Selection - choosing the right people

Eleven expeditioners in front of a yellow shed.
Winter expeditioners (Photo: Cyril)

Antarctic expeditioners need to be highly qualified in their occupation and possess the special personal qualities that will enable them to live and work harmoniously with a small group in an isolated community.

Self motivation, self-reliance, tolerance of others, responsible environmental attitudes, a good nature and the willingness to participate in communal duties and activities are some of the qualities the selection panels look for. They also need the ability to deal effectively with conflict situations. In addition, successful applicants must pass thorough medical and psychological adaptability tests.

  • Ask students to list the personal qualities they think would be important for people being employed to live and work in Antarctica?
  • Have them write a list of positive and negative reasons for going or not going to Antarctica.
  • Form your own Antarctic station. This activity could form the basis of your whole Antarctic study. Assign each student with an occupation required for a wintering station group. They could consult the expeditioner profiles or the Antarctic Division's website for this. Students will then need to research their jobs. This will provide a good vehicle for role playing all sorts of station life situations, including conflict resolution and negotiation.

Issue - The question of adventure

The Australian Antarctic Division selects people who are adventurous, but then, for health and safety reasons and the legal implications, restricts what they can do in Antarctica. Employers do not interfere with what people do in their leisure time in Australia, so why should they when they are in Antarctica?

This page was last modified on January 23, 2014.