Antarctic challenge quilts

Christchurch quilters had a quilt show in October and the topic of the quilt challenge was ANTARCTICA!

Many wonderful quilts were presented. I gave two talks (August 2014 and June 2015) to give some ideas and to show that this place is not only white…. many quilters were inspired and searched for the perfect motive.


21 quilts will now go down to the ice. Antarctica New Zealand is supporting the idea that these quilts have to be shown to a wider audience and provide a space at Scott Base where they can be displayed from 18 December to 4 January. That is the time when I am there as tutor for Polar History with PCAS.

I will report more on the event when I am there.

My quilt with a radar image from the last field campaign in 2014

My quilt with a radar image from the last field campaign in 2014


Talk at the Canterbury Women’s Club on my research

19 November 2015, 5-7pm presentation (Law building) at the Canterbury Women’s Club

I will  give a presentation on my research which started with a COMNAP Research Fellowship in 2012 and which is still continuing. My research developed in a very substantial way since then. I got familiar with a lot of new skills  such as AntConc what was introduced to me via a seminar in Digital Humanities at the UC. My mentor for the Marsden Fast Start, Paul Millar, brought my attention to it and I am very glad about that because it brings my research to a new level.

logbook, Dallmann, 1873

logbook, Dallmann, 1873

SCAR OSC 2016 Kuala Lumpur

Next year is the next SCAR Conference in Kuala Lumpur. I am convener of the SCAR 2016 Session S35 “Data access and sharing for cutting edge science”with four other conveners who are all from science. I am the only humanities researcher.

fresh design web

Abstracts can be submitted until 14 February 2016. Find more details for abstract guidelines

Description for Session S 35

Data access and sharing for cutting edge science


Ursula Rack, Soon Gyu Hong, Anton Van de Putte, Camille Moreau, Robert Arko

The aim of the session is to bring together researchers and data custodians across disciplines. In a world where digital data is created at an ever-increasing pace, there is also a realisation that pre-digital data such as logbooks, diaries, and historic reports (e.g. weather, medical) from the Polar Regions contain important information at risk of being lost. Technology allows researchers to generate and share huge volumes of data, but even in digital form, research data remains at risk for loss. Researchers face the seemingly daunting task to collect, organise, share, and interpret their data. In this session we invite researchers and data custodians from all fields to share their challenges and accomplishment in discovering and disseminating data and to provide an opportunity to foster new ideas and attempts to achieve adequate research outcomes. We welcome topics in this session including: Introduction to new databases, new features in database, tools for data mining, tools and ideas to promote data sharing.

The session is open to researchers in the humanities, social sciences, earth sciences, geosciences, life sciences, physical sciences.

Book Chapter

I am invited to write a chapter for the  Routledge Handbook of the Polar Regions. “Exploring and mapping the Antarctic: Histories of Discovery and Knowledge”. It is very exciting and is inspiring to get new perspectives into my research.

routledge handbooks has a good reputation and I am looking forward working with the editors. Mapping is more than only show landmarks or directions. In previous centuries maps had a certain purpose and look strange for our sense of need of information. However, it allows an insight of the perception of the world at the time the map was created. Often was a strong territorial and political driver behind creating maps. It had also to do with imagination and perception of landscapes.

This is only a part of that chapter and it will be an interesting journey until the chapter is finished.

Map of the Second German Antarctic Expedition

Map of the Second German Antarctic Expedition

Marsden Fast Start 2015 unsuccessful

Unfortunately were all the efforts we (all my supporters, my mentor, all the proofreaders, etc.) put towards the Marsden Fund again unsuccessful. Even with the luck to get into the second round this year and with three very positive reports from the reviewers, it was not working. In other words: My proposal was rejected again.

In 2016 is the last year where I can apply for a Marsden Fast Start Fund. I will try it again, but I am without hope that I will be successful. I have to find other sources for funding to keep my research alive.