Antarctica New Zealand News


Recently The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), through their launch of the Strategic Investment Fund (SSIF), have provided funding to support vessel operating costs for two dedicated Antarctica voyages. Expressions of interest (EOI) will soon be called for participation in Tangaroa voyages to the Antarctic in Jan-Mar 2018 and 2019. The science conducted on-board RV Tangaroa is expected to be jointly funded by voyage participants either through existing funding channels or through new investigator led applications to MBIE, Marsden, MPI and NZARI. Antarctica voyages are usually around 45 days Wellington to Wellington. Contact our Science Team for further information and to get on the mailing list for the EOI when it becomes available.


The summer season has got off to a great start, with the first science events wrapping up, and others well underway in the field. An overview of the science programme for the season is now on our website.
K801 and K812 have successfully completed their dive activities at Cape Evans, and are now moving to Jang Bogo Station, where they will continue their sampling effort.

Miles and Antonio
K801 812

Left image; L-R: Miles Lamare and Antonio Aguera Garcia (Universite Libre de Bruxelles), from K068, and Antarctica New Zealand's Science Research Advisor Rebecca McLeod. Photo by Fiona Shanhun.

Right image; L-R: Rod Budd, Ian Hawes, Drew Lohrer, Chazz Marriott, Sanghee Kim and Sa-Heung Kim (both Korea Polar Research Institute). Photo by Rebecca McLeod.


Fantastic news this week, that the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) have unanimously agreed to establish a marine protected area in the Ross Sea region. This will be the largest marine protected area in the world, covering 1.55 million square kilometres, of which more than two thirds will be a no fishing zone. New Zealand has had a lead role in the proposal and establishment of this marine protected area, and we would like to acknowledge the sustained and focussed efforts of the many New Zealand scientists and CCAMLR delegates that have culminated in this huge achievement. Find out more about the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area here.


As a significant funder of  NZARI-led Antarctic research in New Zealand, four National Geographic Cameramen/Producers are now at Scott Base. So far they have ventured out to Cape Evans, Friis Hills, and will be heading to Cape Crozier this week.

The first season of 'Continent 7: Antarctica' is due for global release on 15 November. National Geographic have produced a collection of articles about Antarctica, Scott Base and our science to accompany the series – click on the picture below to find out more.

Nat Geo



The Marine Lab – the first of the ‘plug and play’ laboratories for the Hillary Field Centre – is now complete and ready for transport to Scott Base on the ship early next year. The laboratory has been designed with flexibility in mind, and offers researchers full determination of their experimental set up. The container is equipped for flow-through seawater, compressed gas and controlled light. Despite the name, the lab will be able to be used for a range of scientific activities on request.

If you’re in Christchurch before mid-December and interested in taking a look, contact our Science Team to arrange a visit. We’re keen for your feedback and thoughts about which container lab we should work on next.

Marine Lab 2

Photo by Rebecca McLeod.


SCAR Announcements


The Polar Research Community has lost a leading scientist, colleague, mentor and friend this past weekend. Gordon Hamilton, professor at the University of Maine, USA, died in a field accident on Oct. 22 while conducting research on White Island just south of McMurdo Station, Antarctica on Saturday, when his snowmobile hit a crevasse.

As a physical glaciologist, Gordon Hamilton, worked tirelessly on advancing our understanding of ice sheet mass balance, modern ice sheet changes and their role in the climate system. During his career he published many important papers on the behaviour of both the Greenlandic and Antarctic Ice Sheets. He was a very caring and energetic colleague, who always had time to help others and share his thoughts - whether on various science topics or advice to the many early career researchers whom have had the pleasure of working with him.

We send our deepest sympathy to his family, friends and the many students that were influenced by Gordon’s contagious excitement for ice sheet research and life. We also take this opportunity to thank all those that face the dangers of the harsh continent to conduct and support research in and from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

For more information, please see this press release from the University of Maine.



APECS and the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research are pleased to announce that the APECS International Directorate will be hosted by AWI at its research centre in Potsdam, Germany for five years from February 2017. The APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in the polar and alpine regions and the wider cryosphere. 



The XIIth SCAR Biology Symposium is being held in Belgium 10th – 14th July, 2017 with the theme ‘Scale Matters’. Understanding processes occurring at a range of scales as well as past and present patterns of biodiversity are essential for understanding possible threats to Antarctic biology and their impact. This Symposium will focus on understanding biological distribution and trends as well as adaptation and processes both in the marine and terrestrial realm including human biology. Special attention will be paid to multidisciplinary research and how combining insight from different fields can help our understanding of biology in this unique region.  An important aspect of this Symposium will focus on the societal impact of Antarctic biological sciences and how this can be communicated, not only to the general public, but also to policy makers.

Abstract submission closes 15 February 2017.





The organisers of POLAR2018 are now accepting session proposals for the joint SCAR and IASC Open Science Conference ‘Where the Poles meet’, which will be held 19th - 23rd June, 2018. To propose a session, complete an application.

The goal is for sessions to cover a broad range of topics across the spectrum of Polar and high altitude research, such as, but not limited to:

  • Climate, glaciology, social and human sciences, ice sheets, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, biology, astronomy, geology, economic aspects, sustainable development, technology and education
  • There will be oral and poster sessions as well as e-poster sessions with a mini-oral
  • The organising committee strongly encourages session topics that encapsulate research conducted in both the Arctic and Antarctic
  • We also encourage including early career scientists as conveners and encourage diversity regarding conveners’ nationalities, gender, and where possible, indigenous peoples


Convenors are responsible for:

  • Soliciting submissions for their session
  • Reviewing the abstracts submitted for the session
  • Working with the international scientific organising committee to arrange the program of their session, including oral and poster presentations
  • Chairing the session

 Session proposal submission deadline: 30th November 2016. Other relevant deadlines can be found here.





We are proud that NZARI-funded scientist, Professor Christina Hulbe, has been chosen to deliver the prestigious Nye Lecture. Christina will deliver her lecture, Are you pondering what I’m pondering? Time and change in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco on 13 December. The John F. Nye Lecture honors the work of cryospheric science pioneer, John F. Nye. The Nye Lecturer is selected based on highlighting and recognizing an outstanding cryospheric scientist and her/his recent accomplishments as well as the individual’s ability to present exciting science to the non-cryosphere community of AGU scientists. Previous presenters include Eric Rignot, Jim White and Douglas MacAyeal.

Christina Hulbe

Professor Christina Hulbe. Photo: University of Otago



The Antarctic Science Conference will be held in Dunedin during the week of 26 June 2017. This is an event not to be missed, so mark it in your calendars! It is likely that the Event Manager’s Workshop for those deploying in the 2017/18 season will be held in the latter part of the week. Further details to follow soon.


Other News


A joint research initiative, led by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the US National Science Foundation's Division of Polar Programs, is being focussed on ice mass loss and sea level rise from changes in the Thwaites Glacier region of West Antarctica. This initiative was discussed at the COMNAP AGM in Goa, India. This critical research topic was identified by several community-based reports on Antarctic science priorities including the 2015 US National Academy of Sciences report entitled “A Strategic Vision for NSF Investments in Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research” as well as the 2014 SCAR Horizon Scan.

Research solicitation has now been released and requires proposals to be submitted jointly by UK and US principal investigators and accommodates possible interests from scientists in other countries. Proposals can request logistical support required to enable the scientific work from both the US Antarctic Program and the British Antarctic Survey. It is expected that proposals will be initiated and developed through collaborative discussions by the interested scientists, and that involvement of non-UK or US scientists will also lead to discussions between other National Antarctic Programs operators.

Involvement of New Zealand scientists will likely involve contribution to the project logistics from Antarctica New Zealand. If you are interested in participating in a proposal being submitted to this call please contact our Science Team to discuss further. An Antarctic Logistical Support Request will need to be submitted to Antarctica New Zealand for your participation.



The 2017 Endeavour Round is now underway. The Endeavour Fund invests in excellent research that has high potential to positively transform New Zealand’s future economic performance, sustainability and integrity of our environment, help strengthen our society, and give effect to Vision Mātauranga. The funding will be available through two mechanisms: Smart Ideas; and Research Programmes. Follow this link to learn more.


Upcoming Key Dates:

Smart Ideas: Registrations close at 12 noon, 2 November 2016; concept proposals due by 12 noon, 30 November 2016.

Research Programmes: Registrations close at 12 noon, 8 February 2017; proposals due by 12 noon, 9 March 2017.

Please remember that any proposals requiring logistical support from Antarctica New Zealand will need to submit an Antarctic Logistical Support Request  to Antarctica New Zealand by the same deadline as the full MBIE proposal. Please contact our Science Team well in advance of these deadlines to discuss your requirements.