I am absolutely thrilled to report here that I will be spending a year in Antarctica, having just finalized a contract as a grant-supported scientific writer for the United States Geological Survey.
This is a truly enviable position for which I am very grateful — especially to Eugene Landings and his fellow board members of the USGS Mid-Atlantic Division in Washington, DC. The final candidates for this federally supported position were indeed a competitive group, and I am honored that the board selected me to fill this important short-term consulting position. Thanks too to Mr. John Blair, Senior Biologist at Outpost 31 of the United States Antarctic Research Program, for the time he took to interview me via telephone.
I am also quite grateful to R.J. MacReady, my Mary Washington College Alumnus, for alerting me to this position and motivating me to apply. I wouldn’t have sat down to fill out that lengthy application if it hadn’t been for R.J. assuring me that I had the chance. Thanks for the confidence you instilled in me, “Flyboy!”
Those who are fluent in the natural sciences know that the USGS, despite its low profile, fulfills a critically important national mission — studying new frontiers, their landscapes, their natural resources, and any threats to those resources. As part of the USARP, I will employ my technical writing experience to document some our nation’s leading scientists in exploring Antarctica and its geological infrastructure. I might also be working with their European colleagues, as Norway operates a separate research facility 50 miles away.
I will be staying at “Cosmos House” at Outpost 31; Mr. Blair sent me the pictures you see below.
Here’s The Thing — you might not be hearing much from me for … maybe another 13 months! I will need to leave for Antarctica on May 6th, and I’ll need to bundle up and make all sorts of personal preparations before I depart. Then it’ll be a full year with a very busy schedule and somewhat limited Internet access. Communications specialist Robert Windows has explained to me that all communications are routed via satellite, and they are occasionally hampered by weather.
I’ll update you all further as additional details develop! In the meantime, please wish me luck!