I’m going to Antarctica this summer. I leave on October 15th 2013 and I won’t be back until March 3rd 2014. I will be living and working at Davis Station, which is the most southerly of Australia’s Antarctic stations at 68°35′ S 77°58′ E and is located south-west of Perth.
So how did this happen?
For the past year and a half I have been living in Hobart, Tasmania, where I have been studying for my Master of Antarctic Science at the University of Tasmania. I knew that when I completed this course I wanted to enrol in a PhD to learn more about marine science and climate change. In order to do that I first needed to find a project to work on for the next 3 years (the time it takes to complete a PhD) and an experienced scientist to be my supervisor and give me advice and assistance when I needed it.
In April this year I was fortunate to find both a project and a supervisor at the same time when I was doing coursework at the Australian Antarctic Division in Kingston, Tasmania. I asked one of the scientists who was teaching us if he had a project and he said “Yes!” He needed someone to help out with his project that was being run at Davis Station this summer and he encouraged me to join them. We had a meeting where he explained the project and how he would like me to help out. It was exactly the sort of project that I wanted to work on for my PhD so I enthusiastically agreed to join the group.
Skip forward a few months and I have completed my Masters thesis and I am finally ready to start working on my PhD application and get ready for my trip to Antarctica. But working in Antarctica is not like working anywhere else in the world and because of that there are a number of tests I have to pass and requirements for me to complete before I am allowed to travel there on the Australian Antarctic program. I’ll explain that process in future posts.