Previously we wrote about publishing weekly biographies on new and veteran team members. This is the very first edition of these bios (Part 2). In Part 1 we wrote about Dave and here we introduce Nicola. Nicola will be going to the Antarctic for the very first time this year. Enjoy the read and as always any comments are welcome!
Biography # 1 of the ‘Newbie’ Participants: Nicola Wilmot
- What is your name?
- Where are you from?
- What drew you to Rhodes University?
I am a third generation Rhodes student.
- Why are you going to Antarctica?
I’ve always wanted to go there.
- What is the name of your Masters dissertation?
The periglacial geomorphology of the Ahlmannryggen, western Dronning Maud Land.
- What is your research focus there?
Periglacial landforms. (For the uninitiated that would mean landforms, such as patterned ground and frost mounds that are formed due to the action of freezing and thawing of water/ice/snow.)
- Are you looking forward to going South with your current team members?
- Have you been on the S.A. Agulhas II before?
- Have you been to Antarctica before?
- Have you ever had a white Christmas before?
Yes. I went to Utah in the USA during 2014. My cousin lives there and it was the first time I saw snow too.
- Do you have special plans for Christmas?
I do but it’s a secret.
- What are you looking forward to or are most excited about?
I am looking forward to experiencing working in Antarctica with all the conditions there.
- Are you worried about anything or does something about the trip scare you?
- How have you prepared for the trip?
As a team we have been looking at the equipment and making sure it works. We’ve been packing things away and organising. Personally I’ve been trying to keep fit and on getting stronger. I have also started buying toiletries and making lists so I don’t forget anything. (Toiletries are quite an important consideration. The team will be gone for three months and it’s not like you can quickly dash to the store to get something you have forgotten when you are away for field work. Therefore, planning in advance is crucial.)
- Are you taking a luxury item with you, like something you won’t have access to once you’ve left?
I’m taking speckled eggs. I also bought my own thermal long-johns, as well as a buff and nice gloves. And I am taking my own camera.
- What do you think you will miss the most during the trip?
Being able to contact my family.
- Do you have anything specific you want to do while you are there? Something you can only do on a trip like this?
I want to take some really nice pictures.
- Are you leaving family behind? Have you prepared them for your being away for three months?
I haven’t actually thought about this but will now definitely think about this. My mom will be fine with me being away but I think the rest of my family might struggle a bit.
- Are you doing anything nice before you go, e.g. a weekend away or a holiday?
Yes. I will see my family in Johannesburg, as well as going to Cape Town early to see my family there.
- Is anyone seeing you off?
Yes, pretty much everyone.
#2016fieldpreparations #Antarctica #landscapeprocessesinantarcticecosystems #LPiAE