I’ll Be Appearing At The New York Travel Festival, Speaking About Adventure Travel in Antarctica

Jeffrey Donenfeld Ask Me Anything, Events, Press Leave a Comment

This year, the New York Travel Festival is taking place April 26-27, 2014 in New York City. I've been selected by the organizers to act as the resident expert on Antarctica.  Read my bio on the NY Travel Festival website.  The New York Travel Festival aims to reinvent the consumer travel show for tech-savvy, immersive travelers. We go beyond booths and brochures to provide interactive experiences to people who see travel as a means of experience, not just escape. NY Trav Fest brings together a unique blend of consumers, media and industry to mingle and discuss the future of travel together. Here's what I'll be up to during the event: Pre-show: Travel Babel Intro Video Saturday, April 26 Expert's Corner - Meeting with general public andanswering questions about Adventure Travel in Antarctica. BOOK MY TIME FOR THIS SESSION Sunday, April 27 Antarctica Trivia Round, 12-1pm ADD TO CALENDAR Antarctica Talk and Slideshow, 3-4pm:  "Surviving the world’s highest, coldest, windiest and driest desert — Antarctica" ADD TO CALENDAR Exploring Earth's Most Extreme Continent - Antarctica. During the '12-'13 Austral Summer, Jeffrey Donenfeld deployed with the United States Antarctic Program to live and work at the most remote outpost of humanity, in the middle of the highest, coldest, windiest, and driest desert in the world - at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, South Pole, Antarctica. Live on the station was extreme in every sense - extreme weather conditions, extremely cold, extreme science, and extremely fun. Join Jeffrey as he shares critically acclaimed photographs and first-person video clips shot while on station, as well as hear how YOU can make your own journey to explore the earth's southernmost continent. NY Travel Festival Full Official Schedule (Bio on Sched) Get your tickets now and come see me in April - use these promo codes: Code 'JEFFZILLA' $30 Weekend Consumer (instead of $35) Code 'JEFFIND' $80 Weekend Industry (instead of $100) Purchase Tickets
Jeffrey DonenfeldI’ll Be Appearing At The New York Travel Festival, Speaking About Adventure Travel in Antarctica

First Results From The BICEP2 CMB Telescope Announced re: Gravitational Waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background

Jeffrey Donenfeld News, Science 1 Comment

A little over a year ago, I had the extraordinary opportunity to work with scientists John Kovac, Jon Kaufman, Howard Hui, and others at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica (summary of my experience living and working at the south pole) on the BICEP2 and KECK Array Microwave Telescopes. Learning about how the telescopes worked, as well as the science behind what they were doing directly from the scientists involved was a great opportunity, and I was happy to be able to make my small contribution to the project. Checking out BICEP2 Refueling BICEP2 Working on KECK RESULTS “Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for this cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.” Announcement from NASA JPL: Astronomers are announcing today that they have acquired the first direct evidence that gravitational waves rippled through our infant universe during an explosive period of growth called inflation. This is the strongest confirmation yet of cosmic inflation theories, which say the universe expanded by 100 trillion trillion times, in less than the blink of an eye. The findings were made with the help of NASA-developed detector technology on the BICEP2 telescope at the South Pole, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. “Operating the latest detectors in ground-based and balloon-borne experiments allows us to mature these technologies for space missions and, in the process, make discoveries about the universe,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s Astrophysics Division director in Washington. This morning, they announced their first set of results from Bicep2 at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics: From Sean Carrol: Monday morning: here are results! First, the best fit to r, the ratio of gravitational waves to density perturbations: BICEP2 2014 Results Release PDF:  BICEP2 II: EXPERIMENT AND THREE-YEAR DATA SET PDF: BICEP2 I: DETECTION OF B-mode POLARIZATION AT DEGREE ANGULAR SCALES Sean Carrol: Gravitational Waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background And a bit of press from around the web: Stamford Advocate: Evidence spotted for universe’s early growth spurt Huffington Post: Good Morning, Inflation! Hello, Multiverse! BBC: Cosmic inflation: ‘Spectacular’ discovery hailed NY Times: Detection of Waves in Space Buttresses Landmark Theory of Big Bang Snowmobiling to the Dark Sector Laboratory Physicist Jon Kaufman stands on top of the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory. Physicist Jon Kaufman gives me a tour of the BICEP2 Telescope.. Views: Dark Sector Laboratory, South Pole, Antarctica by Google Maps Pics from working on KECK…

Jeffrey DonenfeldFirst Results From The BICEP2 CMB Telescope Announced re: Gravitational Waves in the Cosmic Microwave Background
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Infographic: Major Icebreakers of the World

Jeffrey Donenfeld Infographic, News, Science, Technology Leave a Comment

Great infographic today thanks to the US Coast Guard – a comprehensive review of the world’s major icebreakers. My next task, sail on all of them! From the United States Naval Institute: “The Coast Guard Office of Waterways and Ocean Policy (CG-WWM) began producing the chart of major icebreakers of the world in July 2010. Since then, we have gathered icebreaker information and recommendations from a variety of sources and experts, including icebreaker subject-matter experts, internet posts, news updates, Arctic experts and Coast Guard offices with icebreaker equities. We validate our information within the public forum and update the chart at least semi-annually based on new information and feedback. This chart represents the Coast Guard’s current factual understanding of the major icebreaker fleet. This chart is not intended for icebreaker fleet comparisons and no inference should be drawn regarding a country’s icebreaker “ranking” against another.” U.S. Coast Guard's 2013 Review of Major Icebreakers of the World | USNI News.

Jeffrey DonenfeldInfographic: Major Icebreakers of the World

The Coldest Place in the World: Dome Argus, East Antarctica

Jeffrey Donenfeld News, Science, Video Leave a Comment

NASA recently revealed that a spot in Antarctica just hit a record -135.3 degrees F below zero – that’s cold! In my time at the south pole, the coldest I experienced was -60F – not even close to the record. Fron NBC News: Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said the new record is “50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota.” “It’s more like you’d see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles,” Scambos said, from the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco Monday, where he announced the data. “I’m confident that these pockets are the coldest places on Earth.” Here’s a quick explainer video. Me in the South Pole Ice Tunnels

Jeffrey DonenfeldThe Coldest Place in the World: Dome Argus, East Antarctica
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Scientist Terry Benson Presents On “Innovations in Hot Water Drilling at the South Pole”

Jeffrey Donenfeld Science Leave a Comment

Last Austral Summer, I spent 3.5 months living at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. Among my many jobs on station, one of the most rewarding was the work I did with the Askaryan Radio Array drill and deployment teams. During my time working with the ARA, I got to spend some good time with Scientist Terry Benson. Here’s his excellent slide deck going over the science he’s working on at the South Pole, including details of the ARA Drill Rig I helped construct and test. Specifically, I helped construct the water tank overflow gutter, wired up the emergency stop switches, troubleshoot the main pump system, maintained the hose bindings, and tended to the drill as it operated. Innovations in Hot Water Drilling at the South Pole

Jeffrey DonenfeldScientist Terry Benson Presents On “Innovations in Hot Water Drilling at the South Pole”

The Complete Guide To Getting A Job In Antarctica

Jeffrey Donenfeld Travel and Adventure Leave a Comment

So, you want to live and work in Antarctica? Sounds good! I lived and worked at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the 2012-2013 Summer season. Getting my position down on the ice was no easy task, and took a solid four and a half years of effort. Here’s how I did it, along with all of the resources I used. My first bit of advice would be to read through the documentation of my experiences, which will give you a good idea of what it takes, and will answer a lot of your questions. How I got a job in Antarctica. It wasn’t easy, and took me many years of effort. However in the end, every bit of time and energy I put into it was absolutely worth it. Here’s my personal story: Getting A Job In Antarctica: My Long Journey 2009-2012 What it’s like to work there. Now that you know what I went through to get a job at the South Pole, here’s my incredible experience acutually living and workign at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It really was amazing, and I did my best to document every aspect of it, including travel to and from. Living and Working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, Summer 2012-2013 And here’s my video playlist of all videos from the ice. This includes a full 30 minute tour of the South Pole Station. Where to find job postings. Jobs on the ice are run by a number of different organizations, including organizations on both the science side and the support side. Here are a few of the larger hiring organizations. Note that this is a shortened copy of Bill Spindler’s list. This is the version of the list updated by Bill on 20131015.  Cool Antarctica also has a job resource page. Lockheed Martin (L-M) Program Management and Integration, Site Management, Functional Area Leadership, Technical Management & Administration (TM&A), Science and Technical Project Services (S&TPS), Information Technology and Communications (IT&C), Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) and Transportation and Logistics (T&L): PAE Government Services, Inc (PAE): Infrastructure and Operations (I&O), Transportation and Logistics (T&L): GHG Corporation On-site Information Technology and Communications (IT&C): University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB): Medical Services: Best Recycling: Waste Management and Recycling: Gana-A’Yoo Services Corporation (GSC, partnered with ESS Support Services): Food Services, Housing & Janitorial Services, Retail & Postal Services Answers to most of your questions. Here are answers to some of the questions I’ve been asked about working in Antarctica. Hopefully these will help you too. Frequently Asked Questions about life at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica Frequently Asked Questions About Getting A Job In Antarctica: I understand from your writings that March is the best time to apply. Are there any other hot spots for applications during the year? March is the best time to apply for Summer positions, however jobs are posted throughout the year. It’s best to keep checking back on a regular basis. Is applying in bulk really the best strategy? Applying …

Jeffrey DonenfeldThe Complete Guide To Getting A Job In Antarctica
Leaving Antarctica at the end of the 2012-2013 Austral Summer Season.

Government Shutdown Halts United States Antarctic Program – Save Science in Antarctica!

Jeffrey Donenfeld News, Science Leave a Comment

It’s truly a sad day for Antarctica. Because of the government furlough, science operations in Antarctica is being shut down as funds dry up, as a “result of the absence of appropriation and the Antideficiency Act.”, according to the official USAP.gov website. Amidst all of the other shakeup and struggle operations in Antarctica have gone through in recent years, I’m sad to hear that another setback has fallen on operations on the ice. So much good science and engineering research is being done there, it’s a shame that the small fraction of the budget that is needed to support the USAP has been suspended. A breakdown of the actual cost of the program, from Change.org: The total cost of the USAP program is approximately $350 million dollars. A value added amount of money which is small in terms of the $3.8 trillion dollar total budget that would be trivial not to have congress authorize a portion of it to allow international science to continue. With any luck, the furlough will end soon, and funds will be made available again before too much of the continent has been emptied out. Effects of the shutdown, from Change.org: The effects this shutdown will be the loss of continuity in projects that have been ongoing since the International Geophysical Year (IGY) some 50 years ago. Scientific data such as the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) which has been ongoing for 30 years will have a large data gap in at a crucial time in our understanding of climate change. A similar problem would be the abrupt end to 11 years of continuous data on the solar cycle that is used, for example, by the UC Boulder Lidar project. Since solar cycles are 11 years long, missing this last critical bit of data could jeopardize the multi-year investment. Also threatened is our understanding of rapidly changing ecosystems that is being generated by the study of Penguins in the Palmer Peninsula. The full explanation on USAP.gov reads: Planning and Implementation of Caretaker Status for U.S. Antarctic Program October 8, 2013 The National Science Foundation (NSF) is responsible for managing and coordinating the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) on behalf of the nation. This includes providing support personnel and facilities and coordinating transportation and other logistics for scientific research. Due to the lapse in appropriation, funds for this support will be depleted on or about October 14, 2013. Without additional funding, NSF has directed its Antarctic support contractor to begin planning and implementing caretaker status for research stations, ships and other assets. The agency is required to take this step as a result of the absence of appropriation and the Antideficiency Act. Under caretaker status, the USAP will be staffed at a minimal level to ensure human safety and preserve government property, including the three primary research stations, ships and associated research facilities. All field and research activities not essential to human safety and preservation of property will be suspended. As NSF moves to caretaker status, it will also …

Jeffrey DonenfeldGovernment Shutdown Halts United States Antarctic Program – Save Science in Antarctica!