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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1994-95: VUWAE 39

18. Management of Science in the Ross Dependency

18. Management of Science in the Ross Dependency

In general, it would seem that NZAP can adequately cater for work such as ours. We experienced some inconveniences that have been outlined in this report. There a few things that we believe need looking at, and attention to these issues can only improve the standard of support provided by NZAP.

At Scott Base we had a lot of support and mostly gained equipment of suitable standard. Exceptions were the radio equipment and food boxes. We hope that the comments above will contribute to resolving these problems.

Though we realise that there are many factors controlling aircraft allocation in the Antarctic, we feel that NZAP could provide more support to their own field parties by perhaps being a little less reserved when it comes to asking things of the US program or making them aware of situations in the field. This is especially the case for situations such as our own in which time and particularly amount of food were becoming critical.

In light of our need for a quick air drop of food, it may be worth considering having a pre-packaged emergency food supply stored at Scott Base for immediate dispatch on any aircraft in the hours rather than days before a plane is scheduled to depart. Such a package should include standard food items necessary for normal food consumption and should be already packaged in a state fit for an air-drop. Such a package stored ready for immediate dispatch could avoid the dangerous situation of a field party being stranded without food. Such a package could also save a field party from the demoralising experience of living on US Navy "Survival Rations".

This event involved no guest scientists and no senior scientists. Two students were involved, a Masters student as Science Leader and an Honours student. We do not believe that this page 16 disadvantaged the event in any way. The presence of a more senior scientist would have made little difference to the amount of progress made. All that is required on such trips is someone familiar with maintaining the equipment (the technician), someone familiar with the scientific objectives of the trip (the Science Leader, who in this case was given a thorough briefing in New Zealand and through his own work is familiar with the problems being addressed), people familiar with using the equipment (technician and students) and someone with the ability to make on the spot judgements with regard to data being collected (students and technician).