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June 14, 2009 at 6:57 am #738
so, out of curiosity, whatʹs the age/sex/nationality breakdown of the people who work on the iceʔ iʹm an early 20s american male and interested in working down there, and am wondering what the ʹaverageʹ ice worker is likeʔJune 14, 2009 at 6:57 am #7687
thanks for the infoǃ sounds like a pretty cool place to be, no pun intended of course <ǃ-- s:d --><ǃ-- s:d -->June 14, 2009 at 6:57 am #7688
according to the 10/31 edition the antarctic sun, the stats for rpsc employees at that time were:population: mcmurdo 661, south pole 165, palmer 28, ships 2365% men, 35% womenyoungest: 19oldest: 70average age: 37white: 745hispanic: 24asian/pacific islander: 8black: 5american indian: 5other/not indicated: 15top states of residence were colorado (147), washington (79) and alaska (72), but there was at least one person from every state. other employees came from new zealand (2), canada (2), puerto rico (2) and australia (1).since that time the population has gone up; mcmurdo was over 1000 last week and the pole was over 200. the science groups appear to come closer to a 50/50 mix of men and women, so the overall gender mix is probably better than the rpsc stats indicate (i.e., more women are grad student biologists than heavy equipment operators, which skews the rpsc numbers).what this doesnʹt tell you, of course, is marital status and sexual orientation. my guess is that maybe 30% are married — whether or not their spouses are here — and about 10% are gay or lesbian, roughly the same as the us population as a whole. to speculate a bit more, iʹd say thereʹs more lesbians here than elsewhere on average, and maybe fewer gays, although itʹs hard to say for sure.one thing is for sure… this is the most educated continient in the world. we have dishwashers with masterʹs degrees.June 14, 2009 at 6:57 am #7689
30 years ago when most of the us antarctic population was military, the typical person was an early 20ʹs american male. now the population is much more diverse, featuring married couples, grandparents, and other folks in their 60s and older–many of these people repeating their contracts year after year. of course the physical exam requirements have gotten a bit stiffer, but that hasnʹt stopped the gradual ʹʹagingʹʹ of the average population.the old military joke the first time i went to the ice was that there was a ʹʹwoman behind every tree.ʹʹ nowadays the sexual balance isnʹt 50-50, but there are enough females around to make the ratio seem almost normal.as for the international aspect, since the 1950ʹs there always have been foreign researchers working at the various stations. as science has gotten bigger and more expensive, there are more international research collaborations on the ice every year. and recently the us support contractor has expanded their hiring of non-us-citizens for hard-to-fill positions.the other national programs have been undergoing similar evolutions.since youʹre a human youʹll fit right in.
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