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Antarctica – the Great Integrator

Antarctica – the Great Integrator

Leading Antarctic Scientists will meet at Victoria University next week (4-6 July) for Antarctica New Zealand’s annual conference, Antarctica: the Great Integrator.

As well as celebrating wider collaborative links within the scientific community, this event will showcase the newly-formed Joint Antarctic Research Institute, an alliance between Victoria University of Wellington and GNS Science.

Professor Peter Barrett, Director of the Joint Antarctic Research Institute and the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University is delighted the University is hosting the conference.

"We are looking forward to hearing from other Antarctic colleagues and students who worked on the ice in the last season. Following on from the successful international conference on climate change which Victoria hosted earlier this year, and increasing interest in the state of the environment world-wide and the polar regions in particular, we'll hear the latest from some of the leading people carrying out the research in these and many other issues related to Antarctica."

Antarctica New Zealand Chief Executive, Lou Sanson says one of the most rewarding aspects of working in a remote location is the sense of commonality and community that develops despite the diverse backgrounds of those who work there.

“Nowhere is this form of integration more apparent than in Antarctica. This year’s Antarctic Conference focuses on the most fundamental aspect of our existence on the ice, being our ability to work together. It also highlights the continual development and strengthening of strategic alliances, both on the ice and at national and international levels.”

The conference theme this year is Antarctica: The Great Integrator recognising that working on and around the continent unites local and international partners in the diverse topics of research, environmental protection and logistics support among other things.

The annual Antarctic Conference features keynote speakers, scientific and cultural presentations, poster sessions and a panel discussion. In addition to the conference programme, Antarctica New Zealand is hosting two half-day workshops, on the Latitudinal Gradient Project (LGP), which coordinates research on ecology along the length of the Victoria Land coast, and ANDRILL, a multinational project drilling later this year into strata beneath McMurdo Sound for past Antarctic climate history.

“With the LGP heading into its fourth operational year, this workshop provides an opportunity to discuss our collective achievements and future plans. These discussions will form the basis of the International LGP Workshop, being held in Hobart later this year,” said Antarctica New Zealand Science Strategy Manager, Dean Peterson.

Just four months out from the initial drilling on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, the ANDRILL workshop is a timely opportunity to discuss science and operational issues, as well as identifying areas for public outreach and education.


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