It is not all about science here at Palmer Station, and that's because it is the smallest station that the United States mans in Antarctica, only 44 persons max. McMurdo has over 1000 people and South Pole over 140 in the summer, and both of those stations get much more support staff than we do at Palmer Station. So, here each and every one of us are, custodian, busboy, fireman, trauma team member, and bathroom cleaner, etc.
AED training for the Trauma team.
But this is what makes Palmer such a unique place; we feel like a family here, you don’t leave a mess for someone else to clean up, because more than likely you will be the person cleaning up in the near future. Every week you are responsible for a Galley and Scullery Help (GASH) session, which is cleaning up the cooking and eating area. Saturday’s are the House Mouse work sessions, where you pick from a bucket containing household cleaning jobs such as vacuuming or cleaning the bathrooms. Also, if you are a seasonal employee with Antarctic Support Contractors, you are assigned to one or more “teams” such as Ocean/Glacier Search and Rescue, Trauma, or Fireman.
Typical fire gear set up at all the doors leading into the buildings.
If you are assigned to Ocean Search and Rescue, or Fireman teams, then you must also attend training back in the states before being deployed. Safety meetings are held every Wednesday and each team meeting once a week on Thursday to go over a specific part of what to expect. Every once in a while, because the cook is off on Sundays, a science team or group of people will even cook dinner for the whole base. We made noodles and red sauce, salad, bread, and cheesecake for our meal!
Dr. Almsler working the stove for our cooking night.