Antarctic Meteorologist

Antarctic Meteorologist

What's it like to work in Antarctica?

Antarctica has become a base for collecting meteorological data and helping us to understand our climate. But what is it like to work there? Future Morph interviewed Tamsin, an Antarctic meteorologist, to find out

What does your typical day involve?

I usually have to start pretty early, 7am with my first weather observation. Then I grab some breakfast and head out to launch a weather balloon. Later in the day I have more weather observations to complete, snow samples to collect, instruments to fix or perhaps field work which involves visiting remote sites where we have installed automatic weather stations. I love the day to day variation in my job.

What attracted you to this job?

The unknown mainly. I wanted an adventure. Also, I'm addicted to snowboarding and have always loved all things to do with snow and ice. I also find the science fascinating and like the idea of contributing to something I consider worthwhile, but if I'm being totally honest, that was probably a secondary consideration after the lifestyle!

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

Making things happen that wouldn't have happened otherwise. I find it really satisfying when I can put in a little extra effort and make a project become a reality. I also really enjoy communicating science by visiting schools and just by talking to people about what I do.

Have there been any embarrassing moments?

Yes, very many, not sure how many of them I can write about here though! When you live in close confines with a group of people for a long time you get to the stage where you no longer really get embarrassed.

I used to find going to the toilet whilst tied to another person with a rope and with nowhere to hide a bit embarrassing but now I just get on with it. Once, when out camping, I had to go outside to have a pee in a  really bad blizzard. Even though it was only exposed for less than a minute, I managed to freeze my bum, literally! I got frostnip, which is the stage before frostbite. That was pretty embarrasssing as I had to bare my bum in the tent - it had turned white! It was really painful as it thawed out, I won't be doing that again in a hurry!

This interview was provided by Future Morph, the internet's best resource for science, technology, engineering and maths careers. To read the full interview, visit the Future Morph website.