Entering the Home Stretch
After a fruitful season of scientific research, the last teams of scientists bid farewell to the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica on Friday, February 4th. All scientists have since returned to their home countries and are looking forward to studying the samples and data they collected during their time in Antarctica.
Now that we’re down to only 12 people, the station is now a lot quieter than it was before.
The rest of us continue to go about our business collecting data for scientific projects until we close down the station at the end of the season, preparing for next season, and starting to prepare the station for overwintering (which is especially important for the water and electrical systems). There’s still a lot to do before the reaming team members leave for the season, but we’ll talk about that in more detail in our next update!
Live from the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica!
In the meantime, Science Liaison Officer Henri Robert and Head Engineer Johnny Gaelens have been busy doing online lessons with classrooms in Belgium and around the world, including Croatia, France, the UK, and the US.
Demand for the online lessons has increased steadily over the last few years to the point that Henri’s and Johnny’s schedules until the end of the season are packed with online lessons with students of all ages and disciplines. These lessons are on top of the daily duties at the station!
Over the course of the 2021-22 season, Henri and Johnny have hosted numerous online lessons with schools, all of which have been greatly appreciated by both teachers and students, who are captivated by the Antarctic landscape that can be seen from the station’s windows, what they can learn about living at a zero emission research station, daily life in Antarctica, the scientific research being done at the station, the effects of climate change, Antarctica wildlife, and the erosion of biodiversity.
“Demand is so high that we don’t have enough time to get to all the requests we receive,” Henri said. “We have to schedule them for next season already!”
The outreach that BELARE team members do at the station perfectly complements the education and outreach activities being carried out by IPF staff in Belgian schools.
If you or someone you know would like to schedule an online lesson live from the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica - the world’s first zero emission polar research station - please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work to find a time to schedule you in in the future!
Picture: The last teams of scientists for the 2021-22 season leave PEA - © International Polar Foundation