Are you an adventure seeker? Do you like extreme weather? If so, you are the perfect candidate to join environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on her expedition to Antarctica.
The invitation comes from Airbnb and Ocean Conservancy. Both institutios are looking for five volunteers who wish to participate in an Antarctic Sabbatical. This incredible opportunity will allow people to travel in December to the most remote continent on Earth, collect snow samples and study to what extent microplastics have made their way to Antarctica’s interior.
The goal of this initiative is to raise public awareness about humanity’s impact on the climate of one of the least studied and most isolated ecosystems in the world. With this information, the rest of the world may understand the importance of protecting Antarctica, as well as the entire planet.
“Most people think of Antarctica as a pristine and isolated continent, but recent evidence shows that even the most remote locations are affected by plastic pollution. This expedition will help us understand the pathways of microplastics to remote regions such as Antarctica and comes at a critical time to highlight our responsibility to protect our natural world,” Jones-Williams explains.
How to Participate
If you want to participate in this expedition, submit your application before October 8, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (October 9 at 05:59, Spanish Peninsular Time) by filling out the form on the official website.
Volunteers do not require specific qualifications. They just need to have an adventurous spirit, passion for the environment and a desire to take part in this project.
The expedition will last a month and will take place in several stages. First, the selected volunteers will attend an intensive training in Punta Arenas, Chile, where they will prepare with glaciology and field sampling courses, as well as laboratory and practical tasks with the equipment. There they will meet their companions and expedition leader Kirstie Jones-Williams.
Afterwards, the group will travel to Antarctica where the scientific mission will begin. They will land at Union Glacier Camp, where they will spend ten days working and exploring. They will visit the South Pole and Antarctica’s most iconic locations like Drake Icefall, Charles Peak Windscoop and Elephant’s Head.
The team will perform snowmobile excursions and off-road bike rides. They will collect snow samples from the interior of Antarctica and study them in search of strange microfibers to determine how far debris and pollution have traveled throughout the planet.
Finally, the group will return to Chile to continue analyzing their findings. Volunteers will collaborate with Ocean Conservancy to promote the protection of the oceans, as well as make recommendations to the Airbnb community and other groups to help minimize our worlwide plastic footprint.
The Antarctic Sabbatical initiative follows Airbnb’s Italian Sabbatical, an urban regeneration project in partnership with Wonder Grottole that offered five volunteers the opportunity to live for three months in the historic town of Grottole in Southern Italy, to help revitalize a community facing extinction. In general, the Sabbatical program is designed to encourage people to take advantage of their vacations, make a difference in the places they visit and, in doing so, change the world.