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OPP 09-001 November 2008

Personnel, Camps, and Stations

  1. Personnel

    1. The total number of people entering and leaving Antarctica and USAP research ships over the course of the summer will be about 3,000.  The U.S. Antarctic Program peak population at any given moment will be about 1,600 on land and 300 on the ships.
    2. Approximately 70 percent of U.S. Antarctic Program science personnel and >90 percent of operations personnel transit New Zealand and McMurdo
    3. About one-fourth of science personnel and <10 percent of operations personnel transit South America to Antarctic Peninsula locations

  2. Year-round research stations

    1. Palmer (65°S 64°W), Anvers Island, west coast of Antarctic Peninsula — marine biology and other disciplines, population 10 to 44
    2. McMurdo (78°S 168°E), Ross Island, southwest corner of Ross Sea — all research disciplines, operational hub, logistics center, population 160 to about 1,100
    3. Amundsen-Scott South Pole (90° S), geographic South Pole — astronomy and astrophysics, meteorology and climate studies, population 60 to 240

  3. Summer research camps
    1. Siple Dome (Siple Coast, West Antarctica).  Geophysics1
    2. including a GPS array; automatic weather stations. 2
    3. Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Camp (West Antarctica).  Glaciology, including ice-core sampling, radar surveys, and installation of a magnetometer; automatic weather stations; GPS monitoring of bedrock motion.
    4. AGAP South Field Camp (Gamburtsev Mountain range, East Antarctica).  Seismic and aerial geophysical surveys of the Gamburtsev Mountain range; passive seismic experiment and installation of a seismometer array; and installation of autonomous, low-power magnetometer platforms for the PENGUIn project.
    5. Small field camps at Beardmore Glacier (Transantarctic Mountains) and at remote sites supported by other national antarctic programs.
    6. Numerous camps in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, on sea ice, and on Ross Island.

  4. Logistics Traverse

    1. Extending prior work, two South Pole Traverses are planned from McMurdo to South Pole and back between 20 October 2008 and 8 February 2009.   The traverses will move fuel and cargo between the two stations, reducing the demand on LC-130 airplanes.

End Notes
2 The automatic weather station project, University of Wisconsin, is described at