Tag Archives: Antarctica

Antarctic Heritage Trust: Trip of a Lifetime

Do you have a passion for travel and meeting like-minded people?

Applications for Antarctic Heritage Trust’s 2020 Inspiring Explorers’ Expedition are now open. The Trust’s Inspiring Explorers’ Expeditions connect young people with the spirit of exploration.

The Expedition in March 2020 will explore the Antarctic Peninsula by ship with the opportunity to kayak in Antarctic waters. You will travel with Expedition Partner Quark Expeditions via ship from South America across the famed Drake Passage to and from Antarctica.

This Expedition offers you an incredible opportunity to embrace the spirit of exploration in the world’s most extreme environment. You will experience the spirit of the early polar explorers; a remarkable legacy the Trust cares for on behalf of humanity.

You will have the opportunity to:
  • Learn and develop new skills, including kayaking.
  • Connect with experts to learn about the history, science, wildlife and the environment of Antarctica.
  • Join Olympian Mike Dawson and Quark Expeditions’ guides for kayaking adventures in Antarctic waters.
  • Be challenged and get out of your comfort zone.

Applications are OPEN until midnight Monday 28 October 2019. For more information and to apply online, visit the Antarctic Heritage Trust website>

 

Fully funded PhD position on Antarctic science-policy links

We are advertising for a fully-funded PhD position that focuses on the science-policy nexus in an Antarctic context.

The due date for expressions of interest is 8 November 2019 (to be directed to Dr Neil Gilbert), and we anticipate a start date in late 2019 or early 2020.

Please click here for more information.

(Photo credit: Daniela Liggett)

Secret lives of killer whales explored

A series of recording devices will be deployed in Antarctica this summer to explore the secret lives of killer whales in an unprecedented monitoring programme.

University of Canterbury PhD student Alexa Hasselman is preparing for her first Antarctic field season with Gateway Antarctica this summer. In an expansion of Gateway Antarctica’s ongoing Antarctic top predator programme in the Ross Sea  the recording devices  will monitor the species for four-weeks,  24 hours a day.

As top predators, killer whales are sentinels for the Ross Sea ecosystem. More specifically, tracking their interactions with one commercially important prey species in particular, the toothfish, is critical to supporting the recently announced Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (MPA) established under the auspices of CCAMLR.

Gateway Antarctica’s work is leading the effort to meet New Zealand’s commitment to study top predators such as killer whales under that agreement. Alexa’s work adds a key capability  says  field team leader Dr Regina Eisert,  who is Alexa’s supervisor at Gateway Antarctica.

“Establishing a passive acoustic monitoring network is a critical step in getting the data we need to effectively protect the Ross Sea.” 

The research team includes two acoustics experts, Dr Andrew Wright, also of Gateway Antarctica, and UC’s College of Engineering Associate Professor Dr Michael Hayes.

Alexa says the New Zealand-made devices will be recording the sounds made by killer whales, and other marine mammals, for several weeks at multiple locations.

“The recorded sounds give us the ability to study animals all day and night, even at times when we cannot be in the field. This will provide a comprehensive record of the various patterns of the whales’ movements, and explore whether Antarctic killer whales have a regular daily schedule.”

In addition to supporting the MPA, this information will direct other work by Gateway Antarctica, specifically the deployment of non-invasive satellite transmitters onto the whales.

The wider initiative, funded through United Nations Environment Programme and a Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship to Dr Eisert, aims to provide further information about the ecology of Antarctic killer whales and other top marine predators, and the connectivity between the Ross Sea and New Zealand.