Field Operations

Familiarise Yourself With Our Field Operations

While in Antarctica, expeditioners spend quite a great deal of their time outside their stations. Most times, they are out on fieldwork. Accommodation is provided in different forms – ranging from tents to permanent and movable “apple” huts and transverse vans. Other options include snow shelter, although this is temporary and only for emergency purposes. The more permanent accommodation options are equipped with energy and electrical power as well as cooking facilities.

Before embarking on these field operations, expeditions usually undergo thorough training and briefing as to their duties and living while out in the fields. Usually, to embark on trips to these field operating areas, approval may not necessarily be required. However, to venture into “remote areas” (which are areas marked hazardous for visiting), approval is mandatory.

While on the fields, expeditions are to communicate using radio sheds. Attached to each field is a VHF radio or HF antenna, that staff can use to communicate with their assigned stations. Each expedition or Group is usually charged the fees for the calls that they make.

Apart from calls, there is also satellite technology that provides internet access onboard field operations. With this, expeditioners can have access to communication via email. However, there will be a need for personal computers to do this. Similarly, according to their usage, the cost of this will be charged to each individual or group.

As for feeding; if the trip does not take long, expeditions can stock their packages with fresh food before embarking. However, in the case of longer trips, and to prevent emergencies, ration packs will be provided.

These ration or ‘rat packs’ are quick-to-prepare, lightweight and nutritious packs. A group of these are usually assigned to each expedition for the duration of the trip. The rat packs may include vegetables, pasta, soups, rice, dried meat and confectioneries such as tea and chocolate.

Supplementary ration packs may be added to this once in a while.

Because of the sensitive nature of the wildlife that expeditioners will encounter on these trips, they are expected to adhere to some rules. For one, they must not bring any poultry food items when embarking on the trips. Furthermore, they are to ensure that they do not allow wastes to fester as these may breed organisms harmful to Antarctica wildlife.

Furthermore, expeditions ensure that they do not engage in activities that will harm the fragile Antarctica environment.

For one, they are to avoid snow-free areas as much as possible. They are also to avoid contributing to water pollution and ensure that waste is properly secured for eventual disposal.

Speaking of waste management; expeditioners are encouraged not to leave any waste when they are out in the fields. They are enjoined to ensure to bring the wastes back to the stations. This is to ensure that harmful substances do not contaminate precious wildlife in the wastes.

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