Whale coastal movements

10th April 2014

Video transcript

Station Leaders 2014-15

31st March 2014

Video transcript

Ali Dean: I'm Ali Dean and I'm going down to Casey as the station leader.

I've worked in the Antarctic for quite a few years now, first as a geologist so going down over the summer months, using the stations as a staging post and preparing for trips to remote localities. So I was looking for clues on the geological history of Antarctica.

During those times on station, I became fascinated with multi-faceted, really active places with a lot of interesting people and that's probably what led me to eventually try station leadership.

This will be seventh winter as station leader in Antarctica and I'm just as excited about this trip as I was about that first one.

The Australian stations are extremely important for facilitating science because the Antarctic is such a hostile and hospitable place. There are science projects that run automatically through the winter and these are usually monitored by station personnel. For example, ultra-violet radiation is measured constantly, as are a lot of greenhouse gases. So this information is sent back automatically by satellite to scientists in Australia.

The encroaching winter itself - it can be a challenge. I enjoy the darkness but it is difficult to sleep for a lot of people. For a lot of people, that separation from family. 

What draws me back to Antarctica is I love the place. It is unique. It is one of the wild places left on Earth.

Ivor Harris: My name's Ivor Harris and I'll be going down to Macquarie Island station for the coming winter. 

My position on station will be station leader which is a role I've been lucky enough to be selected to do three times previously.

I've got a broad background in the biological sciences but also in the military, curiously. I originally qualified as a vet but had the opportunity to follow my scientific interests which are more in the direction of infectious diseases and microbiology.

The station leader is responsible for management of the station in a broad sense, allocating station assets in support of science projects and other field projects and of course, maintaining the community.

The people that go to Antarctica to work, go there because they really, really want to be there. They're selected as being very, very capable and experienced at their roles and as a general rule, it's a very easy job to manage the community and look after people because they're great people.

Narelle Campbell: My name is Narelle Campbell and I am heading off to Davis this winter.

My career has led down a number of paths. I've now been south three times and I'm coming up to my fourth time.

What I am looking forward to most this coming season is again experiencing Antarctica, it’s the wildlife, it’s the scenery and the community. Watching a community gel together, work closely together, have fun, but it's actually nice to see the community work together and get along and become very good friends.

Steve Robertson: My name is Steve Robertson and I am the incoming station leader at Mawson station.

I am currently a sergeant with the Victoria police so I've worked in busy metropolitan police stations in Melbourne. I've worked up in country police stations and remote police stations as well. I have also worked in a lot of proactive units, working with youth, disadvantaged kids, African communities and the gay and lesbian liaison role within Melbourne itself.

The role of the station leader for me is two-fold I guess. You've got your science, and in order to support the science you've got your infrastructure: your diesos and so on, and so forth. But in addition to that, you've got the other part of the role being the community and my role is to make that gel, make all of that gel - the science tick along but at the same time making sure that the people are ticking along as well as this cohesive community.

Voyage 4, 20132014 season

1st March 2014

Video transcript

Voyage 2/3, 20132014 season

23rd January 2014

Video transcript

Dr Andrew Constable - Southern Ecosystems Change Theme Leader

16th December 2013

Video transcript

My name is Andrew Constable. I am a theme leader in the Australian Antarctic science program responsible for studying Southern Ocean ecosystems and that theme has a number of elements. The first element is to understand how southern ocean ecosystems are responding to climate change. The second thing is to look at how do we conserve whales, albatross and other species like that? And then a big responsibility is how do you manage fisheries in the Southern Ocean so as they remain ecologically sustainable?

One of the main parts of our work is to do field work in the Southern Ocean. That involves going to sea on ships for maybe up to three months at a time and what we try to do there is we are sampling the animals and plants in the ocean to better understand how they work with the ocean, what sort of impacts changes in the ocean might have and in particular what things might happen as a result of climate change.

The last thing that we do is we try to look at undertaking laboratory studies that help us better understand the exact mechanisms of impact. That is how we know about the effects of acidification on krill, for example. That was done here at the Australian Antarctic Division.

For example we know the Southern Ocean ecosystem is becoming more acidic which there are some animals at the bottom end of the food chain, they’re not doing so well. So krill, for example, their embryos don’t survive very well in a super acidic environment.

One of the big challenges is being able to do science at a sufficiently large scale, so operating ships or being able to sample in many different places that give us very good information that we can feed into our models and basically help management make the right decisions.

The more we are able to forecast what is going to happen in the future, the more that we can adjust our management practices and the more that we can make better decisions in advance and make sure that fisheries remain ecologically sustainable.

I’m never bored. It’s a fantastic place to work, the work is very challenging, one of the great things about this work is the people that I work with. It is those partnerships that matter. That’s what makes the science very enjoyable and we can overcome the challenges together. In the end it will be a community enterprise to overcome these challenges and to better understand what we have in the future.

Voyage 1, 20132014 season

8th December 2013

Video transcript

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