The Seventh Continent
The Sun from Pole on 20-Sep-2004
Welcome to "The Seventh Continent", Ethan's Antarctic Home Page

A Special Welcome to readers who found my webpage mentioned in the April edition of "Cooking Light" Magazine. You'll find my mention of cooking Thai curry in the Antarctic here.

McMurdo opened for the summer on October 4th, and the first two flights arrived at South Pole on October 21st. We have the busiest season ever underway - the summer population is expected to be a staggering 274. The biggest thing this summer is the work on Ice Cube, but there's plenty more going on, including the shutdown and dismantling of AST/RO.

I'll be especially busy this summer, installing gear in the Temporary Ice Cube Laboratory and helping to deploy DOMs once the drillers start putting in holes. While you are waiting on me to have time to make updates, you can see what I was up to ten years ago this month.

I was surprised be browsing through the Sunday paper in Christchurch and running across a picture of me at the Pole from July, 2004, as I posed for my 300 Club photo

Readers of the online geek comic UserFriendly might recognize me from the plot last year when the UF crew visited the South Pole.

If you've been here before, you might want to look for new entries in my journal. New pictures are coming to the gallery soon. Use the site search or the modifications page to find things quickly.

The feedback page is still working great.

The answer to the number one question, "how many continents are there?" is seven: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia (in decreasing order of size).




AMANDA  (external site)
IceCube  (external site)
Lake Vostok
Sunrise and Sunset Charts
The Ozone Hole
Antarctic Climate


Featured Picture

Self Portrait in Winter
Self Portrait in front of the Transantarctic Mountains, March 1995

My Photo Gallery

On Location

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
McMurdo Station
Lake Hoare


Oldest - March, 1995
Newest - July, 2004
Antarctic Slang



Web Quality Award


Got a question about the Seventh Continent? Have a suggestion? Found a cool Antarctic link? Or, do you just want to talk about the bottom of the world? Drop us a line!


|| Living and Working on the 7th Continent

The Dome at Amunden-
Scott Station

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Perched on nearly two miles of solid ice, the South Pole station is home to 270 people in the summer but much less in the winter. This past year, the winter-over population was the largest ever, a record 86 (things have been trending up from the traditional 21-28 in the old days, with 75 my winter, up from 56 the year before), because of the labor requirements to construct the new South Pole station, The Dome, built in 1975, is getting buried too deeply in the snow to dig out every year and needs to be replaced. The new station is being brought online as parts of it are completed. The new Galley went operational at the beginning of the 2003 Winter season. The new Bio-Med, Laundry and Store were opened to the general station population at the end of the 2003-2004 Summer season, and the new Greenhouse had its first plants by mid-winter 2004. The last two pods, A4 summer housing, and B4, the gymnasium were enclosed as summer ended. Interior work will proceed this winter, materials depending. The new station has been under construction for several years with a few more years left to go. Once it's done and the old buildings under the dome demolished, the dome will go, too, possibly as early as the 2007-2008 season. The old freshie shack and old workout room went in 2003; 2005 has seen the demise of the old greenhouse, the old galley and the old bar; even Bio-Med is gone. Comms, Science, and Upper Berthing will have their turn soon.

McMurdo Station, Ross Island (February, 1995)

McMurdo Station
Sitting on the southern tip of Ross Island, 2,200 miles (3.500 km) due-south of New Zealand, McMurdo serves as the logistics hub for half the continent. In addition to the primary focus of the work here, science, a good part of the 1,000 summer residents (180 in the winter), process the thousands of tons of cargo brought in each year by air and by sea. Without this effort, there would be no Field Camps; there would be no station at the South Pole.

Lake Hoare in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

Lake Hoare in the McMurdo Dry Valleys
Out in the field, the science's the thing. The Field Camp at Lake Hoare is one of several in the region, and is the one that I had the pleasure to work at for a few days in 1995. The Dry Valleys are so called because it doesn't snow there. The terrain prevents the right conditions from occuring that permit precipitation. Lake Hoare, for example, along with Lake Bonney and Lake Fryxell, is nestled between the high walls of the Taylor valley, tucked between tall glaciers. Moist air can't clear the terrain to bring in the snow. Protected, the frozen lake systems provide an excellent opportunity to study simple life forms surviving in amazingly harsh conditions.

Search | What's New | Feedback | Journals | Pictures | Glossary | Babylon 5 | Dilbert


SETI@Home LCDProc Micro Unices Easy Submit


Credits and Disclaimer:
The appearance of the U.S.A.P logo is meant to identify the link to the National Science Foundation's Polar Programs web site, and does not constitute an endorsement by the NSF or any other agency, educational institution, or company. Some of the content of these pages has been verified against publications printed by the National Science Foundation and by the present and former support contractors, Raytheon Polar Services Company and Antarctic Support Associates. The opinions presented here are strictly my own.
Thanks to the folks at Colossus, Inc. for hosting "The Seventh Continent". Keep up the great work, guys.


Valid HTML 4.01!_; Last modified: 24 October 2005
© Copyright 1995-2005, Ethan Dicks (contact me). All Rights Reserved.