Somerfield School

Thanks to Angus (in the picture left with the book) and Ethan (on the right), 2 bright year 5 pupils from Somerfield School, Christchurch, I had the opportunity to talk about Antarctic history.

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I was invited by the pupils and their teachers to give them information on Robert Falcon Scott for their project on leadership and heroes. Scott is their first character they work on, but I have seen some other heroes on their pin board such as Edmund Hillary. It would be interesting what they find out about him. I got also an certificate as thank you for my presentation. The children were already well prepared what they wanted to know. They collected their thoughts on a mind map and I am glad that my presentation matched their expectation.

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77 children participated, were communicative and had very interesting questions. It was inspiring.

It was a great event with wonderful young people.

 

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Lecture at Scott Base

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Discovery Hut 2015

I delivered my lecture on Antarctic History yesterday evening – at Scott Base. Some people from Scott Base attended the lecture and of course all the PCAS students. It was good to have the tour through the Discovery Hut the day before, so I could refer to the location quite often. I compressed my lecture from a three hour to a one and a half hour one. That worked quite well and it was very helpful that we had the exercise already in the field. My lecture was recorded by Anthony Powell and I am looking forward how he will integrate parts of it in his new documentary.

Marsden Fast Start Fund

To get a Marsden Fund is a lifetime opportunity for a researcher here in New Zealand. This year I was fortunate to get invited to submit a full proposal. After the fifth attempt, I made it into the second round! It was a lot of work before the submission. Many people supported me by discussing my ideas and helped me to find a way through it that in the end a proposal could be submitted. Now I have to wait for the comments of reviewers, can submit a response to it and at the end of October I will know then if I will have the chance to continue with my research on historic weather data and how early Antarctic explorer reacted to the extreme weather, and how their interactions, well-being, decision making, etc.  were influenced by the low temperature and strong winds.

Preliminary results, which I worked on supported with a COMNAP research fellowship in 2012/2013, are published in the latest issue of the The Polar Journal. This is the basis for the Marsden Fast Start Fund proposal.

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The picture shows scientists from the Drygalski Expedition (1901-1903) taking ice temperature.

New article

A new article is out: “‘Blizzard blowing again and considerable discomfort on board as usual.’ Personal accounts of weather as scientific data, and the weather’s influence on expedition members during the Heroic Age”

It is not allowed that I put the link on that page – so when someone wants to read the article, please go to  “The Polar Journal” and search the latest issue (June 2015). from here you can download then the text as pdf. Sorry for that hassle, but the access to my article on Felix Koenig has been blocked and the link in my post is not working.

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Research stay in Europe

Some busy  weeks are laying ahead. I will be in Europe to work in the Archives in Austria and England again.

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My workspace at SPRI in 2013

I give a talk on my research at the Austrian Society of History of Science (Oesterreichische Gesellschaft fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte) at 16th April at 6pm (Vienna University Archive, Postgasse 9, 1010 Wien). I have been invited for a talk after I gave a talk in June last year at the Institute for Austrian History (Institut fuer Oesterreichkunde, IOEK).

The next step: I will spend some time in Cambridge again in the Archives at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) to do research on Nimrod Expedition 1907 – 1909 especially on the diaries and meteorological logs of the Ross Sea Party.  This is a part of my COMNAP Research Fellowship project which started in 2012/13. In the meantime I gave 10 talks on the development on that project, had 3 poster presentations and 6 publications in journals and webpages.

In May I attend a workshop in Colorado: SCAR History Expert Group and the SCAR Social Science Action Group. I will give an oral presentation on the development of an digital platform where information can be exchanged on the whereabouts of diaries and documents of Polar expeditions. The idea has been discussed at the SCAR Open Science Conference last year. (see report) The platform is in the early state of its development, but at least it is a start.

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Me, teaching Antarctic History in the “Discovery Hut” at Hut Point, Antarctic December 2014.

History Seminar Talk

Busy times! One of the reasons is preparing talks and lectures for ANTA 102.

I give a talk at the History Seminar series on  Wednesday, 18th March, 12-1pm in Arts Lecture Theater A8 which is only held during the term time.

The talk is on my preliminarily results on the COMNAP project. I was rewarded with an COMNAP research fellowship in 2012/13 and this research is still going on. It turned out that there is so much more material which has to be processed to get a solid database on historic weather data. An article will be published in Juli with some of the results of my research so far in the Polar Journal.

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Me with a modern weather station in the Antarctic at the PCAS course 2014/15.

 

Delay

It was bad weather today and so the flight was cancelled. Maybe it is happening tomorrow;  that is life in the Antarctic! You have to deal with it!

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This picture is from 1912 when Wilhelm Filchner (expedition leader) and his companion Alfred Kling (navigation officer) were traveling to examine the ice during the time when the ship Deutschland was frozen into the ice. Filchner is searching the horizon and at one of these journeys they proofed that Morrell Land was not existing. When I go, all the surrounding of Scott Base is known, and I hope to see it soon, maybe tomorrow… who knows…