Living and Working in Antarctica

Q. Do you miss Maccas? (Mc Donalds fast artificial food!)?

A. I do not miss Maccas at all. It is a relief to be somewhere without large fast food chains. I miss the cafe down Telegraph that has single serve salads which are almost bigger than what would be served for the whole station (if we have freshies)!! I also miss good espresso.

Q. Is it true that you cannot spit in the SP?

A. Umm... I have never heard of this before. I assume you mean because it is so cold. When I first got here it was cold (-50degC), and one day I was rushing and panting heavily and froze the roof of my mouth. I have been more careful since. Yes you can spit here. But I'm sure there is a fine for polluting the environment:)

Q. Where do you put your toilet waste?

A. Good question! Luckily we get it a lot.

At the Australian station Casey there is a three stage waste treatment plant. The remaining liquid is pumped into the sea. However, it is very clean and the doctor samples it every week to make sure the system is working. Once a year residue is removed from the main plant for RTA (return to Australia).

When we go into the field, where there is no toilets, we take a flour drum (if we a traveling by vehicle) and heavy duty garbage bags, and all waste is returned to the station and put into the high temperature incinerator.

Q. What type of jobs are available in Antarctica?

A. All jobs that are essential in the real world need to be done in Antarctica. Even in Antarctica someone has to deal with garbage. See the Antarctic Jobs page for more details.

Q. What do people do with their spare time in Antarctica?

A. When working in Antarctica you have less spare time than you would expect. At the Australian and American stations people usually work 6 day weeks, with the occasional "long weekend" with Saturday and Sunday off. Most stations offer very good exercise equipment and a wide range of recreational equipment such as skis. Playing musical instruments is very popular with many bands across the continent at any time. This has a two fold advantage in that it is fun for the people involved and the entire community. The occasional party is not unheard off, often with a live band! I've never had problems with too much free time.

Schneider family web pages at
Antarctica | Family History | Science
Shop Photos | Atmospheric Optics | Plasma Physics
DAS Bookbinding

Copyright © Darryn Schneider for all content and images unless otherwise noted