Is McMurdo actually in the Antarctic?!? Kelli, Kelli, Kelli…
The only station we don’t consider IN the Antarctic is Palmer, but only because they lie outside the Antarctic Circle, up in the Banana Belt. Technically, though, they’re a part of the continent…
McMurdo is the largest research facility on the continent, and the primary logistics hub for South Pole, Scott Base, and numerous field camps. In the summer it’s home to approximately 1000-1100 researchers, support personnel, and military. In the winter (right now), the population is around 200 (this year it’s 241). The Pole is about 800 miles away, and has populations of about 200/50 (summer/winter).
Everything that Pole has, or wants, has to come through McMurdo.
And everything that McMurdo has, or wants, gets to us through Christchurch, New Zealand – 2400 miles due north. People and cargo come to us on US Air Force planes, or ships under contract to the Navy, or NSF.
I don’t mean to bust on you – Just helping you to understand the place.
Coming down here is a great adventure. Just finishing up my fifth season, and first winter. Once you do the Ice, you’ll never fully be able to go back to the ‘real’ world. This place gets in your blood. And, of course, you’ll make friends that will last a lifetime.
In the summer there is a large medical staff. There’s a couple of doctors, a PA, a couple of nurses, a lab person, an X-Ray tech, and a PT. The docs do all their own notes.
Typical first-year jobs include Housekeeping (janitor), GA (General Assistant – lots of outdoor work), DA (Dining Attendant – lots of indoor work, and early/late hours), and cargo (outdoors, and alot of work at the runways). If you have computer experience, Supply hires a number of folks to track the myriad of inventory we keep down here.
Basically, run down the list of available jobs, see what appeals to you, then go for it. Nothing to lose.
Regardless of what position you end up with, remember – free food, free housing, and a free trip through New Zealand. 🙂 Hope you have a passport…
Good luck, Kelli.