I arrived in Antarctica on October 1, 2012, with the plan to work there for four and a half months and then continue my travels. Somehow I ended up staying for 14 months. My friends joked that if there was anywhere on Earth I’d “settle down” for a bit, the bottom of the world was quite fitting for me.
No one owns the continent (despite seven countries claiming part of Antarctica), but many nations have research bases there. The Antarctic Treaty of 1961 only allows the continent to be used for peaceful purposes (e.g., science and tourism). McMurdo Station is the base and jumping-off point for almost every type of science project you could imagine, like:
- An astronomy project that helps shed light on the birth of the universe
- A biology project that tracks more than 40 years of the Weddell seal population in McMurdo Sound
- A “Stream Team” that figures out how life is created in the streams of the Dry Valleys (under conditions similar to those found on Mars)
- Climate-change projects that track melting ice and rising sea levels
Antarctica is a center for groundbreaking scientific research. My job in this frozen land was to support science. This led to some of the most amazing experiences of my life, which I was able to capture through the lens of my camera.