ALE has been proud over the years to host top Korean scientists and support world renowned Korean adventurers. Explorers such as Park Young Seok and Heo Young-Ho have reached the summit of Mount Vinson or skied to the South Pole. So it was an honour to receive an invitation to visit the Korean Polar Research Institute’s (KOPRI) new research facility.
KOPRI’s New Research Institute in Seoul
ALE owner Mike Sharp had the opportunity to tour the new Korean Polar Research Institute, along with other delegates attending the 25th Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) meeting in Seoul.
KOPRI undertakes a world-class program in polar research and Mike was impressed by the size and organization of the facility. He was especially interested to see the meteorite lab and to reconnect with KoreaMET scientists, whom ALE had supported during Antarctic meteorite surveys at Thiel Mountains in 2008.
A New Antarctic Research Station
KOPRI gave a presentation on their new research station, Jang Bogo, currently under construction at Terra Nova Bay in Northern Victoria Land. The new station, scheduled to open in 2014, will enhance KOPRI’s scientific capabilities and promote international collaboration in Antarctic research, including climate change studies. KOPRI aims to achieve zero waste discharge both during construction and operation of the station, and to maximize alternative energy use, such as wind and solar power.
Jang Bogo Station is named after a powerful and respected 9th Century maritime figure, who opened up Korean trade routes in the Yellow Sea and protected traders from pirates. The name was selected in memory of his pioneering spirit. This will be Korea’s second Antarctic research station. KOPRI also operates King Sejong Station, on King George Island, as well as a research icebreaker, Araon, and Dasan Station in the high Arctic.
COMNAP serves as a forum for Managers of National Antarctic Programs to develop improved practices, facilitate international partnerships, provide opportunities for information exchange, and offer advice to the Antarctic Treaty System. The 2013 COMNAP AGM was held in Seoul, South Korea, from July 8-10. Mike Sharp attended on behalf of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).
KOPRI Home: eng.kopri.re.kr/home_e/contents/e_1200000/view.cms