USAP Antarctic Employment Information

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  • #1346

    Updated 08 Jun 2012

    This is a moderated thread to centralize USAP employment information and links.

    USAP has a good updated page with links to hiring companies.

    Please post any additional useful tips or links you find.


    [font=stencil:lkg8gdki]USAP Acronym List[/font:lkg8gdki]

    AGE – Aircraft Ground Equipment
    AGO – Aircraft Ground Operations
    ARFF – Aircraft Recovery and Fire Fighting
    ARO – Atmospheric Research Observatory, South Pole
    ASC – Antarctic Support Contract
    ATO – Air Traffic Operations
    BFC – Berg Field Center, McMurdo
    CDC – Clothing Distribution Center
    CHC – Christchurch, New Zealand
    CONUS – Continental US
    CTS – Cargo Tracking System
    DA – Dining Assistant
    DA – Destination Alpha, the “official” entrance to the South Pole Station, closest to the ice runway.
    DNF – Do Not Freeze
    DV – Distinguished Visitor
    DZ – Destination Zulu, the main working entrance to the South Pole Station
    ECO – Edison Chouest Offshore
    ECW – Extreme Cold Weather clothing
    ESH – Environmental, Safety and Health
    ESS – ESS Support Services, a partner with GSC
    FAA – First Available Aircraft
    FAF – First Available Flight
    FNG – “Fingie”, a new person, a.k.a., F’ng New Guy
    GA – General Assistant
    GHG – GHG Corporation
    GSAR – Glacier Search And Rescue
    GSC – Gana-A’Yoo Services Corporation
    GWR – Garage, Warehouse, and Recreation, a Palmer building
    IGY – International Geophysical Year, 1957-58
    IPY – International Polar Year, 2007-09
    JSOC – Joint Satellite Operations Center
    LMASC – Lockheed Martin Antarctic Support Contract
    LMCO – Lockheed Martin Company
    LMG – Vessel RV Laurence M. Gould
    MAPO – Marvin A. Pomerantz Observatory, South Pole
    MCC – Movement Control Center, McMurdo
    MCM – McMurdo Station
    MEC – Mechanical Equipment Center, McMurdo
    MGS – McMurdo Ground Station
    NBP – Vessel RV Nathaniel B. Palmer
    NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    NPQ – Not Physically Qualified
    NPX – Airport designation for South Pole
    NSF – National Science Foundation
    NZAP – New Zealand Antarctic Programme
    OAE – Old Antarctic Explorer, an Antarctic veteran
    OCONUS – Off/Outside Continental US
    ODF – Operation Deep Freeze, the former US Navy Program
    OPP – Office of Polar Programs, part of the NSF
    OSAR – Ocean Search And Rescue
    PA – Punta Arenas, Chile
    PAE – Pacific Architects and Engineers group
    PAL – Palmer Station
    PAX – Passengers
    PHI – Petroleum Helicopters International
    PI – Principal Investigator
    POO – Point Of Origin
    PQ – Physically Qualified
    PTS – Personnel Tracking System
    RA – Research Associate
    RPSC – Raytheon Polar Services Company
    RV – Research Vessel
    RVIB – Research Vessel, Ice Breaker
    SAR – Search And Rescue
    SPAWAR – Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
    SPT – South Pole Telescope
    SSC – Science Support Center
    USAP – United States Antarctic Program
    USCG – United States Coast Guard
    USGS – United States Geological Survey
    VMF – Vehicle Maintenance Facility, both South Pole and McMurdo, a.k.a. “The Heavy Shop”
    WFR – Wilderness First Responder
    WINFLY – Winter Fly-In, the first flights into McMurdo at the end of winter, typically mid-August.

    There are a whole lot more. If you post additional acronyms to this thread I’ll move them into this post.


    I’m trying to apply for a polar job for the first time myself, and I just got this confirmation from Raytheon:

    NANA is hiring for winter over positions, and these positions will migrate to the Lockheed team on 1 April 2012. NANA is not continuing past that date as the Food Services provider.

    Raytheon Polar Transition Manager


    ARFF – Aircraft Recovery and Fire Fighting
    NMF – Not My Fault (I made this one up)

    A few SP acronyms:
    VMF – Vehicle Maintenance facility (same as McMurdo)
    MAPO – Marvin A. Pomerantz Observatory, South Pole
    SPT – South Pole Telescope
    ARO – Atmospheric Research Observatory, South Pole
    DZ – Destination Zulu, the main working entrance to the South Pole Station
    DA – Destination Alpha, the “official” entrance to the South Pole Station. Closest to the ice runway
    DV – Distinguished Visitor (not exclusive to SP)

    There are many more. Its only been a little over a year since I was there. How quickly you forget.


    ESS (well, GSC (Gana-A’Yoo Services Corporation) (more acronyms) is now posting food services and support jobs:

    The link above also includes the link, “If you are currently working on ice or are in processing to report to work for the Winter Season, please email…”

    Also, an updated link to the Lockheed Martin letter from the project director with list of subcontractors and coming events:


    @skua77 wrote:

    ESS (well, GSC (Gana-A’Yoo Services Corporation) (more acronyms) is now posting food services and support jobs:

    The link above also includes the link, “If you are currently working on ice or are in processing to report to work for the Winter Season, please email…”

    Also, an updated link to the Lockheed Martin letter from the project director with list of subcontractors and coming events:

    They are only hiring Winterover right, or am I mistaken? I’m new to the whole Antarctica job search. Does anyone here have any tips for getting a job? Or is it really a lot of luck? I have lots of experience for the job which I would be applying I have just heard that there are LOTS of applications. Also, does anyone know when they start hiring for Austral Summer next year?


    I doubt anyone is going to be able to help you answer these questions right now. Because of the turn-over of the long term contract from Raytheon to Lockheed Martin a few weeks ago, the hiring process is even more of a black box than it was before (if possible). The need to hire or re-hire current full-time Denver people and the need to re-hire current winter-over contract personnel under a LM contract are adding to the confusion. No one has any experience with the new contractors’ polar hiring processes, timing, or even job titles. My guess is that the jobs posted on the LM site right now are for positions already filled in Denver or on the ice by RPSC people who will be hired for them – but that’s just a guess.

    I suggest doing what everyone else is doing – watching all the job postings from whatever company you want to work for. The links in this thread will be very helpful to you there. Austral summer jobs for the 2012-2013 season should start being posted within the next two or three months, but again, no one knows. They may show up tomorrow.

    Read older topics here to learn about skills and physical qualifications needed, write a good resume and cover letter, and keep looking at the jobs lists. I was hired the first time I applied, others have applied for years with no success – I doubt that will change. Good luck.


    Within the past few days LM has posted over a hundred new jobs, mostly full time, and they’ve extensively updated their FAQ, still primarily aimed at current RPSC people. Their primary source for disseminating this information appears to be their Facebook page, check out the various tabs at the top of the page. You do NOT have to sign up for Facebook to get to this page.

    The “Jobs” tab on this Facebook page links to all of the jobs including subcontracted ones. The “links” page includes links to the various LM and subcontract search engines, although some of these links may not work if you’re not on Facebook. The simplest way to see the Lockheed Martin jobs (at least this week) is to go to this page: scroll down about halfway and click on the “Submit your résumé here” link to see the full jobs list.

    Supposedly all of the full time jobs were to have been posted by 10 February, and the incumbents were to apply for them by the 12th. But there are many more jobs posted today (the 13th).


    As of Feb 24 the biggest jobs list appears to be the Lockheed Martin Facebook page, with 293 positions. It lists positions from LMC, PAE, GSC and GHG, both in Denver and on-ice.

    Unfortunately the LMC Facebook page is not comprehensive. When I cross-checked it there were some jobs listed only on the LMC Facebook page, and some jobs listed only on the LMC Jobs pages. Same goes for PAE. I found my particular position listed on the PAE site, but nowhere else.

    Bottom line – it is still necessary to look everywhere.


    So still waiting to see how the LM process works. There was no March 3rd rush this year, just a random periodic posting of jobs.
    I only got in two apps and never heard back on either.
    Been extra quiet here as well.
    Hope all are well, and happy football season to everyone!


    Pete, I’m not getting the feeling that they have gotten over the initial startup pains. My guess is that they are behind the curve and just figuring out the organization. Right now the program is ramping up to send a thousand people to mcm and at the same time keeping Port Hueneme, Pole, Punta Arenas, and Palmer going. It’s a daunting task for a new company. You might try a few phone calls and see if you can get through. Let us know.


    Progress finally. Monday I received an email inquiring if I was still interested in Fire Dispatch and available for a phone interview. Affirmative!! Interview was today and I should hear back “in one to two days”. The hope is that I can hear back, PQ, and be ready to leave the country on September 28 for the first Mainbody flight on October 2. Obviously things are behind; no one should give up (as I had just about done).


    16 days from interview to wheels up leaving CONUS? Seems very optimistic. Did they mean 28 Sep 2013?


    Lofty goal, eh? If they extend an offer, I’ll do my best to meet the request….can’t speak for the PQ process beyond making my appointments tho.


    I do not think I could pull it off this season if they called. Too much on my plate to drop it all and jump on a plane in 2 or 3 weeks.
    Just hope once all the dust settles, the way forward will be a bit clearer.
    Just hope it all comes together for those of you getting down there this year. Best of luck!

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