The quick and dirty overview

Antarctica Travel Blog

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So as my first contribution to this community, since there seems to be a lot of interest, I'm going to do a quick write up about my experieinces in Antarctica.  There's lots more besides what I'm going to write here, but just wanted to do a quick intro. the heck do you get to Antarctica for fact get paid to be here?   Well, several countries have research stations on the continent and those research stations need things like cooks, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, equipment operators and a whole host of other suppport personnel.  If you are able to legally work in the U.S. you can apply with the largest support services contractor for the U.S. Antarctic Program.  Currently that contractor is Raytheon Polar Services and their employment website can be reached via do be aware that most Antarctic jobs are listed as being located in Centennial, CO (Polar Services' home office).

If you are a journeyman trades person with five years of verifiable work experience, all you have to do is agree to work for what they're paying, which is on the lower end of what a journeyman trades person would expect, but if you're thinking about it for the money, you've got the wrong mentality anyhow.  There are plenty of other options for people who aren't tradespeople, but the competition for those jobs is fierce.  The key is going to the job fair in Colorado (usually early April) make as many contacts as you can, get your name out there, get names and phone numbers of hiring managers.  If you're offered a job (either primary or alternate) get the Physical Qualification done as soon as possible...especially if you have an alternate contract.   Be aware that this company is your typical corporation and the process of getting hired and on "the ice" is mired in inefficiency and bureaucracy.  The one that people who make it have in common is that they really want to be here.

Seasons and stations:
McMurdo station is the largest research station on the continent.  During peak times in the summer the population swells to ~1100 people.   The seasons are: WINFLY starting with the first sunrise - August 20th or so and ending with the start of Main body (summer research season) around the first part of October.  Winter starts in late February and historically there have been no flights in or out until WINFLY, this year is different and the future may change based on that.

South Pole:
The second largest station on the continent Pole has two seasons Summer - which goes from late October through mid February and winter which covers everything else.  Personnel and materials coming to Pole come via McMurdo

On the Antarctic Peninsula.  Seasons are varied

Field camps:
There are several field camps that require support personnel.  Most of them are supported out of McMurdo

Research vessels:
the United States Antarctic Program also has two research vessels.

Well, that's it for now.  It's pretty brief but if you have specific questions, I will try to answer or at least point you in the right direction
suelee79 says:
Is there very many female workers? Just curious.
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
Sunflower300 says:
Thanks for the great intro. I'm realy looking forward to hearing more about life in Antarctica.
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
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