• Dr Aga Nowak

2019-2020 Antarctic Expedition (BIOICE)

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

The beginning has begun!

You don't really register the upcoming trip until you start filling out the paperwork. Dozens of pages with any details you can imagine; names, addresses, medical history, permissions, detailed plans, lists of equipment, exact weights of your personal and science gear.. Hours in front of computer, by the phone and my favourite - with the maps.

Next BIG thing is the medical check. The doctors were thorough. Blood tests, heart and lungs checks, X-rays, dentist, vaccinations. It took 3 weeks and 7 visits to Longyearbyen Sykehus (our local hospital) but alas everything is in order. Paperwork is signed and sent off to the Norwegian Polar Institute for approval.

Time for cargo.

Packing scientific equipment takes a lot of preparation and forward thinking. You need to make sure that equipment you want to send, and use, is permitted to operate in the area, and can be use safely. So again, you start with paperwork.

It includes rules and regulations for operation in selected area of the Antarctic, lengthy descriptions of safety regulations for general travel and operations, and of course research base specific requirements.

In short, it is a lot.

And then there are rules for use of hazardous materials. Batteries, chemicals etc. If you need both, then get ready for a rollercoaster of forms, permits and a good deal of flexibility.

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