Polar Newsflash

Hear ye, hear ye, it’s been very quiet on here lately. Far quieter than in the vast ‘silent’ expanses of the Ross Ice Shelf, where cracking and groaning and the song of the weddell seal all punctuate the white nothingness. Why? Well, silence on the blog means PhD writing slog. That’s right, I’m about waist deep in sheets of paper that belong, variously, to my first chapter draft, my university application for overseas travel, and tutorial responses for the Antarctic Studies introductory course. It’s busy, but there are exciting times ahead…

What’s coming up? Well, plenty! This Friday DJ Spooky is coming to visit us here at IMAS, before performing at the Spiegeltent here on Sunday night (so watch this space…). He’s performing on Monday as well, but I’ll be otherwise engaged, presenting at the APECS online conference. The theme of the conference is ‘New Perspectives in the Polar Sciences.’ I dare say that taking an image-based narrative approach to adverts with Antarctic links is quite a new perspective for most scientists, but it is a really useful way of finding out about why we have been looking south at different points in time. I’ll put up a summary of that presentation on here as well once I’ve given the presentation. Hopefully this will be one way to get the word out there that I am still looking for adverts, too.

That’s right – if you spot any advert that features penguins, the word ‘Antarctica’, Antarctic landscapes, or references to Heroic Era explorers, I want to see it!

Speaking of APECS, Polar Week is also rumbling ever closer. Now there are only 10 more sleeps until we take to social media to celebrate all things icy – from fieldwork to phytoplankton, nanoparticles to narratives. We’ll hear from a range of polar scientists, and hopefully get an insight into what working in the high latitudes is like for the students of today, thanks to snowy selfies.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 3.26.41 PM

But wait, there’s more! The US Icebreaker the Nathaniel B Palmer is coming to Hobart in 2 weekends time, and is open for tours. This morning I booked my place to take a look inside the behemoth that I last saw from the decks of the Silver Explorer, just around from Palmer Station. I have a feeling the interior of this famous red ship may look slightly different to our ornately decorated tourist vessel…

Finally – but probably the most important, in the bigger picture – my PhD confirmation seminar is coming up on Friday 20 March. I’ll present a 3000 word paper up in the English department, a compressed version of my first chapter. That’s all I really have to say about that right now, at least until the 3000 words are actually written.

March is gearing up to be an exciting month polar-wise, and Hobart is looking like a really great choice of city in which to be based. Everything seems to be coming our way, and if it’s not, well, at least we have the internet. Aside from the icy winds that look set to creep up from the south over the next few weeks, I really can’t complain.

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