Update from Antarctica – on Antarctica Day

1 December 2017

Today, 1st December, is Antarctica Day. This celebrates the signing of the Antarctic Treaty by 12 nations in 1959, setting aside nearly 10% of the Earth "forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes...in the interests of all mankind”.

Looking towards South Georgia, with Bird Island in the foreground. Image: Pete Bucktrout, British Antarctic Survey

Looking towards South Georgia, with Bird Island in the foreground. Image: Pete Bucktrout, British Antarctic Survey

Dave Grove. Ramboll

Dave Grove

Director, and government lead
T: +44 7841 498 236

18 months into Ramboll’s seven year partnership with the British Antarctic Survey, the Technical Advisor team continues their work to support BAS on the modernisation of their Antarctic research stations and infrastructure. During this Austral summer, work at Bird Island is gathering momentum as construction gets underway to increase the station’s storage capacity.

Bird Island Research Station is an important centre for research into bird and seal biology. Lying off the north-west tip of South Georgia, it is one of the richest wildlife sites in the world (Bird Island was so named by Captain Cook in 1775 after the numbers of birds on the small island). The island is home to wandering albatrosses, penguins, petrels and turns, as well as elephant and fur seals.

Ramboll engineer, Alan Roper was on board the RRS James Clark Ross as it transported the construction equipment in preparation for the building of Bird Island’s new Beck House. This included the transportation of a 14 tonne telehandler, no mean feat in this challenging continent. Here we can share some footage of this meticulously planned BAS operation. 

As well as our formal Technical Advisor responsibilities, we are as committed as BAS when it comes to promoting this unique and valuable continent. As we celebrate Antarctic Day, Ramboll engineer and STEM Polar Ambassador Beccy Cusworth, and Helen Baker, visited two school assemblies, giving insights to what it is like living and working in the world’s most harsh environment and the special wildlife that they came across on their previous visits.

This timelapse shows the unloading of the telehandler onto Bird Island, under the watchful gaze of the local seal population. The timelapse appears courtesy of our BAS colleagues on Bird Island.

 

Project information

Ramboll. RRS Sir David Attenborough. Image courtesy of British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey

Appointed by NERC as Technical Advisors to BAS (British Antarctic Survey), Ramboll is providing specialist engineering and consultancy services for seven years. Delivering a host of projects within the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP), BAS and its Technical Advisors (including NORR Architects and Turner & Townsend) are preparing for one of the world’s most advanced Polar research ships - the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which will be ready for operation from 2019.

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