Thursday, 30 December 2010

Living life in the Antarctic

The continent of Antarctica is home to over a thousand part-time/temporary residents who live and work there, mostly for science purposes. It's obviously the least inhabited continent as well as being the coldest (and colder than the Arctic) yet getting a job there is incredibly hard due to the high amount of applicants. There are not only scientific research jobs but also managerial, maintenance and support roles in order to keep the various bases running.

Recently the BBC published an interesting article in its magazine section about living in the Antarctic and working there in various different roles: Antarctic Plumber: Frozen pipes....again. People working there are from a complete spectrum of backgrounds and have very varying skill sets. It must be hard being thousands of miles from home without light for so much of the year. For some the relative solitude must be welcome, and the surroundings would doubtlessly be incredible to live in and see everyday (unless it were the part of the year where it was dark constantly!)

The British Antarctic Survey carries out various forms of scientific research across Antarctica - i'd love to work for them but getting a job is extremely competitive! The work they carry out gives great insight in to a whole range of science disciplines including global warming and climate change - topics I feel very strongly about so I commend all the work they've been doing for the last sixty years.

The highlights of living on the icy continent must be the views, the weather and the range of experiences that working there brings. It may not be some peoples cup of tea living so far from home but the work done there is vital to everyone and there will always be an abundance of willing candidates dying to get on the next boat or flight out to the Antarctic. Getting to the continent alone is a true adventure whilst working in such a harsh environment must require great resilience and determination.

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