Rothera Research Station

Rothera Point, Adelaide Island

Position
Lat. 67°35'8"S, Long. 68°7'59"W
Occupied from
25 October 1975 to present
Staff
Summer: 100, Winter: 22

Rothera Research Station is situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula. The site includes a crushed rock runway, hanger and wharf. Rothera is the centre for biological research and for supporting deep-field and air operations. It is the largest British Antarctic facility and
supports a wide range of collaborative science programmes.

Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica
Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica

Location

Approximately 1,860km south of the Falkland Islands and 1,630km south-east of Punta Arenas in Chile Adelaide Island is 140km long and heavily glaciated with mountains of up to 2,565 metres high. The station is built on a promontory of rock at the southern extremity of the Wormald Ice Piedmont.

Rothera Station can be found towards the top right of this image , see it?
Rothera Station can be found towards the top right of this image, see it?

Personnel

The station is open throughout the year. In summer, the population peaks at just over 100 people. In the winter months, April to mid-October, a compliment of around 22 continues the science work and looks after the station infrastructure.

The new Bransfield House balcony at Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.
The new Bransfield House balcony at Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.

The work disciplines on the station include:

  • marine and terrestrial biologists
  • meteorologists
  • electronics engineers
  • dive officer
  • boating officer
  • chef
  • doctor
  • vehicle and generator mechanics
  • electricians
  • plumbers
  • builders
  • field assistants
  • communications managers
  • station management team

Climate

In the summer, temperatures are typically in the range 0 to +5°C. In winter they are more likely to be between –5°C and – 20°C. Due to the coastal location and the track taken by southern ocean low-pressure weather systems, temperatures can vary widely at any time of year. Sea ice may be present from late May to late November but it takes a prolonged period with calm conditions for the ice to form and become fast.

The prevailing wind direction is northerly. Gale-force winds are usually recorded on 70 days per year. Snow can fall at any time of year, though in recent times the main deposition has come at the end of winter. It does occasionally rain at Rothera.

Laying just south of the Antarctic circle the station receives 24-hour daylight in summer. For a few weeks in winter the sun does not rise above the horizon at all.

Rothera Research Station in the winter
Rothera Research Station in the winter

Wildlife

The coastal location means that we are able to observe a good selection of the Antarctic birds and mammals. Of the penguin species, Adélie are the most numerous, while chinstrap and gentoos are only occasionally present in the summer. The emperor penguin is seen infrequently, with a sighting most likely in September, October or November.

There are breeding populations of Dominican gull (three pairs) and South Polar skua (15 pairs or more). Antarctic terns and Wilson’s petrels are present offshore through the summer months but they chose to nest on higher mountain ridges. The blue-eyed shag will be seen whenever the sea is not frozen, as it breeds on several offshore islands. See other birds to find out more details about the birds found at Rothera.

Weddell seals are the most obvious mammal and are present all year round. In late September, pups are born out on the sea ice. crabeater and elephant seals are also present, and fur seals turn up in varying numbers at the end of each summer. The leopard seal is present all year round, but despite its size it is not actually seen that frequently.

Small numbers of Minke and humpback whales are seen in Ryder Bay each summer. Some years the minke is observed almost daily. A family of orcas inhabit the larger Marguerite Bay area and are usually seen from the station several times each summer.

See whales and seals to find out more details.


Station life

There are two ways of travelling to Rothera. Most people will arrive aboard the BAS Dash 7 aircraft, having flown from Stanley in the Falkland Islands (about five hours) or Punta Arenas in Chile (about four and a half hours). Alternatively, the BAS ships visit Rothera at least twice each summer bringing passengers as well as cargo. It is about four days’ sailing from Stanley.

Ship visits are particularly important as they are the way we receive our essential supplies. These include food, fuel, scientific equipment, vehicles, spare parts for machinery, building materials and much-anticipated personal possessions for our station staff. Since the construction of the Biscoe Wharf in 1992 it has been possible to make full use of shipping containers as the means to transport our cargo.

Dining area at Bransfield House, Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.
Dining area at Bransfield House, Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.

We take meals communally in a central dining room. Breakfast is a self-prepared meal of cereals and toast. The chefs prepare lunch and dinner. On a Saturday evening there is a more formal dinner, people dress on the smart side of casual and everyone enjoys a multi-course meal. Although we do not have access to fresh ingredients, every day our chefs prepare food of the highest standard and the possibility of putting on weight is real!

There is always plenty of work to do on an Antarctic station, so working a UK-style 40-hour week is not really practical. We often have to time our work with the prevailing weather. If it is atrocious outside then we get on with indoor work or get some rest. When the weather is suitable for aircraft operations and outdoor tasks, we put full effort in those directions.


History

Adelaide Island was first sighted from the brig Tula in February 1832 when completing a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent. Master of the ship John Biscoe named the land after Queen Adelaide, the wife of British monarch King William IV.

In 1909, a French doctor named Jean Baptiste Charcot led the crew of the yacht Pourquoi Pas on a voyage down the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. His expedition named many of the features they could see from Marguerite Bay. It was not until the British Graham Land Expedition of 1934–37 that Adelaide was confirmed to be an island separate from the Antarctic Peninsula.

From 1955 to 1960, the UK maintained a survey station on Horseshoe Island on the east side of Marguerite Bay. In 1957, two surveyors, John Rothera and Peter Gibbs, crossed the frozen sea ice and explored the area now known as Rothera Point.

From 1961 to 1977, UK activity in the area was conducted from Adelaide Island Station located at the southern tip of the island. For many years this proved a good base from which to undertake further survey of the Antarctic Peninsula

Rothera Station was established in 1975 to replace Adelaide Island Station where the glacier ski-way had deteriorated rendering the operation of ski-equipped aircraft hazardous. There was a phased construction programme so that by 1980 the station provided accommodation, electrical power generation, vehicle workshops, scientific offices and a store for travel equipment.

From Rothera’s inception to the 1991–92 austral summer season, BAS Twin Otter aircraft used a glacier ski-way 300m above the station on the Wormald Ice Piedmont. During that summer a gravel runway and hangar facility was commissioned bringing a more reliable air operation and the possibility of a passenger aircraft link from outside the continent. Before that, everyone coming to Rothera had to depart from the Falkland Islands by ship.

Today the development of the Rothera site continues. This is not an expansion but an ongoing programme of replacing old structures making best use of new technologies. Improved insulation and energy production and management systems can further reduce the environmental footprint of the station.

Purpose

Marine and terrestrial biology, geology, glaciology, meteorology and upper atmospherics.

Research

Rothera is the principal BAS logistics centre for support of Antarctic field science. There is a 900-metre-long crushed rock runway allowing an air link with South America and the Falkland Islands, while the Biscoe Wharf provides safe mooring for ships. Once personnel and their equipment have arrived at Rothera they can be transported to field locations through the use of ski-equipped de Haviland Twin Otter aircraft. Additionally a de Haviland Dash 7 aircraft is able to land on wheels at the blue ice runway known as Sky Blu. Field work is concentrated in the summer months from November through to March. Field science programmes currently being supported from the station include:
  • glacial retreat
  • ice coring for the study of atmospheric chemistry and climate
  • collecting geological data to support computer modelling of the historic movement of ice sheets
There is also a considerable science programme being undertaken at the station itself. With its incorporated dive facility, the Bonner Laboratory, opened in the austral summer 1996–97 , provides an excellent centre for the study of marine and terrestrial biology. The dive programme continues year round with divers accessing the water through holes cut in the sea ice during the winter. Current areas of biological study include DNA 'fingerprints' of evolution, tracing the way species adapt to environmental extremes. Additionally there is an established long-term monitoring study of specific sites to identify changes and trends in populations of certain species over time. This sort of information will be useful in identifying the effect of climate change. Since the station's first occupation, daily meteorological records have been maintained. These are now fed directly to the UK Meteorological Office for use in global weather forecasting models. Helium-filled Met balloons are launched regularly to record temperature, humidity and winds up to a height of 25km in the atmosphere. Physical scientists are also studying the upper atmosphere above Antarctica. Instruments being used include a medium frequency radar to establish winds and temperatures at altitudes in the range 50–80km. A SKiYMET meteor radar is also being used to deduce similar information. A low-power magnetometer is also situated at Rothera to record variations in the Earth's magnetic field. This is one of a chain of instruments that BAS has installed in Antarctica so that we can see what is happening across this polar region.
Dining area at Bransfield House, Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.

Bransfield House

Bransfield House provides dining, social and recreational facilities for the people living at Rothera. It also houses offices and labs for the physical scientists. The north end of Bransfield House houses …

Interbedded sandstones and mudstones of Fossil Bluff formation at northern Succession Cliffs

Fossil Bluff Research Station

Fossil Bluff is a forward facility for refuelling aircraft and is operated by Twin Otters from Rothera Research Station during the Antarctic summer season between October and March. There is …

Meteorological Forecaster Steve Wattam looks at Antarctic Reception Imagery for Environmental Studies (ARIES) satellite images recieved at Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica

Rothera computing facilities

Bransfield House Hardware for general use 6 x Windows XP PCs Colour and black and white printers HP ScanJet scanner. Canon Pro9000 Mark II photo printer (requires user’s own photo-grade …

The BAS Dash-7 aircraft landing on the blue-ice runway at Sky-Blu Field Station.

Sky Blu Research Station

Sky-Blu has rapidly assumed a position of vital importance in support of BAS deep-field operations, because it can be used by Dash-7 aircraft. The greater freight capacity of the Dash-7 has provided …

10010270

Bonner Laboratory and dive facility

The Bonner Laboratory, opened austral summer 1996–97, with its incorporated dive facility, provides an excellent centre for the study of marine and terrestrial biology.The dive programme continues year round with …

Optical hut

Bomem Info to be added All-sky airglow imager Info to be added



Rothera Diary – August 2014

24 August, 2014 by Petra Mildeova

August has been another busy month on and off the base, with the second round of winter trips starting at the beginning of the month. Mine and Andy’s winter trip …


Rothera Diary – June 2014

17 June, 2014 by David Routledge

June, our special month. Whilst in the north you are sunning yourselves here , in the Antarctic, we face a world without sun, a long night, coldness coupled with ferocious …


Rothera Diary – May 2014

17 May, 2014 by Malcolm Airey

May has been a busy month at Rothera, with the weather starting to get a bit more wintery and Antarctic – less rain(!) and more snow and darkness. We are …


Rothera Diary – April 2014

17 April, 2014 by Mairi Fenton

The RRS Ernest Shackleton left us on the 21st of March this year so April saw the first month of winter here at Rothera. We are getting used to a …


Rothera Diary – July 2013

1 July, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter Roundup The days got shorter and shorter, the sun stopped appearing over the mountainous horizon and the snow continued to fall; winter was well and truly here at Rothera …


Rothera Diary — February 2013

1 February, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

So, we’ve been back at Rothera for a couple of weeks now after spending the previous two and a half months “deep field” working on a scientific project in the …


Rothera Diary — January 2013

28 January, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

After a long, but good journey, from The Netherlands our group arrived January 10th safe and sound at Rothera. The first sight was of stranded icebergs in North Cove blindingly …


Rothera Diary — August 2012

20 August, 2012 by Dale Sewell

…Sledge echo sledge echo, this is Rothera do you copy… August kicked off with a week of night watch duties, well welcomed after a hectic month on the jazz drumming …


Rothera Diary — July 2012

20 July, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

July at Rothera. The excitement of the midwinter’s week festivities is slowly dying down and the base is returning to its usual routines. All the midwinter presents, that many people …



Rothera Diary — May 2012

30 May, 2012 by Adam Bradley

With the Ernest Shackleton long departed and the daylight disappearing rapidly, the 18-strong team remaining at Rothera really started to experience the proper Antarctic winter. On the 18th of May …


Rothera Diary — April 2012

20 April, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

In one hour it will be time to switch on the high frequency radio and report back to base, let them know we’re safe & well, our location, our intentions …


Rothera Diary — March 2012

28 March, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

Early March saw the departure of the last BAS planes for the season. This left 42 people on station to carry on the science, various works and to commence winterising …


Rothera Diary — December 2011

31 December, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Cargo and Christmas were the main features of December at Rothera. The arrival of the BAS ship RRS James Clark Ross turned the base into an even busier place than …


Rothera Diary — July 2011

31 July, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Cold and Icy I am sitting in my office in The Bonner Laboratory looking out over the frozen sea towards the snowy mountains and remembering why it was such an …


Rothera Diary — June 2011

30 June, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Some Things Never Change Spending June in the Antarctic gives you time to think a little. Darkness, blizzards and the all important task of polishing my midwinter’s present often left …


Rothera Diary — May 2011

30 May, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

It’s been two months since the RRS Ernest Shackleton left us, and left 20 of us alone at Rothera Research Station to look after the facility and maintain the science …


Rothera Diary — April 2011

30 April, 2011 by Michael Brian

With memories of those who left us in March becoming more distant by the day, April was a month of “getting into the swing” of the Winter regime proper. While …


Rothera Diary — March 2011

30 March, 2011 by Malcolm Airey

Good morning, outside world! As I sit here typing this, the first few snowflakes of winter are starting to fall outside the window, and Rothera is well and truly taking …


Rothera Diary — November 2010

30 November, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

On 2nd November BAS’s first aircraft of the season arrived, the DASH 7. The October weather had been somewhat inclement, and there had been delays in flight arrivals. For the …


Rothera Diary — September 2010

30 September, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Diving and music As the marine biologist at Rothera, I had an unusual start to my career here. I flew in late in February this year and after a whirlwind …


Rothera Diary — July 2010

30 July, 2010 by Iain Rudkin

July — potentially a period of anticlimax following the events of midwinter and all the furore that surrounds it, but this year July has been one of my favourite months …


Rothera Diary — June 2010

30 June, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter The month of June is one of great celebration in the Antarctic; it is the month when the days are at their shortest and the sun remains below the …


Rothera Diary — May 2010

30 May, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Diving & Discos Hi everyone and welcome to May’s diary, my name is Jon James and I am the Diving Officer here at Rothera. My job involves organising and maintaining …


Rothera Diary — April 2010

30 April, 2010 by Nathan Bowen

Beach parties and Barbee sauce So we have reached the official start of winter… what, already? How did that happen? Surprisingly it seems time really does pass quite quickly down …


Rothera Diary — March 2010

30 March, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

March — the month of change in an Antarctic context! Welcome to March, a month in the Antarctic calendar that signifies change, a rising sense of panic and relief. Depending …



Rothera Diary — January 2010

30 January, 2010 by Nathan Bowen

Power Downs and Parties The year is 2010, the month is January my task to write about the trials and tribulations of base life down at Rother research station. Well …


Rothera Diary — December 2009

31 December, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Fresh Marmite November’s diary ended with Mike returning to base on the RSS James Clark Ross, having spent most of the previous month loitering in the Falkland Islands. As the …


Rothera Diary — November 2009

30 November, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

A Glimpse of Life on the Outside At the time of volunteering to write this month’s entry for the Rothera Diary, I had no reason to suspect that I might …


Rothera Diary — October 2009

30 October, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

End of winter, planes, new faces and freshies All good things come to an end, also the winter of 2009. This happened on the 10th day of this month. One …


Rothera Diary — September 2009

30 September, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Hello, and welcome to the Rothera diary entry for September. I would like to give you an insight to base life from my own personal perspective. I am Tony McLaughlan, …



Rothera Diary — July 2009

31 July, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Water, ice and steam It’s 10pm Friday 31st July. Mug of coffee in hand, I am awaiting the return of James and Jonny with a bundle of newspapers for the …


Rothera Diary — June 2009

30 June, 2009 by David Routledge

Midwinter skies June, a pivotal month in the Antarctic. The sun, our friend, has deserted us and lies out of sight, blocked by the mountains and then even disappearing below …


Rothera Diary — May 2009

30 May, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Say Goodbye to the Sun Welcome everyone to the month of May at Rothera Research Station. My name is Andy Webster and I am the Communications Manager here on station. …


Rothera Diary — April 2009

30 April, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Winter training In keeping to winter traditions, I am writing the April diary entry between the hours of 1am to 6am. Yes, I’m on nightwatch and it’s currently 4am on …


Rothera Diary — March 2009

30 March, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Preparing for Winter I am Dr Matt A Edwards, medical officer for the British Antarctic Survey research facility on the Antarctic Peninsula known as Rothera. It is an honour to …


Rothera Diary — October 2008

30 October, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

The start of Summer Hi, I’m Ali the marine assistant. It is exactly a year since I last wrote an entry for the Rothera diary. I have been at Rothera …


Rothera Diary — July 2008

30 July, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

Moving into New Bransfield I thought as the wintering chef for this year I would first mention my new kitchen. After a bit of a delay, in February last summer, …


Oct – The end of Winter

30 October, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Hi, I’m Ali the Marine Assistant; I arrived at Rothera in December 2006 and shall be based here for a total of 2½ years. The month of October marked the …


Aug – Wind and Snow… and more wind

30 August, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Hello and welcome to the August diary of Rothera Research Station, I’m Jim the Boating Officer, or JimBoat to the locals, and I excitedly volunteered to indulge readers with the …


Jul – Ice Diving

30 July, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera July Diary My name is Kelvin Murray, I am the Field Diving Officer and my job is to manage all diving operations at Rothera. I work very closely with …


Jun – Midwinter Mayhem

30 June, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Hi everyone and greetings from Rothera Research Station Antarctica. My name is Richard and I’m the wintering Electrician. This is my second consecutive winter here at Rothera but the joys …



Apr – Night Watch

19 April, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

It’s 4 am in the morning on 19th April and I’m on Night Watch, a good opportunity to write the monthly web diary, or so I thought! Hello, I’m Birgit, …


Mar – The Month Marcheth…

30 March, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

THE MONTH MARCHETH… “The first day of March was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for …


Feb – The End is Nigh

28 February, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

The end is nigh. Firstly I’m going to cheat a little, only by a few days, but I’ll start this month’s diary at the end of January. This is because …



October – The End of Winter

30 October, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

The End of Winter by Jamie Fletcher Well, it’s almost the end of winter and a very busy time both for work and socially. I have asked several of my …


October – A poetic view

30 October, 2006 by Julian Klepacki

October, the month of spring. The waiting hours creep silently across the shining skies. There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce …


September – Behind the Scenes

30 September, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

BEHIND THE SCENES By Richard Logan Hello to everyone from Rothera Antarctic Research Station and welcome to September’s Web Diary. Have we got a corker of a diary this month …


August – An active August

30 August, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

An active August People back home often ask us how we spend our time during the winter – I think some people imagine us huddled around the stove in a …


July – The Third Quarter

30 July, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

At the start of this month’s diary I feel obliged to warn you this entry is long (probably befitting of 3 female writers!). So if you are not already sitting …


June – Midwinter

30 June, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

June, month of maximums, minimums, everything, nothing and mid-winter! Hello everybody it is I, Riet, the chef here at Rothera and I will tell you about the beautiful month of …


May – Winter

30 May, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

Well hello, may I take this opportunity to formally welcome you to the month of May? What does May symbolise in good old Blighty? Spring has sprung, summer well on …


Apr – Shackleton departs

30 April, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

After days of false starts, the RRS Ernest Shackleton finally departed for sunnier climes (and Grimsby) on April 2nd. We waved and shouted our goodbyes between deck and wharf as …


Mar – Mad March!!

30 March, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

By Tim Burton photos by Tim Burton, Lowri Bowen and Chris Martin Mad March. So much is happening. Emotions are running high as people either prepare for their return to …


Feb – Images of Antarctica

28 February, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

People are always asking me what it’s like working in Antarctica; we ask ourselves the same questions, since each of us go to different stations and field camps. What can …


Jan – Changing plans

31 January, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

I’m serving in the Royal Navy, I joined just over two years ago as a pilot and have been lent to BAS for a few months to work here at …



November – Welcome to Rothera

30 November, 2005 by Peter Milner

Most people at home have a slightly false impression of Antarctica in the summer. As I’m saying final farewells some people think I’m mad and others think it’s a great …




July – Sea Ice Travel

30 July, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, July 2005 A new month and a new trend as the days were to get lighter as the month went on. The lethargy caused by mid winter (mid …


June – Midwinter

30 June, 2005 by Isabelle Gerrard

Rothera Diary, June 2005 Hi everyone, June is such an exciting time to be in Antarctica. The main reason being that the 21st June is mid winter’s day, very significant …


May – Ice diving

30 May, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, May 2005 Our second full month of isolation has seen the real signs of winter beginning to show themselves. As the days get longer and warmer back in …


Apr – Winter Trips

30 April, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, April 2005 April has been our first full month of winter since our summer colleagues left for the year. Traditional April Fool japes were skipped as we were …


Mar – Winter begins

30 March, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, March 2005 There is no doubt of the dominating image of March 2005. For the twenty one of us left at Rothera, the departure of RRS Ernest Shackleton …


Feb – Windy weather

28 February, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, February 2005 February was dominated by the weather. Over 80 knot winds hit the refuelling stations of Fossil Bluff and Sky Blu. Fossil Bluff is a sturdy hut …


Jan – A long run

31 January, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, January 2005 January started with a bang for some of the station members as they took part in a 10km New Years Day run on the runway organised …


Dec – A busy month!

31 December, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, December 2004 A busy month at Rothera! One of the main ‘events’ was the JCR battling through miles of sea ice to try to get to Rothera for …


Oct-Nov – New arrivals

15 November, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, October/November 2004 After a fantastic winter at Rothera, the onset of spring and summer brings many new arrivals to the base. With the busy summer season due to …


Sept – Final month of winter

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, September 2004 September was a very diverse and dynamic month on base. Our penultimate month of winter had lots in store. It got off to a fine start …


August – Diving, talks and singing

31 August, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, August 2004 August began with what was to be our last under ice dive before high winds broke the sea ice out. The objectives were photographic and specimen …


July – Return of the sun

30 July, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, July 2004 By Steve Hinde July on an Antarctic research station can be a strange time. June is our month for anticipating and celebrating mid winter, just as …


June – Mid-Winter

30 June, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, June 2004 By Andy Miller June was an eventful and significant month for the twenty-three of us. It heralded the winter’s austral solstice. This marks the shortest day …


May – Winter begins

30 May, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, May 2004 After the swift departure of April, we felt that winter would take hold in a brusque manner, but apart from the rapidly shortening days, the weather …


April – Fool!

30 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary – April 2004 By Adam Thornhill It is amazing how fast a month can go! Especially down here in the Antarctic. April was meant to have been the …


Dans Birthday

28 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Birthday Boy By Dan Smale My 22nd birthday proved somewhat different to those that have passed before. I guess it was just coincidence but it did turn out to be …


Winter Trip

20 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Sledge Golf After a few days of pretty rough weather and a reasonable amount of snowfall, Dougal, my ever ready Field Assistant, and I finally made it up onto the …


Golf Tournament

15 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Bransfield Open By Adam Thornhill Saturday evenings can get very repetitive with the same people, the same room and the same Bar. Not to say, we have any less fun …


The Shack returns

15 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

The Shack Returns. By Fin O’Sullivan. The beginning of the winter season was the departure of RRS Shackleton in mid March. This left the 23 winterers to get on with …


After the Shack

30 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

After the Shack written by Tim Burton After the ship had left and winter life had begun, the atmosphere considerably changed on base – more relaxed, informal, friendly and positive; …


March – Winter begins

30 March, 2004 by Julian Klepacki

Rothera Diary – March 2004 By Julian Klepacki Time had drawn upon us. It would be soon that RRS Ernest Shackleton would be leaving and isolate the remaining winterers until …


Cyril the Chef

25 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Being here still By Cyril Millet Et voila, the summer has gone, time went well, so did life. A brand new episode is just about to start, the winter rise …


Fire Training

20 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Fire Training By Fin O’Sullivan As well as running a power station and sewage plant, all the winterers have to be the fire brigade, as there is no one coming …


Meet the team

15 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Winter Team 2004 By Fin O’Sullivan I thought that I wouldn’t go on about how nice it is that winter has arrived now and that the base is much more …


Feb

28 February, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Feb The Laurence M Gould made her annual visit to Rothera this month. We are doing collaborative science with this USAP research vessel. Their LTER program ties in with our …


November – Newsletter

30 November, 2003 by Isabelle Gerrard

Rothera Newsletter November 2003 by Isabelle Gerrard November was a busy time at Rothera. Winter was well and truly over and people were arriving all the time. The weather was somewhat …


August – Sunrise

30 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary – August 2003 written by Andrew Porte August has been a month of mixed emotions. As July ended and August started the base team was still trying to …


August – Snowblowing

28 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Blowing snow the Rothera way Written by Chris Jacobs and Iain Airth When clearing a gravel strip runway in the middle of winter it is not without problems. There is …


August – Skiing

15 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Skinning Up? It had to happen after an absence of 18 years from skiing I had to give up, giving up. My previous experiences of skiing are not good, for …


August – Night shift

15 August, 2003 by Isabelle Gerrard

Week on Night Shift written by Issy Gerrard At some point during the winter each base member will do a week on night shift. My turn came around in late …


June – Midwinter

30 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter The month of Midwinter had arrived. The three weeks prior to the big day, the sun completely vanished below the horizon and darkness reigned. But not …


June – Photo Comp.

30 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Midwinter Photo Competition Photo competitions at Rothera have been traditional, as shown by the number of winning photos that are proudly hung around the dining room. …


June – Presents

20 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Midwinter Presents On first hearing about the presents that winterers give to each other on Midwinter’s Day, I was full of dread. Why? Because they are …


June – Celebrations

15 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Midwinter’s Week Midwinter’s week for Rothera base started on the Midwinter’s day (Saturday 21st June). The day started with tea, coffee and toast delivered to those …


June – LIDAR

15 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Rothera Lidar Facility During the 2002/2003 summer season a new atmospheric research laboratory was installed at Rothera. This facility houses a single piece of equipment, the …


May – Winter Arrives

30 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

May at Rothera May brought the true onset of winter with colder wilder weather and darker days. Snow finally started to settle permanently round the base. Towards the end of …


May – Wildlife

30 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Wildlife in May A duty that is shared by all those on base is to record the local wildlife. This survey has been continuous for five years and is a …


May – Field Training

28 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

May Winter Field Training Trips Summary The winter training trips in May started with bad weather, poor contrast and blizzards once again, with two trips bogged down together just south …


May – Centurian Night

20 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Centurion Night! Birthdays are a good excuse for a party. The official line, of course, is that we are boosting base moral. So, when it was Adam’s birthday, the youngest …


May – Sun Visions

15 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary – May 2003 Sun Visions Sunsets in Antarctica are like no other that I have ever seen. This may be because the sunsets also happen to be part …


May – Plumbing

15 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Plumbing…. I’m supposed to be writing about plumbing. There is just one small problem that I can see right from the onset with me writing about plumbing, that being I …


May – Fondue Night

15 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Fondue Night Saturdays and Sundays are our days off and as a result Saturday night is always something special. At the very least we have a sit down dinner but …


Apr – Isolation

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Isolation Isolation was finally complete when the remaining two twin otters and the Dash 7 flew north on the 15th. The moment was captured by a farewell salute to the …


Apr – Diving

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Diving for Science Rothera Station Diary – April 2003 There was a crisp feeling to the air as it blew over my face. I could feel the start of an …


Apr – Sledge

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Manhauling Madness’ Preparations for this trip started almost two months prior to departure. One mistimed remark too many about the demonic nature of skidoos and a man-hauling trip was born. …


Apr – Winter

28 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Winter Begins. As I’m sure everyone connected to BAS is aware, winter here at Rothera started a little later than usual this year. April the 15th proved to be long …


Apr – Visit

20 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Visit by the Almirante Iriza On the 17th April, two days into winter, Rothera received a visit form the Argentinean icebreaker Almirante Iriza. Seventeen personnel came ashore in the Sea …


Apr – Training

15 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

April Winter Field Training Trips One of the best things about being posted down south is the Winter Field Training Trip. These superb trips offer the opportunity for base members …


Apr – Cooking

15 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook So, what is the most important job on base? Well, some would argue that it is the science that we are here for and so the …


Rothera Diary July 2001

30 July, 2001 by Peter Milner

Rothera Diary – July 2001 written by Pete Milner The Sun Returns With our limited access to email facilities I try and write regularly to friends at home and strangely …



NEWS STORY: Christmas in Antarctica

19 December, 2014

British Antarctic Survey staff prepare to celebrate Christmas far away from home As you make the last preparations for the festive period, spare a thought for those who will be …


NEWS STORY: Commemorating Antarctica Day

1 December, 2014

Antarctica Day 2014: 55 years since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty Today, 1 December, is Antarctica Day and people across the globe are celebrating! The Day was inaugurated in …


NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica

20 June, 2014

Midwinter’s Day celebrations take place at Antarctic Research Stations Staff at the British Antarctic Survey are celebrating Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica. In a tradition which began in the days of …


NEWS STORY: Icebergs leave their mark

16 June, 2014

Climate related iceberg activity has massively altered life on the seabed Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have found evidence that climate change has fundamentally altered the way that life …


BLOG: Bird Island Station Leader

28 May, 2014

We caught up with Bird Island Research Station Leader Adam Bradley who was living and working on the island when the BBC crew came to film Deadly Pole to Pole. …


NEWS STORY: Pass the panda for Earth Hour

28 March, 2014

BAS staff support WWF’s Earth Hour with cuddly friend! This Saturday, 29 March, is WWF’s Earth Hour. Earth Hour aims to focus the world’s attention on the planet and the …


NEWS STORY: Glacier thinning at point of no return

14 January, 2014

Focus on Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica Pine Island Glacier, on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is the largest single contributor to sea-level rise in Antarctica.  The stability of the …


NEWS STORY: Greetings from Antarctica

24 December, 2013

Christmas messages from Antarctic staff Many British Antarctic Survey scientists and support staff will be spending this Christmas thousands of miles from home on the frozen continent. BAS has five …


NEWS STORY: Staff head into deep Antarctica

20 December, 2013

British Antarctic Survey field season is underway On the eve of the centenary year of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition the ship which bears his name is playing a crucial role …


NEWS STORY: More moss growing in Antarctica

29 August, 2013

Moss growth in Antarctica linked to climate change Increases in temperature on the Antarctic Peninsula during the latter part of the 20th century were accompanied by an acceleration in moss …


NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day celebrations

21 June, 2013

  Celebrating Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica Staff at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) celebrate Midwinter’s Day today (21 June , 2013). Celebrated as the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, …


PRESS RELEASE Age and Antarctic clams

18 April, 2013

Age matters to Antarctic clams A new study of Antarctic clams reveals that age matters when it comes to adapting to the effects of climate change. The research provides new …


NEWS STORY: Dutch research lab opened

28 January, 2013

New Research Laboratory opened at Rothera Research Station A new scientific laboratory has been built at the UK Rothera Research Station in Antarctica as a result of an international collaboration …


NEWS STORY: Ocean sampling at Rothera

20 August, 2012

Ocean sampling: Rothera, Antarctic Peninsula: last but not least! Are the World’s oceans all the same, or are they different? OK at the most basic level, we all know that …


PRESS RELEASE: Shellfish and changing oceans

5 August, 2012

New study helps predict impact of ocean acidification on shellfish An international study to understand and predict the likely impact of ocean acidification on shellfish and other marine organisms living …


NEWS STORY: Antarctica celebrates Olympics

25 July, 2012

Rothera Station staff take part in ‘All the Bells’ to celebrate the Olympics Kitchen pots, glasses and a bedpan are just some of the items being used by staff at …


NEWS STORY: Antarctic band reform for one off gig

26 June, 2012

Nunatak reunion at the Sanday Soulka festival on the Orkney Islands Having performed at one of the world’s biggest concerts ‘Live Earth*’ on 7th July 2007, Nunatak** — the British …


NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica

20 June, 2012

Antarctica celebrating Midwinter’s Day A hundred years ago Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team celebrated Midwinter in Antarctica (known as Midsummer’s Day in the UK) — a tradition that …


New Laboratories arrive at Rothera Research Station

3 April, 2012

As part of an international collaboration between British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the Netherlands Polar Programme — managed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Earth and Life Sciences Division …


Christmas Campers

22 December, 2011

As you get stuck into your turkey on Christmas Day, spare a thought for scientists working in Antarctica for British Antarctic Survey, where Christmas is just another working day. Around …


PRESS RELEASE: Study of largest glacier

5 December, 2011

Scientist on BBC Frozen Planet investigates how world’s largest glacier is contributing to sea-level rise A team of scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is to survey the largest glacier …


Frozen Planet: Autumn arrives

15 November, 2011

This week on Frozen Planet (BBC1 Wednesday 16 November at 21.00, repeated Sunday at 16.10) the programme explores autumn in the polar regions. As life cools down in the Antarctic, …


Frozen Planet: Summer in Antarctica

7 November, 2011

This week on Frozen Planet (BBC1 Wednesday 9 November at 21.00, repeated Sunday at 16.10) the programme explores Summer in the Polar Regions. As life thrives in the Antarctic, viewers …


This week on Frozen Planet

31 October, 2011

This week on Frozen Planet (BBC1 Wednesday 2 November at 21.00, repeated Sunday at 16.10) the programme explores Spring in the Polar Regions and how life begins the race to …





Raising the flag to celebrate the return of the sun

4 August, 2011

Staff at British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station recently raised the Union flag to mark the first sighting of the sun again after several weeks of continual darkness. The sun …



Midwinter’s Day Celebrations

21 June, 2011

Staff at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) celebrate Midwinter’s Day today. Celebrated as the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, Midwinter’s day is the shortest and darkest day for the …



An International Feel to Antarctic Research

16 February, 2010

There is a distinctly cosmopolitan feel around British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station this month (February). Science teams from eight countries enjoyed Rothera’s hospitality as they passed through on their …



PRESS RELEASE: New jobs in Antarctica

12 February, 2009

Antarctic jobs offer opportunity of a lifetime Trades people looking for a career with a difference should check the national press this week. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) launches a recruitment …



Reuters news team visit Rothera Research Station

12 January, 2009

Reuters reporters Alister Doyle and Stuart McDill are visiting Rothera Research Station to file a series of special reports about the research there. Dr Pete Convey is one of the …


PRESS RELEASE: Mission to buried mountain range

13 October, 2008

Challenge to discover Antarctica”s hidden world Later this month teams of scientists, engineers, pilots and support staff from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), USA, Germany, Australia, China and Japan will join …


Scraping the bottom

12 March, 2008

Iceberg scouring is a major factor affecting the diversity and abundance of marine benthic communities in Antarctica’s highly dynamic ecosystem. Reporting in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series biologist Dr …


Antarctica – musical images from the frozen continent

27 September, 2005

Antarctic is a beautiful new DVD/Book that describes through music, sound, film, photography and literature, composer Craig Vear’s three month journey into the mysterious frozen world of Antarctica. Craig Vear …