Chapter 2
McMurdo Station

After your plane lands in Antarctica, a shuttle will transport you from the airfield to the McMurdo Station Chalet, which is the administrative building for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and for the NSF support contractor: Antarctic Support Associates (ASA). Chalet personnel will give you an orientation briefing, assign housing, and arrange a date for your science meeting. A map of McMurdo Station is inside the back cover of this manual.

2.1 McMurdo Housing

Housing in McMurdo is in dormitories. Both two-person and bunk rooms are available; there is no guarantee of what type of room you will be assigned. From late October through early November and from late January through early February, housing areas are crowded. You'll receive your housing assignments from the Chalet administrative staff, both upon arrival in McMurdo and when returning from the field.

2.2 McMurdo Science Meetings

Each science group will have a meeting the day after arriving in McMurdo. Representatives from the NSF and from various ASA and Naval Support Force, Antarctica (NSFA) departments will meet with your group to discuss logistical support for the season.

During the science meeting, you'll receive information on the status of your cargo and equipment . You'll also discuss your objectives for the season and meet the McMurdo personnel who will help support your research project.

2.3 McMurdo Science Support Departments

Berg Field Center (BFC): The BFC issues equipment and food to field parties, coordinates daily helicopter logistics, and runs the Field Safety Training Program (FSTP). After your initial science meeting, it's best to meet with the BFC supervisor to schedule a Field Safety Training course and equipment shakedown, and to locate your "cage space."

Crary Science and Engineering Center (CSEC): The CSEC houses the McMurdo science laboratory facilities. Specialized laboratories, computer facilities, the Aquarium, the Dive Locker, and office space are allocated within the CSEC. The CSEC staff coordinates laboratory support for science groups, as well as fish hut movements, construction requests, and aquarium space requirements. Scientific equipment (including all items identified in your SIP for procurement) is issued from the CSEC stockroom. Other facilities in the CSEC include a science library, a seminar room, and a small field staging area.

Operations Coordinator, Helicopter: The Operations Coordinator, Helicopter, develops the daily helicopter flight schedule, communicates daily with all helo-supported field groups, and is the point-of-contact for all helo-supported field camp resupply requests. The Coordinator is located in Building 165 (Mac Center).

Mechanical Equipment Center (MEC): The MEC issues and maintains snowmobiles, generator sets, gas-powered ice augers, rock drills, chain saws, portable dive compressors, and 12-V batteries and battery chargers. The MEC also maintains a fleet of "pool" pickups and tracked vehicles for use by the science community, and provides training and a field maintenance course for issued equipment.

Antarctic Driver's Licenses are obtained from the MEC. You must have a valid Driver's License from your home state in order to receive an "Antarctic Driver's License" and drive in McMurdo. To be issued an Antarctic Driver's License, you must attend a briefing on and test drive MEC-issued vehicles.

Operations Coordinator, Fixed-Wing Aircraft: The Operations Coordinator, Fixed-Wing, is the point-of-contact for all fixed-wing aircraft concerns. This person helps you plan cargo loads for put-in flights, plans the daily fixed-wing flight schedule, communicates daily with field parties, and coordinates all resupply and schedule changes for remote, fixed-wing-supported field groups. The coordinator is located in Building 58.

Science Construction Support: All science construction support requests should be listed on your SIP; however, if you have late-identified (i.e., while in Antarctica) construction requests, submit a work order to the CSEC Supervisor. On-ice construction support requests will require approval by the resident NSF representative.

Science Cargo: If you have questions about the arrival, shipment, or retrograde of your cargo, contact the Science Cargo Coordinator, who is located in Building 193. Science Cargo is responsible for handling all grantee cargo and is the principal contact with the military cargo system.

On to Section 3: Basic Field-Party Preparation Procedures.