Be one of 5 volunteers to join environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition investigating the presence of microplastics on the most isolated continent on Earth–Antarctica. Apply by 11:59pm EDT on October 8, 2019. Terms apply.
Train in Chile: You’ll start by meeting your teammates and expedition leader, Kirstie Jones-Williams. After introductions, you’ll spend two weeks training, both physically and mentally, so you’re prepared to conduct research in Antarctica’s harsh environment. Here you’ll get used to scientific language, check your gear, meet local partners, and explore the wild Chilean outdoors.
Research in Antarctica: Once you hit the ground in Union Glacier Camp, you’ll spend ten days filled with long hours of work and exploration. You’ll get the chance to visit the South Pole and explore the beauty of Antarctic sites like the Drake Icefall, Charles Peak Windscoop, and Elephant’s Head. Then, in-between riding snowmobiles and fat bikes, much of your time will be spent hand-in-hand with your team, collecting snow samples to be studied in the lab, and building your research to see if microplastics are present in Antarctica’s interior.
Prepare your findings: After your time on the ground, you and your team will return to Chile to spend a few days processing your learnings, in order to show the impact humans have had on the most remote region on Earth. You’ll work with Ocean Conservancy to become ambassadors for protecting the oceans, sharing with the world how others can help minimize their collective plastic footprint and act as stewards to our planet.
Go with a purpose
As a Citizen Scientist, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to real scientific research on the impact humans have on the environment. Over the span of a month, you’ll work as a team, collecting and analyzing snow core samples to determine if microplastics have made their way into the interior of the continent. These findings could help change public policy surrounding how we use plastic and how to properly dispose of it. If it’s a success, this expedition could lead to more studies on how to better protect this unique ecosystem and our planet as a whole.