This is Week 3 of us publishing weekly biographies on new and veteran team members. So far we have interviewed Dave and Cam from our ‘veteran’ members, as well as Nicola and Jenna from our new team members. This week we’ll chat to Rosie and Tebogo. Rosie went to the Antarctic twice: during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 Austral summer (or field season).
If you have missed any of our previous posts you can read about them following the links below:
Biography # 3 of the Veteran Participants: Rosie Dwight
Q1: What are you doing now?
I am currently studying towards my Doctorate in Geography at Texas A&M University in the United States. Though I miss Rhodes and South Africa all the time, I am loving being an Aggie. Whoop!
Q2: Why did you go to Antarctica?
Going to Antarctica was a dream of mine since my early high school years – I lived the dream!
Q3: What was your role in the team(s) when you went down?
I was in charge of packing and logistics for my first trip, and I made sure I brought the fun wherever needed for my second trip.
Q4: What academic work did you have to do there?
I helped install loggers, assisted with field work, and conducted my own field investigations. On my first trip the team installed a total of 15 data loggers, which Dave and I assembling in base prior to the team installing them in the field. I was also privileged enough to assist all of my teammates (and others) with their field work, which meant learning about a wide range of topics. My field work was concentrated on lichen distribution and abundance (mainly on the Northern Buttress of Vesleskarvet), which had myself and willing field assistants outside in every “spare” moment, sometimes in -20°C with blowing snow!
(Rosie’s Masters, titled ‘Geomorphic and ambient environmental impacts on lichen distribution on two inland nunataks in western Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica.‘, can be accessed here.)
Q5: How many times have you gone down?
Two amazing times!
Q5: Had you seen snow before you went down to SANAE IV?
Nothing closer than the snowcapped Amathole or Cape Fold mountains in the winter.
Q7: What ONE (or two) word would you use to describe the Antarctic?
Q8: What ONE word would you use to describe your trip(s) to the Antarctic?
Q9: What was the best part of the trip?
This question deserves to be answered next to a braai with a couple of drinks lined up since the trips were so amazing that it is impossible to single it down to just one thing. I will say though that sitting quietly on top of a nunatak, marveling at the vast white continent were the most humbling moments I have ever had, and a feeling I doubt I will ever experience anywhere else.
Q10: Do you have any advice for newbies?
There is so much to tell, but I will name two essential items: 1) seasickness medication for the ship, and 2) lots of hand cream for base (your hands will suffer from the incredibly dry and cold conditions and you need them to be in top form for the harsh fieldwork conditions). I will also say to get involved in as much as possible and learn at every possible moment; it is a trip of a lifetime (which is relatively short), so make sure you seize every moment!
Q11:Would you/do you want to go again?
Absolutely, yes (I hope to)! Does anyone need a willing and able field assistant???
#2016fieldpreparations #Antarctica #landscapeprocessesinantarcticecosystems #LPiAE