Here is the letter from the BAS team currently carrying out research in the Antarctic Circle.
I have been forwarded your email to our Press Office about how the Year 6’s have been learning about and writing reports on Antarctica this half term. The reports you sent are lovely to read and I hope the children love Antarctica as much as I do J
I am based on the Bird Island Research Station off the west end of South Georgia, just north of the Antarctic Circle, and am a zoological field assistant carrying out research on four species of albatross. I have been here since October 2019 and won’t be returning to the UK until late March 2021.
We don’t have the year round ice like on the main continent of Antarctica but we have had plenty of icebergs floating past the island and grounding around our coastline on submerged rocks. Out of the wildlife in the children’s reports we have had plenty of leopard seals throughout winter, they love the smaller chunks of iceberg and taking naps on them, a few snow petrels have been seen flying around the island and we always have penguins around. At the moment the gentoo penguins are starting to build nests out of pebbles and find their partners for the summer breeding season, the smaller albatross species are doing the same, renovating their mud mound nests and reconnecting with partners, and the wandering albatross chicks are almost grown now with their fledgling feathers poking out through the fluffy down. We are truly amongst the wildlife living here, the other week there was a leopard seal having a bit of a floating nap right next to our jetty and the birds are just everywhere. The only people on the island are researchers and there aren’t many of us here so the wildlife is often curious about the strange humans walking around, particularly younger animals
If the children have any questions they’d like to ask me I’m very happy to answer them. I’m always keen to engage children in Antarctica and science in general but I especially like to share information with girls about the sciences and the women who work in them. I am proud to work for a world leading scientific organisation which has a female director. Below are a few links about the women working for BAS and our director Professor Dame Jane Francis;
Let me know if you’d like anything else.