South-African National Antarctic Programme
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Frequently Asked Questions


GENERAL

What is SANAP?                                                

SANAP is an acronym for the South African National Antarctic Program, managed under the auspices of the Directorate: Antarctic and Islands of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Republic of South Africa. SANAP encompasses three research stations, viz. a meteorological station at Gough Island, a meteorological and biological research station at Marion Island, and a physical sciences research program at the SANAE base in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.

"The mission of the South African National Antarctic Program is to increase understanding of the natural environment and life in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean through appropriate science and technology. This is necessary in order to optimise present and preserve future options for South Africa in the region and to enhance predictive capability in areas of relevance nationally and internationally, and will also ensure that South Africa remains party to informed decision making on matters in the national interest."

How do I apply for a Job in Antarctica or the Islands?

Application forms for SANAE (and the islands, Gough and Marion) can be obtained from:

Download application forms at Jobs or contact Susan Vosloo (Human Resources) at:

Tel: +27 (0)12 310-3570
Fax: +27 (0)12 320 5450

for more information.

GOUGH ISLAND

Where is Gough Island?

Gough Island is situated at 40° 18'S and 9° 56'W, about 2700km SSW of Cape Town.

Who does Gough Island belong to?

Gough Island is a British island where South-Africa runs a meteorological station.

How big is Gough Island?

Gough Island is roughly 64km² large, 14.5km long and about 6.5km wide.

How many people are there on Gough Island?

The teams sent to Gough Island on an annual basis by SANAP usually consist of 6 members. There are no other people on the Island.

What are we doing at Gough Island?

South-Africa runs a very important Meteorological Observation station on Gough Island. Weather parameters are observed every day and sent back to the South African Weather Service from where it is made available globally for use in forecasting and research.

Why is it important to observe the weather at Gough Island?

Weather observations are used for forecasting and research globally. The southern hemisphere is comprised mostly of ocean and under developed countries with little financial resources for meteorology. This makes the southern hemisphere a data sparse area, impacting on global weather forecasting. Therefore every data point is extremely valuable especially if it is one of very few trusted data points in the entire South-Atlantic.

What makes Gough Island special?

Gough Island is an International Heritage site due to the pristine uncompromised wildlife on the Island. It is one of very few breeding grounds for the Tristan albatross and has at least 11 documented plant species that occur nowhere else.

How can I go to Gough Island?

A standard team consist of a paramedic, communications engineer, diesel technician and 3 meteorologists. If you think you can do one of these jobs, you can go to Gough Island.

You can get application forms here.

How long does an expedition last?

An expedition lasts for 13 months from the time you leave Cape-Town. Usually from September to the following year, October.

MARION ISLAND

Where is Marion Island?

Marion Island is in the Southern Indian Ocean at 46 ° 54’S 37° 45’E. It is approximately 1770km south east of Port Elizabeth.

Who does Marion Island belong to?

Marion Island is a South- African island

How big is Marion Island?

Marion Island is about 290km² large with a circumference of 72km, mostly cliffs.

How many people are there on Marion Island?

The teams sent to Gough Island on an annual basis by SANAP usually consist of 14 members. There are no other people on the Island.

What are we doing at Marion Island?

Marion Island is a meteorological observation station and biological research station.

Why is it important to observe the weather at Marion Island?

Weather observations are used for forecasting and research globally. The southern hemisphere is comprised mostly of ocean and under developed countries with little financial resources for meteorology. This makes the southern hemisphere a data sparse area, impacting on global weather forecasting. Therefore every data point is extremely valuable especially if it is one of very few trusted data points in the entire South-Indian.

What makes Marion Island special?

Marion Island exhibits a rare potential for the study of ecological processes and the monitoring of ecological change and the preservation of biological diversity.

How can I go to Marion Island?

A standard team consist of a paramedic, communications engineer, diesel technician and 3 meteorologists and the various scientists. If you think you can do one of these jobs, you can go to Marion Island.

You can get Application forms here.

How long does an expedition last?

An expedition lasts for 13 months, usually from April to May the following year.

SANAE

Where is SANAE?

SANAE IV, the current SA base is located at 71° 40’S and 2° 51’W on top of Vesleskarvet in Antarctica.

Who does Antarctica belong to?

Antarctica belongs to nobody but many countries, including SA signed the Antarctic treaty which states that Antarctica will only be used for peaceful and scientific purposes.

How big is Antarctica?

Antarctica is the 5th largest continent. Roughly 98% of it is covered by ice.

How many people are there on Antarctica?

There is only 1 “town”, McMurdo with about 1000 residents. Otherwise, many countries have bases, some only open in summer, open the whole year round. SANAE is occupied year-round.

What are we doing in Antarctica?

SANAE is used for scientific research and weather observation. Science include various cosmic research projects.

Why is it important to observe the weather at Antarctica?

Weather observations are used for forecasting and research globally. The southern hemisphere is comprised mostly of ocean and under developed countries with little financial resources for meteorology. This makes the southern hemisphere a data sparse area, impacting on global weather forecasting. Therefore every data point is extremely valuable especially if it is one of very few trusted data points in the entire South-Indian.

What makes Antarctica special?

Antarctica is a very harsh but beautiful continent, mostly untouched by humans. Due to the inward curving magnetic lines at the poles, it is the perfect place to do space particle research. Antarctica can also be seen as the earths thermometer, the impact of the hole in the ozone layer and global warming on the continent has consequences for the entire globe. Lastly, due to the treaty, this may be the last place where countries happily work together for the greater good of man-kind.

How can I go to Antarctica?

A standard team consist of a medical doctor, communications engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, 2  diesel technicians and a meteorologists and the various scientists. If you think you can do one of these jobs, you can go to Antarctica.
You can get application forms here.

How long does an expedition last?

An expedition lasts for roughly 14 months, leaving Cape-Town in late December and returning early February 14 month slater.


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