Jon C's Homepage.

Living large!

South Pole Station, Antarctica.This is what the Dome looks like in mid-winter,lit up by the moon. The 165ft diameter by 55ft high Dome houses buildings in which contract employees sleep, eat, and work in. The year I worked; 18OCT97 thru 20NOV98, the sun set on 21MAR98 and didn't rise until 23SEP98. Complete darkness was upon us for about 4 months; with no light besides the moon, stars, and auroras. One month prior to and after this period the sunlight was dim. The year I worked at South Pole it was just me and 27 others desolated on this plateau outpost which is 9300ft above sea level and about 2 square miles. Aircraft operations ceased in mid-Feb. and did not resume until Nov. Nothing but wind blown snow surrounds station inhabitants. The closest station to us is over 850 miles away.

I was the station electrician along with a few others in the jobs of cook, utilities maintenance,heavy equipment mechanic,power plant operator, cargo/materials persons, computer administrators, a communications technician,and a doctor that support the scientists and technicians. This station is funded by the National Science Foundation under the heading of The United States Antarctic Program. The U.S. has maintained a year round presence here since 1957. Ongoing construction of a replacement station is underway until 2005. During this period about half of the station population is construction workers and associated personel during the construction season which starts in Nov. and goes until mid-Feb. the following year.

This was my first experience of 24 hours of darkness. A good experience in solitude and coping without the usual distractions I was used to back home. The routines became predictable and it was nice not having the daily need to drive somewhere, be inundated with the media and mass marketing, and run errands. The ability to walk outside everyday and experience no noise besides the wind was pacifying during my 8 months of solitude. There is not any broadcast television or radio at South Pole Station. The night sky was the most vivid I've ever witnessed. By the end of May spectacular auroras were visible. With humidity below 5% and no artificial light this is the optimum place for astrophysics. There are many other research projects also; like climatology, seismology, meterology,etc..

As I improve my technique on web page building stay with me. This is a superb way for friends, family, and others to realize there are experiences to be lived in the world. Seize the day.

Beneath the Dome & Arches
Crew members from my 1998 winter-over
South Pole Station summertime, 1997-98
Colorado:My home state,page one
Colorado:page two
Mom/Dad and the Sibs
Christchurch, New Zealand. 1999
Enroute to South Pole,1999
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
View guestbook

Links to other sites on the Web
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
South Pole Station Communication Technician's Homepage
South Poles consecutive winterover.Robert Schwarz-Mr.Science

Personal testimony from my fellow crew members;as recorded by a journalist with USA Today

Article from Feb.'98 Outside magazine;how the crew prepares for a winter-over and perspective on wintering-over at South Pole Station. By Sara Corbett

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