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23 November, 1999

More Mcmurdo Faces.

Here are three more people who help support the scientific effort in Antarctica. See if there is a job you would be interested in.

Aaron Spitzer is a graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota, with a BA in Political Science. Since then he has worked in Alaska as a journalist in the towns of Juno and Bethel where he was the managing editor of the Tundra Drum newspaper. Because of his love for polar environments, when he heard of an opening on the staff of the Antarctic Sun he jumped at the chance to visit this remote place. He feels complete now that he has worked at both poles. Although only here for the “season” Aaron says he would consider wintering over. There are three people who work for the paper here at Mcmurdo.

Kenton Edele has worked as a meteorologist for 27 years, and is here in Antarctica for his 6th season. It is his job to give updated weather forecasts helping the flight office schedule flights to and from the Pole and New Zeeland. Here you see Ken at his computer where he downloads information from the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Institute in Monterey, which provides the weather model he uses to make his reports.

Here you see Ken with the other tools he uses to predict the weather in Antarctica. Ken says they both work with about the same reliability, an eight ball, weather dice, shorty the penguin and a weather rock. There are 7 full time meteorologists here at Mcmurdo, staffing this office 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Shelly DeNike is in here 4th season working in Antarctica. Before this, she was in the Peace Corps for 2 years and an engineer for 5 years before that. Highly skilled in many areas, she learned her skills as a radio operator for MacOps (Macmurdo Field Operations Command Center) here at Mcmurdo. The station operates two kinds of radios: 1)VHF (very high frequency) which are the hand held radios people use around town and out on short hikes, and 2) HF (high frequency) for deep field camps,(this includes us on Mt Erebus), the South Pole station and aircraft moving around Antarctica. Her job includes monitoring the science groups which are outside Mcmurdo. Each camp must check in every day at 8:00am (with a grace period of 1 hour) to let MacOps know all is well. After 9:00 am and no word, Shelly tries to contact them. Usually it is that the scientists were busy and forgot to call. If still no contact is made, she calls SAR (Search And Rescue) to make the next decision. All the camps and aircraft carry a PLB (personal locator beacon) which is activated in the time of emergency. In the case of aircraft, it activates on impact. The devices gives off a signal which is picked up in Australia, decoded and then sent back to Mcmurdo with the identification of which devise went off and where. If Shelly receives this information it is her job to contact the SAR department for the next step. The MacOps radio room is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

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