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Great Reads and Resources about Antarctica

Books about Explorers and the Heroic Age

There are thousands of books about the Heroic Age. These are some that I enjoyed the most. And in most cases that meant sitting on the edge of my chair. How did these people do it?

The Worst Journey in the World Aspley Cherry-Garrard 1922 (still in print) This is an often poignant, beautifully written memoir of Scott's last expedition. The story of the 5 week winter journey to gather emperor penguin eggs is a harrowing classic. A must read.

Shackleton Roland Huntford 1985 A great biography of Huntford's hero (and one of mine too).

Nansen Roland Huntford 1998 While Nansen never made it South, without him I doubt that any would have as soon as they did. He pioneered many Polar exploration techniques and invented scientific instruments still used today. He was a diplomat, a rogue and a good friend of Lady Kathleen Scott. He loaned Amundsen the Fram, the ship that took him South. Fram can be seen in Oslo today.

Scott and Amundsen Roland Huntford 1984 Gripping treatment of the race to the pole. Beware-Huntford is heavy handed with Scott. This book is available in paper as The Last Place on Earth (also the name of the 7 part video)

Scott of the Antarctic Elspeth Huxley 1978 A less vitriolic view of Scott, antidote to Huntford

The South Pole Roald Amundsen 1913 The first to the Pole tells his tale efficiently and accessibly, the same way he reached the pole.

Alone Richard Byrd Spending the winter alone in Antarctica.

Endurance Alfred Lansing The unbelievable story of Shackleton' s Endurance journey. This is as amazing as the Cherry's winter journey and Mawson's trek. A must read.

Below the Convergence Voyages Toward Antarctica 1699-1839 Alan Gurney 1997 Wonderful! Early sea voyages to locate the "mythical" Terra Incognita Australis. Everyone is here from Sir Edmund Haley of comet fame to Captain James Cook. Great sailing and great science.

The Crossing of Antarctica Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Vivian Fuchs 1958 Crossing the continent in the late 1950's. Many photos.

I May Be Sometime Francis Spufford 1998 Very cool book- the hold of the ice (both Arctic and Antarctic) on the British imagination, politics and deeds. The title refers to Oate's (a member of Scott's last expedition) last words. He uttered "I am just going outside and may be sometime" as he crawled out into the blizzard to die.

Mawson's Will Lennard Bickel Absolutely gripping, harrowing and unbelievable - crevasses, death and survival alone out on the ice. Another must read, be prepared to stay up all night.


Antarctica Elliot Porter Elliot Porter's big beautiful coffee table book published in the 70's - at the library

Antarctica-Beyond the Southern Ocean Colin Monteath 1997 Another big beautiful coffee table book - incredible.

Dry Valleys National Geographic October 1998 The closest one can get to Mars. Where I will be winter 1998-1999. Just beautiful, breathtaking.

Shackleton National Georgraphic November 1998 Got wind of this as a hot tip.

Fred Hurley The photagrapher with Shackleton on the Endurance in 1915. Haunting, drop-dead gorgeous photos taken under extreme duress. See any of the Shackleton books for a peek at these.

Herbert Ponting The photographer for Scott's last expedition (1911-1912). These are poignant and eerie photos. He also made a film, 90 Degrees South which is around, and sometimes shown on university campuses.

Antarctic Maps

Antarctica Map National Geographic, April 1987 Cross section shows that Ice is grounded below sea level in West Antarctica, above in East Antarctica. Seals on the other side. Worth looking for. Great for the classroom.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) www.usgs.gov Maps, Maps and More Maps - aerial, geological, topographic, 3D. They have it all and they are reasonably priced - most maps are about $4. Online Antarctic order form.

About Antarctic Science

Dry Valleys National Geographic October 1998 The closest one can get to Mars (so far). Where I will be winter 1998-1999. Just beautiful, breathtaking.

What Drives Glacial Cycles Wallace S. Broecker and George H. Denton. Scientific American Jan 1990 Good review arcticle on climate change. Discusses the meteorological, astronomical, fossil and geological evidence. Ocean/atmosphere reorganization. Accessible and clear.

The Ends of the Earth Isaac Asimov Asimov comes comes through again with this clear, entertaining and exciting book about Antarctica. Highly recommended.

Super Cool Science- South Pole Stations, Past, Present and Future Sandra Markle 1998 The history of the the stations at the pole-great photos.

Glaciers and Landscape David E. Sugden and Brian S. John A thorough and accessible textbook on glaciers and what they do. Published in 1977, but a new edition is in the works. Available at university libraries.

Science on Ice-Research in the Antarctic Michael Woods 1995 Everything from Astronomy to Zoology, Ozone to Mars on Earth.

Penguins of the World Wayne Lynch 1997 All penguins, all the time!!! Maps, information, extensive bibliography.

The Poles Life Nature Library Time Life Books 1977 Yes these are the reliable, inspirational books from our childhood (ok very late adolescence). Still has good information and photos.

Fossil Windfall at Antarctica's Edge Natural History, May 1986.

The Ice Age World Bjorn G. Andersen and Harold W. Borns 1994 Although concentrating on the northern hemisphere during the last 2.5 million years, this is a valuable book with fabulous diagrams and photos. Climate change, how glaciers work, how they shape the land. Excellent section on processes and scientific methodology.

Bold Endeavors Jack Stuster Behavioral research done in Antarctica (psychology of small groups) applied to a three year journey to Mars.

Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 NSF 95-154 National Science Foundation, office of Polar Programs 201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230

or contact pubs@nsf.gov

Polar Connections Exploring the World's Natural Laboratories NSF's 1998 National Science and Technology Week. NSF Arlington, Virginia (also see the web site: www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nstw/teach/nstw98)


Antarctica Will Stanley Robinson 1998 New science fiction about the continent. Opening scenes quite eerie. Robinson was a member of NSF's Artists and Writers program.

Terra Incognita Sara Wheeler 1998 Wheeler takes you to Antarctica as a WOO - a member of NSF's Artists and Writers program. One of my favorites. In the travel section.

Braving the Frozen Frontier Women Working in Antarctica Rebecca L. Johnson 1997 Another parcticipant of NSF's Artists and Writers program tells us about women on the Ice.

James Caird Society named after the lifeboat that carried Shackelton back to South Georgia from Elephant Island. "Formed in 1994 to educate the general public about all of Shackleton's ....expeditions and related aspects of antarctic history.

James Caird Society, c/o Dulwich College, London SE21 7LD, UK

Skating to Antarctica Jenny Diski 1998 Traveling to Anatarctica as a metaphor for cleansing your psyche.

Antarctic Navigator Elizabeth Arthur Fiction about obsession with Scott and the continent. W. Philips says "poetic descriptions and stark realism" surpass most nonfiction.

Antarctica Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit Jeff Rubin 1996 The best - chock full of practical information and photographs.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge "The ice was here, the ice was there/The ice was all around:/It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,/Like noises in a swound." Terror in verse.

Voyage of the Narwhal Andrea Barrett. 18th century Arctic science in fictionalized form.

In Patagonia Bruce Chatwin Ok, so it's not Antarctica, but it's still one of the best travel books - quite lyrical and inspirational.


The Last Place on Earth Seven part film based on Huntford's book. Everyone looks the part and it really imerses you in the rivalries and attitudes of times. Might be hard to follow all the twists and turns with no background, but you would be inspired to find out about all those characters.

Science in a Cold Place - PBS 2 hours Dry Valleys, fish antifreeze, penguin roundups and scuba.

Live from the Poles:

1. Oceans, Ice and Life
2. Secrets of Survival
3. Seeing the Future

order from:
Passport to Knowledge
PO Box 1502
Summit New Jersey 07902-1502 All 3 $55 or $19.95 each

Warnings from the Ice Nova WBGH Boston (800) 255-9424

Emperors of Antarctica Discovery Channel Video Discovery Communications, Inc. Discovery Enterprises Group Bethesda, Md. 20814

Antarctic Wildlife Adventure National Geographic (800) 368-2728

Antarctica an Adventure of a Different Nature Finlet-Holiday Film (800) 345-6707

Behold Antarctica National Science Foundation. Arlington Va 1991

Beautiful Antarctica National Science Foundation Arlington Va 1991

Icebound Available from the International Antarctic Centre, Education Programme Resources () 100 years of exploration

Ozone - Cancer in the Sky Wild South Available from the International Antarctic Centre, Education Programme Resources () Why does ozone depletion happen and what are the consequences?

The Longest Night Wild South Available from the International Antarctic Centre, Education Programme Resources () The overwinterers and an Aurora Australis

Solid Water Liquid Rock Wild South Available from the International Antarctic Centre, Education Programme Resources () Fire and ice - Erebus lava lake and ice chimneys and caves.

90 Degrees South Herbert Ponting's flilm of Scott's last (1911-1912) I saw it on University of Chicago's campus. keep your eyes peeled.

John Carpenter's The Thing The most popular movie at the pole in the winter? At the video store.

Shackleton's Endurance Voyage A studio movie is in the works and is due to be released in 1999.

Electronic Resources

Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic www.glacier.rice.edu Click on Teachers Experiencing Antarctica, Go to Meet the Teachers and see what we're up to while on The Ice!! E-mail us and parcticipate in CU-See-Me sessions!

tea.rice.edu Links, FAQ's, resources, and curricula!

Blue Ice Focus on Antarctica www.onlineclass.com/Bl/Blsub_web.html

Online class, focus on Antarctica in October and January. Looks interesting, but there is a fee.

Live from Antarctica 2 http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/antarctica2 Curricula, videos, books and teacher guides and supplies

Discovery Online www.discovery.com/exp/antarctica/antarctica.html

Fire aboard the Aurora Australis. Home of the Ice Cam - Watch the sea ice grow!!

Polar Connections www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nstw/teach/nstw98

NSF's 1998 National Science and Technology Week's theme was Polar. Links, more links and activities. Highly recommended.

Mt. Erebus Observatory www.ees.nmt.edu/Geop/erebus.html

This is hands down my students favorite volcano. This is the homepage for the most southern active volcano in the world. One of the only volcanoes with a lava lake!

Arctica www.gene.com/ae/AE/mspot

Access Excellence's big fabulous unit about the mysterious disappearance of the Franklin expedition. They were looking for the northwest passage on the Erebus and Terror - the same vessels that gave their names to the volcanoes on Ross Island in the South.

Low Latitude Antarctic Gazeteer http://top.monad.net/~rstephenson

All kinds of historical trivia and photos - a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Cold Regions Bibliography Project http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/scitech/coldregions/access.html

Very COOL bibliography from the Library of Congress - 40 years worth!

New South Polar Times

The internet newletter provides students and teachers around the world with info on Antarctica, on the research and fun facts about life there. Teaching ideas.

Cold Links Hotlist of the National Snow and Ice Data Center www-nsidc.colorado.edu/NSIDC/coldlinks.html Many Many Cryospheric, Atmospheric Links. Very comprehensive. Data links, teaching ideas.

Polar Sites on the WWW www.dpc.dk/Sites/sites/sites.html Organized into miscellaneous topics and scientific research by country. Comprehensive.

Scott Polar Research Institute www.spri.cam.ac.uk Well - it is the repository. Many posters and books available.

Underwater Antarctica www.knowingnature.comMcM1.html

NSF's Antarctic Artists and Writers program sponsored Leighton Taylor and Norbert Wu. Great photos.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) www.usgs.gov Maps, Maps and More Maps - aerial, geological, topographic, 3D. They have it all and they are reasonably priced - most maps are about $4. Online Antarctic order form.

Welcome to The Ice www.theice.org - Rob Holmes has been to the ice many times and this web site is indicative of his love for the place. Photos, links and memoirs of former residents of Antarctica.

Welcome to Antarctica www.tc.umn.edu/~brown123/antarctica Richard Brown went to Antarctica and created this website - features online discussion with overwinterers.

Antarctic Ice Cap from Space http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/planets/jpeg/ear.antarc.jpg Wow!

Raytheon Well maybe we'll luck out and instead of running away to join the circus, we can get a job in Antarctica!! Also has links to the Antarctic Sun-News and a great pole image link. Order a catalog - T shirts, key chains, patches and hats.

What is a Glacier Anyway? http://www.whistler.net/glacier/whatgl.html

Images and clear explanations, cool facts, fire and ice.

Byrd Polar Research Center www-bprc.mps.ohio-state.edu Good science Links, science journal excerpts.

AMANDA Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array http://amanda.berkeley.edu/www/amanda.html

Long Term Ecological Research Project (LTER) McMurdo www.nrel.colostate.edu/PROGRAMS/LTER/MCM/MCM.html

NOAA CMDL wwwlcmdl.noaa.gov Comprehensive ozone site

Mawson Station Webcam www.antdiv.gov.au/aad/exop/sfo/mawson/video.html Picture at this Australian station is updated every hour!! Also contains links to weather stats for several locations on the seventh continent.

Mawson Hut Foundation www.mawsons-hut.com.au/ One of the many sites that let you visit some historical huts used by the early explorers

Virtual Tour of McMurdo http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/vtour/mcmurdo Cyber McMurdo and South Pole Station

Cara (Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica) http:astro.uchicago.edu/cara Links and educational outreach

Southpole Adventure Page http://southpole.com Teaching ideas, links. In 1997 Janice vanCleve and Cara's Randy Landsberg took students to Antarctica. Activities. Adaptable for younger students.

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