Some background on New Zealand in Antarctica

Following on from the blog post I wrote last week on Antarctica, I now want to do some research around New Zealand’s contributions to the international Antarctic research community.

Scott Base, Ross Island, Antarctica.

· Our primary base of operations in Antarctica is Scott Base on Ross Island, operated by Antarctica New Zealand. We share this isolated corner of Antarctica with both American and Italian stations — which work closely together and make it easier to collaborate on different research initiatives.

· Antarctica New Zealand is the government body dedicated to supporting New Zealand research interests in Antarctica, which involves designing research strategies and allocating funding to a variety of research initiatives.

Research Initiatives and Funding

Only so many research initiatives can be funded by Antarctica New Zealand and the NZ Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) each year, but they allocate funding after reviewing proposals by researchers at an annual forum. In 2016, NZARI provided funding for the following research initiatives, which I have tried to summarise as best I can:

· Using drone technology to observe whales off the coast of Auckland Island to quantify how climate change has affected their access to resources.

· Take biological samples from the Dry Valley during the winter.

· Measure levels of mercury from Western pollution in penguins.

· How ice and volcanoes interact with each other.

· How microbes have migrated throughout Antarctica — collaboration between NZ, US and Korea.

· Measuring the internal temperature of ice sheets using drills that emit sound waves to identify further indicators of climate change.

For more information on these projects, please click here.

More Opportunities to Engage Students in Science

Antarctica New Zealand and NZARI are hosting the 2017 Antarctic Science Conference, which will provide an opportunity for researches to come together and share the progress they are making in their work. This will also be a great opportunity for researches to engage with students and youth to support STEM education and motivate more people into science pathways. This is something I will be keeping my eye on when the times comes around.

If there is anything included in this blog post that you would to discuss with me, please connect with me on Twitter at @DouglasPR_NZL.

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