What would you do if you could expand your skills in environmental assessment and share your findings with the world? An opportunity to work with Antarctic scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams will do just that. Collaborating with Airbnb, Ocean Conservancy and Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, Jones-Williams will guide five carefully chosen volunteers in the Antarctic Sabbatical.
Responsible vacationing is a growing topic and one that has been a focus of the Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions company mission since its team of Managing Partners set foot on the ice. Unlike any other adventure travel, ALE’s Antarctic Camps have long been established as a world premier adventure location. One with 30 years of experience on the ice, expert guides, luxurious camps and a team of founding Partners who are advocates of the environment.
The collaboration with Airbnb will bring attention to the need for conservation. ALE is known for its strict adherence to the Antarctic Treaty and to International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators guidelines, while educating its guests on safe and environmentally responsible Antarctic Tourism.
During their time on the ice, the five citizen scientists will experience the hospitality of ALE’s camps at Union Glacier and the exclusive Three Glaciers Retreat while studying snow samples. Reearching the presence of microplastics around the world can be an important gateway to understanding global pollution. Small plastic particles can enter our environment in many ways through clothing, microbeads, and plastic pellets from personal care products. According to the Chemical & Engineering News, about 8 million metric tons of waste plastics enter the ocean each year much of which breaks down to cause microplastic pollution.
Kirstie Jones-Williams is a passionate advocate for protecting polar environments and a PhD research student at the University of Exeter. Jones-Williams will lead a team of five volunteers looking to experience the Antarctic continent and learn how to study the effects of microplastics.
According to Jones-Williams, she “Hopes to collaborate and communicate her findings to a wider audience.” Working with ALE as a logistics and guide partner will make sure the program adheres to safe and environmentally sound travel to the continent along with strict conservation practices on the ice as directed by IAATO standards and the Antarctic Treaty.
Scientist Jones-Williams has dedicated her studies to microplastic effects and partnerships with organizations like the United Nations Environmental Program World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and is excited about this new adventure. Sabbatical applications are open until October 8th, 2019.
The Antarctic Sabbatical will begin with an immersive two-week training course in Punta Arenas, Chile, where the five volunteers will learn about glaciology, field sampling, equipment practice, and lab work.
From there, the group will fly to Antarctica to begin their mission collecting samples to be studied in the lab. By collecting and studying snow samples, they will be able to test them for foreign microfibers—or microplastics—to see how far pollution has made its way into the continent’s interior.
During their time in Antarctica, the volunteers will also get the chance to travel to the South Pole, see the Drake Icefall, and view Charles Peak Windscoop.
The last week will be spent back in Chile analyzing the results of what was collected on the ground and working the Ocean Conservancy to teach others about how to minimize their plastic footprints on the planet.
Our main camp is located in the spectacular and remote southern Ellsworth Mountains, on the broad expanse of Union Glacier. It is only accessible by air and all of our guests take their first steps in Antarctica here, on a naturally occurring blue-ice runway.
We are 1,859 miles (2991 km) from the southern tip of Chile and a short flight from Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica. Our neighbors at the South Pole are just over 600 miles (1138 km) away.
Union Glacier Camp is the only facility of its kind in Antarctica. Our full-service private camp operates during the Antarctic summer (November through January) and is dismantled at the end of each season. Our camp not only provides accommodations to guests on guided experiences but also serves as a logistics hub, supporting private expeditions and National Antarctic Programs.
At Three Glaciers Retreat you are surrounded by large expanses of actively moving snow and ice that are flowing from the Polar Plateau towards the Ronne Ice Shelf. As the glaciers carve their way through the mountains and flow over uneven terrain, deep holes and cracks can form in the surface of the snow. All services and experienced guides and hospitality staff are provided for your comfort, safety and guidance to support all guests and the citizen scientists visiting our retreat.
Three Glaciers’ secluded setting offers total privacy. Our camp is equipped with all of the amenities and creature comforts found in wilderness lodges worldwide. We can house up to 16 guests in our dual occupancy Polarhaven suites.The dining room and lounge are the heart of our camp. Here the Three Glaciers chef creates original dishes with fresh ingredients flown in from Chile. You’ll be delighted at the range of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, baked goods, and fantastic deserts.