camp site. (previous setting required). We won’t get lost as long as the battery last! Viva technology!! We had a look skiway office, walked around airplane, took photos. Back to camp site, we practice how to use stove burner. This is also important to boil water/cook to keep warm. We are everyday working hard on first layer under skin! Keeping warm is crucial to survive in this environment.

Our wonderful chef, Jenny prepared our dinner before this training. We just need to warm up into boiled water. We got fried rice, pasta, beef stew, and lamb shank soup for dinner, several muffins, and chocolate cookies for extra. It’s really nice to have warm food on ice.

Then it’s bed time, even though the sun is still up and the sky is bright blue, it’s actually 10p.m. The weather was beautiful. It was -10 degrees, but didn’t feel like it. Because the weather was so nice, some people choose to sleep outside. For me, this is the 3rd time sleeping in tent in my life. I was afraid that I cannot sleep. But I slept very well the night.

Next morning, we woke up around 7a.m. After breakfast, we packed up tents, then practiced search and rescue techniques using our GPS and radio. We worked in pairs, with our commander telling us where to go through the radio, and follow the GPS. It was a little hard to walk around with big boots on snow, but it was good exercise.

Last  training was blind walk. This is the training for in the case of zero visibility. 4-5 people connected in a line with a rope, eyes covered, and walked from shed to shed. We cannot see anything, just walk towards to next building. The surface wasn’t flat, so we had to walk slowly, and communicate with each other. We thought we are walking strait, but somehow we went to the left.
Hope we can do better in real situation. Well. Hope this kind of harsh situation won’t happen!

It was fun, useful training. Now we know how to build a polar pyramid, how to go to the toilet, how to sleep in cold camp. We are all ready to go to Aurora Basin!

Thursday, 5 December 2013


For the next 2 months APECS Oceania's Treasure Ms. Mana Inoue will participating in the Aurora Basin Ice Core drilling Project. During this time, Mana will be blogging from Antarctica to share her experiences with you. Below is her first blog. 

My name is Mana Inoue. I am a PhD student from Antarctic Climate Ecosystem & Cooperate Research Centre (ACE CRC)/Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), at the University of Tasmania.

During my time in Antarctica, I will be participating in the Aurora Basin Ice Core drilling Project ( (AAD site), (Tas’s traverse blog)). This is my first trip to Antarctica. In this blog, I will talk about my experiences living in Antarctica and about life at Casey station and in the field.

Dec 3, 2013: Departure day
On December 3rd, we board our plane for Antarctica. Traveling by plane is much easier and faster than by ship, but less sentimental.  

Thankfully our flight was delayed by four hours which meant I could sleep a little longer.  (Otherwise I have to be airport at 3:30 am!) I was super excited that I couldn’t sleep well though.

During our flight we had great weather, which allowed us to see seven mile beach, few islands, and beautiful southeast Tasmania. Water/tea/coffee and hot meal was served on the flight.

Our First Iceberg
About 3 hours into the flight we saw our first iceberg. It was a tiny little white thing in ocean that I could barely recognise whether it was an iceberg or a patch of cloud. Then another one came up, little bigger. Then more and more and more, bigger and bigger and bigger. We saw beautiful blue ice and I think, I saw one ice berg just flipped. I think. I hit my forehead and nose on window glass many times. 

Then we our flight reached Antarctica! The pilot gave us a little tour flying over Casey station.White continent, sea ice, ice berg, ocean. It was awesome, amazing, beautiful view. It was just beautiful.

After ~5hr from departure, we landed on Wilkins runway. It was smooth landing and I finally, got to step onto Antarctica! It wasn’t cold at all with full survival gear on. Blue sky, no wind, strong Sun.
Sun is really strong here. One guy was walking around with sunscreen tube, asking people to put it on, and telling us that the sun is killing us here!

We get on the bus and drive to Casey station. A couple of photo stops, and after a 3 hr drive, we arrived at Casey station. Welcomed by Station leader, get some induction and settled in accommodation.

It was long exciting day. And now happy to get into the bed.

People in the field

Over 6 weeks some 24 scientists and support personnel will work at the Aurora Basin ice core driling site. Two teams are planned, with about 16 people in each team. The first team will work the first 3 weeks, before a partial change-over of some team members in the second 3 weeks. About 7 people are scheduled to work the full season. Read more about the Aurora Basin project team in the following profiles.

Some Photos


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

 ‘Elite’ PhD scholarships within the broad area of “Humanities Perspectives on the Antarctica”

Two ‘Elite’ PhD scholarships within the broad area of “Humanities Perspectives on the Antarctica” are currently being advertised at the University of Tasmania, with a deadline of 11 Nov. 2013. 
For more information go to and look under ‘Humanities’. If you know of any potential candidates (the scholarships are limited to Australians or New Zealanders), please pass on the details. Interested students should get in touch with me in the first place.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

APECS Oceania Executive Committee for 2013-2014

President - Molly Zhongnan Jia
Vice President (Aus) - Julie Janssens
Vice President (NZ) - Sira Engelbertz
Communication (Aus) - Meagan Dewar
Communication (NZ) - Lorna Little
Secretary - Sarah Ugalde
Treasurer - Mana Inoue
General Member - Holly Winton
General Member - Nita Smith

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

IGS2014 International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment

The IGS2014 International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment is happening in Hobart next March (

The symposium local organising committee would like to encourage you to:
(1) Consider submitting an abstract for the conference (the deadline has been extended to 20th Sept 2013 and the Scientific Committee has indicated that a low number of submissions have been received from local students and ECRs).
(2) Consider volunteering to help with aspects of the conference itself. This might include helping to chair sessions, manning the registration desk, providing general info to international visitors or being involved with public events.
If you think you might be interested in number (2) then please get in touch with me, Petra Heil ( or Molly Jia (, and we can provide you with more information. Volunteering at a conference like this would certainly be an excellent opportunity to make some great contacts for future work.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

2013/2014 Enderby Scholarships

Enderby Trust invites applications for

the 2013/2014 Enderby Scholarships

Enderby Scholarships allow recipients to experience the Southern and Pacific Ocean in the same spirit of exploration and discovery
as the vessels of Enderby & Co.

Open to applicants aged 18 – 30 years, who would otherwise be unable to travel to the Southern Ocean.

Enderby Scholarship Background

Starting in 1830 the London based Enderby & Co outfitted vessels for commercial voyages of discovery, captains were expected to go above and beyond their normal duties in the services of discover & exploration. A series of remarkable voyages began with the 1830 departure of the Tula and the Lively, on this voyage Captain John Biscoe discovered land at 67ºS and named it Enderby Land. In 1838 John Balleny, sailing to the Southern Ocean on the Eliza Scott accompanied by the Sabrina discovered the Balleny Islands and Sabrina Land. A stalwart of Enderby & Co, Charles Enderby, was a founding member of the Royal Geographical Society and in 1841 he was admitted to the Royal Society of London for his “promotion of geographical discovery in the Antarctic regions”.

Enderby Trust works in conjunction with New Zealand’s premier expedition travel company, Heritage Expeditions, to offer scholarship positions aboard expeditions to the Subantarctic Islands and Antarctica aboard the Spirit of Enderby and Akademik Shokalskiy. (Refer to for vessel and expedition itinerary information.)

Enderby Trust was founded by the Russ Family knowing the opportunities for young people to visit these regions are limited but believing it is vitally important that young people experience this amazing region. The Trustee’s hope scholarship participants will share their experiences and enthusiasm with other people and grow the awareness of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Each expedition is accompanied by a team of naturalists and biologists to enhance the learning possibilities.

Application Process

In less than four hundred words you must persuade the trustees why you should receive a scholarship and how the experience will benefit both you and the region. The trustees encourage creativity & passion, so let this shine through in your application. Applications can be submitted in the medium that best suits you!

Applications should include:
  1. Full name and Date of Birth (proof of age may be required);
  2. Address including daytime and after hours telephone numbers;
  3. Scholarship applied for (Name and Departure Date);
  4. Submission expressing interest within the Southern Ocean (see above);
  5. Name and address of one referee;
  6. Declaration that you have sufficient funds to pay the contribution required.

Submit applications to:

The Trustees
Enderby Trust
P.O. Box 7228,
Christchurch 8240

Applicant Requirements

Successful applicants for the scholarships are expected to make a contribution to the expedition cost. This equates to 30% of the advertised cost of the expedition, Enderby Trust contributes the remaining 70% plus applicable government landing fees.

Successful applicants are required to submit a presentation in a mutually agreed style on a topic of their choice within three months of their travel. Recipients are reminded that a goal of the trust is too encourage greater interest in and understanding of the Southern Ocean, its landscapes, history and biological diversity. The submitted presentation should be in keeping with the aims and goals of the trust.

Closing dates for applications:

Friday 18 October 2013

Enderby Trust is offering scholarships on the following expeditions this season with Heritage Expeditions (full itineraries for these expeditions can be viewed on

Birding Down Under
14 November – 2 December 2013
Bluff to Dunedin

Advertised price: US$10,500 pp.
Cost to successful applicant: US$3,150

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean
2 December – 14 December 2013
Dunedin to Bluff

Advertised price: US$5,600 pp.
Cost to successful applicant: US$1,680

Heritage Expeditions offers these two annual Southern Ocean expeditions to cater for those interested in birds and nature. Birding Down Under is arguably one of the greatest birding expeditions anywhere in the world and gives participants a unique opportunity to view numerous birds, in some cases including rare pelagic species and also endemic island species, it is the only Heritage Expeditions voyage that visits all of the Subantarctic Islands including the Chatham Islands. Galapagos of the Southern Ocean explores the three main island groups of Auckland, Macquarie and Campbell Islands and allows participants to experience the astounding biodiversity and importance of these islands as a wildlife refuge. Both of these expeditions will forever change your appreciation of the Southern Ocean and its wildlife. (The Trustees will also pay the applicable landing fees of US$650 pp)

In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton
17 January – 15 February 2014
Bluff to Bluff

Advertised price: US$18,700 pp.
Cost to successful applicant: US$5,610

Heritage Expeditions offer this voyage of discovery to the Ross Sea region of Antarctic every year which attracts those interested in nature and history. We break our journey to the ice at the Subantarctic Islands which are a part of the amazing and dynamic Southern Ocean ecosystem of which Antarctica is at the very heart. In the Ross Sea our passage passes icebergs, sea ice and glacial ice tongues, the journey is enriched by the wildlife we encounter and the historic sites we hope to see. This is one of the most remote and fascinating places in the world, a unique opportunity to experience nature on a scale so grand that there are no words to describe it, this expedition on Akademik Shokalskiy is truly a life changing experience. (The Trustees will also pay the applicable landing fees of US$750 pp)

New Zealand’s Remote Islands
9 – 19 March 2014
Bluff to Lyttelton

Advertised price: US$4,800 pp.
Cost to successful applicant: US$1,440

Expeditions to the Bounty and Antipodes Islands are almost unheard of, this season Heritage Expeditions offers this great opportunity to experience their unique natural and cultural history, plus take in the Chatham archipelago as well as the more accessible Chatham and Pitt Island. Our experienced on board lecture team share their knowledge and high conservation values for these islands making this a truly unique opportunity to not only see the islands but to learn from the experts. There are opportunities to observe many island endemic species including Antipodean Wandering Albatross, the very rare Magenta and Chatham Island Petrel and Erect-crested Penguins. This ‘one off’ expedition will enhance your understanding and appreciation of these remote island groups. (The Trustees will also pay the applicable landing fees of US$450 pp)

South Pacific Odyssey
2 April – 2 May 2014
Tauranga to Honiara, Solomon Islands

Advertised price: US$12,700 pp.
Cost to successful applicant: US$3,810

This expedition includes the rarely visited Kermadec Islands, Tonga (including the remote northern island of ‘Tin Can’ or Nuiafo’ou) the outer islands of Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. They boast lush tropical rainforest packed with many endemic birds and other wildlife while the seas surrounding the islands are some of the richest in the world in terms of marine diversity. This expedition caters for those interested in birds, cultural history and the rich marine life of these lesser known islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Although primarily about birds, this odyssey allows participants the opportunity to join our team of naturalists and experience the ecosystem of these Pacific and Melanesian islands on this Heritage Expeditions journey from Tauranga. (The Trustees will also pay the applicable landing fees of US$700 pp).

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Contract Opportunity for Youth Outreach in Support of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress‏

Parks Canada is looking for an energetic individual to help support youth outreach activities leading up to the November 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress, with a focus on connecting youth with nature.  This is an international contract, open to individuals from around the world.  If you are interested in an exciting initiative and have experience in youth leadership and engagement, please consider submitting a contract bid by October 08, 2013.

Parks Canada, the IUCN Commission for Education and Communication, the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas and their Young Professional Working Group, and the IUCN Taskforce on Intergenerational Partnerships for Sustainability are leading the development of a presentation stream and special events at the November 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia centered on Inspiring a New Generation.

This stream will support the growth of a global movement dedicated to inviting people across the world to experience, be inspired by, value and conserve nature.    It will bring a powerful youth voice to the Congress.  It will broaden the ability of park agencies and conservation organizations to reach children, youth and urban audiences, in exploring the use of new technology, and in engaging new partners and sectors of society. Through the inclusion of youth and young conservation professionals at this congress, this stream will build a legacy of youth leadership across the global parks community.

The purpose of this contract will be to nurture partnerships with youth organizations around the world, to facilitate youth participation at the World Parks Congress, and to help as part of a team in the development and delivery of a series of youth sessions and initiatives at the Congress.  

If you think you are the right candidate for this exciting opportunity, please submit a contract bid by October 08, 2013.

The Request for Proposals for this contract can be found at:

Marc Johnson
Conseiller en matière de stratégies  | Strategic Advisor
Relations externes et expérience du visiteur | External Relations and Visitor Experience

Parcs Canada | Parks Canada

25 rue Eddy, Gatineau, Québec, K1A 0M5 |
(819) 953-7256

Sunday, 4 August 2013


It's that time of year again - Nominations for the 2013-2014 APECS Oceania Executive Committee are now open!

Want to join the APECS Oceania Executive Committee?

It’s easy! All you need to do is:

• If your not already a member, join today

Then Provide us with: 

•A basic biographical information (name, institution, contact details, country of residence and origin),
• A brief bio sketch about yourself (e.g. research theme and interests, your hobbies, etc.),
• A photo of yourself that we can use for the APECS website,
• The names and contact details of two referees, and
• A short statement detailing
• Why you are interested in serving on the APECS
Executive Committee;
• How you would like to contribute to APECS as a member
of the APECS Executive Committee.

AUGUST 2013.

Please email your application as one PDF to

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Mentor of the Month
Lou Sanson
Chief Executive – Antarctic NZ

1.        What is your current Job?
CEO Antarctica New Zealand

2.        What was your thesis:
BForSc (Hons) – Spread of Pines in Abel Tasman National Park

3.        hy did you decide to follow a career in your field of interest?
My father wintered in Antarctica in 1964/65 and ignited a long held passion for the polar environment. I first worked as a field assistant at Scott Base in 1981/82 and found working in Antarctica one of the greatest experiences of my life at that time.

4.        Name someone (or multiple people) who has had a great positive impact on your career development, and what did you learn from them?
Professor Peter McKelvey was a huge influence during my University years in terms of his knowledge of New Zealand Mountains and forest ecosystems and how they worked. This led me to a career in natural ecosystems management, firstly in managing remote environments in New Zealand (Fiordland National Park, Subantarctic Islands and Stewart Island) for Department of Conservation and over the last 11 years as CEO of Antarctica New Zealand.

5.        What’s one of the most memorable experiences working with Antarctica?
My most memorable experience working in Antarctica was living in the McMurdo Dry Valleys doing hydrology research in 1981/82. To spend 3 months continuously living in Scott Polar tents amongst some of the most pristine natural environments on the planet was hugely inspirational.

6.        What do you think are the key issues/challenges of Antarctic science today?
The key issue for Antarctic science I see is the impact of changes in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean on the climate system and oceanic circulation systems of the Southern Hemisphere. Living in New Zealand we suddenly feel very vulnerable to how changes of the ACC and Antarctic weather systems may ultimately impact our primary resource industries.

7.      Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower, and which do you think is more important in science today?
I consider myself a leader as being CEO of Antarctica New Zealand has enabled critical influence for New Zealand in how we shape our Antarctic science programme, how we model our behaviours in Antarctica on Health and Safety and Sustainability and how we work with 28 other countries in the Antarctic Treaty System and COMNAP to collaborate together and ensure greater long term protection for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

8.        As a manager, do you implode or explode in the face of adversity? Provide an example.
In adversity I prefer to take a steady hand as a leader of Antarctica New Zealand.  As CEO you can neither afford to implode or explode but instead work under pressure to address the problems facing the organisation at time of crisis. The most significant crisis I have faced is the Scott Base A-Frame fire in May 2009 when our field hut adjacent to Scott Base was burnt down and one person was injured during the Antarctic winter. This caused us as an organisation to relook at all our safety management practices and completely redo our induction and management systems to focus on “Zero Harm”.