SCAR SC-HASS Conference – Portugal June 2023

SCAR SC-HASS Conference – Portugal June 2023

The 2023 SCAR SC-HASS Conference: with the theme: “The Antarctic for a Better World” hosted by Universidade Lusófona took place in June, Lisbon, Portugal.  There were more than 150 participants from all over the world and were welcomed with a Portuguese delicacy Pasties de Nata. The annual business meeting of SCHASS took place at the end of the conference where it was announced that next conference will be a hybrid and in 2027 the SCHASS conference will be in-person.

This year’s SC-HASS Conference was, as always, a wonderful experience. It was an honour to represent the newly established South African Polar Research Infrastructure, presenting on its prospects on connecting the society of South Africa with research of global interest, Marine and Antarctic research. Particularly valuable to me was the discussions and new connections made within the Public Engagement on Antarctic Research sessions we had during the conference and sharing ideas with communicators and researchers within various fields (social sciences, history, journalism, science communication, art, tourism), all with the focus on “science for the benefit of society”. I look forward continuing various discussions which initiated through this in-person conference –  Anche Louw (Digital Marketing and Communications Manager of SAPRI, Co-Investigator of the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa project, a SA representative on the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences (SCHASS) at SCAR and on the SA National Committee for SCAR and a member of the action group for Public Engagement with Antarctic Research (PEAR) at SCAR).

It was wonderful to meet up in person again with the Antarctic HASS community, after the last in-person meeting in Ushuaia, Argentina, in 2019. Since then, many of us have met and collaborated online, but there is something special and productive about being able to interact face to face. The talks were diverse and informative, we received excellent feedback on our papers, and made numerous contacts for future collaborative research – Charne Lavery (Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Pretoria, Co-director of the Oceanic Humanities for the Global South project, a South African Humanities and Social Sciences delegate to the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and PI on a South African National Research Foundation’s Antarctic Programme (SANAP) project: ‘Antarctica, Africa and the Arts’).

This was the best conference I have attended. Everyone was friendly and generous with their feedback. The conference was structured so that there was a tea or lunch after each session, facilitating continuing conversations outside of the presentation time. I thoroughly enjoyed it – Jean Brundrit (Teaches photography, researches and makes art in the Fine Art Department at the University of Cape Town).

I was delighted to participate in the Antarctic Hass conference this year. The range of intellectual interest I encountered there went well beyond the limits of my own literary investments in the region, and in ways that I found both productive and rewarding. I found the variety of approaches to how the Antarctic has and might be thought particularly interesting, and I was pleasantly surprised by how Antarctic Scholarship seems especially able to accommodate interdisciplinary modes of academic inquiry – Simon van Schalkwyk (Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Studies at the School for Literature Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand).

I’m new to this field and was a bit hesitant about presenting work that is still very much ‘in progress’ but am so glad that I did! The conference was an amazing opportunity to meet the Antarctic HASS community and to share ideas, contacts and resources –  Adrienne van Eeden-Wharton (Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pretoria on the Antarctica, Africa and the Arts project (NRF-SANAP funded project). 

The COVID pandemic change the conference environment. Since the last SCHASS in 2019 in Argentina the Social Sciences and Humanities community had online meetings and discussions and activities within this discipline carried on. Attending an in-person meeting made me once again realise that we are human beings, and we need human contact. It was great to meet with colleagues that I have become friends over the past years, it felt like a family reunion. The great networking that takes place outside of the presentations cannot be substitute by online symposia and conferences. It is great to be part of this standing committee of SCAR and its activities. The chance to further data management in the social sciences and humanities is always important – Ria Olivier (Principal Investigator and digital archivist of Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) based at Stellenbosch University, member and SA representative of Standing Committees on Humanities and Social Science in Antarctica (SCHASS) and Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), and on the SA National Committee for SCAR). 

Conference closing ceremony: a performance by a university student musical band. We thank the organisers that delegates part of the SA National Antarctic Programme could attend this conference.

Photo Credit: Pasties de Nata and Musical band – SCHASS

Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 23 August 2023

SANAE 62 – Newsletter May 2023

SANAE 62 – Newsletter May 2023

S62_may_newsletter_2023The 62nd South African National Antarctic Expedition (SANAE) team has published their second newsletter – May edition and is now available on the ALSA archive.

Get a glimpse into the life of overwintering team members at the SANAE IV research station.

A message from the Editor:

“You know there’s different ways to try and express the vast beauty of this world that can be articulated without a single phase. We don’t always consciously realise how magnificent nature can be. From witnessing auroras for the first time, or an optical phenomenon such as the light pillar effect and immensely strong winds with temperatures dropping below -45 °C, at wind chill”.

Read in the newsletter about:
  • Chasing Auroras
  • Weather data for May 2023
  • Winter Solstice (Midwinter) 
  • Super Darn Radar
  • Photo: see the weather circumstance during smelly duty (melting ice and snow for water)


Click here: SANAE 62 May Newsletter

View the S62 newsletters here!


This newsletter was written and compiled by the 62nd SANAE Overwintering Team. The team decided to name their newsletter ‘The Nunatak’, but for archival and consistency it will be archived as The Endurance (name of SANAE Newsletters).

Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa & Anche Louw, South African Polar Research Infrastructure, 24 July 2023. 

The Wanderer – Final Newsletter of Marion 79

The Wanderer – Final Newsletter of Marion 79

Message form the editor, Elsa van Ginkel:

” February and March were tinted with a mixture of anticipation for the ship to arrive and that sad inevitable feeling that this might be the last time we set foot on this breath-taking island – a little sub-Antarctic gem we called home for the past 14 months. It was such an honour and a privilege to be able to contribute to such a large conservation initiative. We had to face many unforeseen challenges heads on, both as a team and as individuals. We made it through gale force winds and the unfortunate ice pellets of life that came our way during this year but we certainly found moments of utmost joy and these are the memories we will cherish for life. Our expedition has now come to an end and I wish all the M79 team members a safe journey back home and the best of luck for their future endeavours…”


In this final edition: a word from the team leader, Tshimangadzo Jufter Munyai. 

Feb - Mar23_Wanderer_Final_Page_04

An interview with the birders.


A day in the life of a medical orderly, Mndeni Aaron Hlatshwayo. 

Marion 79

Beautiful memorable shots, and much more…

Click here: Last M79 newsletter

Click here for the complete M79 newsletter collection on the ALSA Archive

Goodbye Marion 79 – we wish you well in your future endeavors. May the experience you had on Marion Island forever have a positive impact on your life. 

Marion 79

Team Photo in the middle: 

Top row (left to right): Banele Dosi (MIMMP Sealer), Samuel Peta (O & C Birder – DFFE), Sanele Action Mkhize (Diesel Mechanic), Siphesihle Faltein (Assistant Meteorological Technician – SAWS), Lucy Smyth (MAPRU/NMU Birder), Michael Ross (MIMMP Sealer).

Middle row (left to right): Monica Leitner (MIMMP Killer whaler/Sealer), Mndeni ‘Amani’ Hlatshwayo (Medical Orderly), Thendo Sikhwari (Senior Meteorological Technician – SAWS), Andile Ace Mdluli (O & C Birder – DFFE), Gladys Kemei (Communications Engineer and Deputy Team Leader), Tankiso H. Moso (SANSA Electronics Engineer and Science Team Leader), Ntlangemhlophe Sanele Sukude Nombekela (Chef), Mishumo Masithembi (Environmental Control Officer).

Bottom row (left to right): Gcobani Tshangana (Assistant Environmental Control Officer), Austin Acro Gumba (UKZN Astrophysicist), Tanganedzani Tshitavhe (Assistant Meteorological Technician – SAWS), Tshimangadzo Jufter Munyai (Base Engineer and Team Leader), Elsa van Ginkel (MFM Ecologist).

Insert (left): Abuyiselwe Nguna (Geomorphologist); Insert (right): Vhuawelo Simba (MFM Ecologist).


Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa & Anche Louw, South African Polar Research Infrastructure, 18 July 2023. 

Midwinter greetings from South Africa’s Overwintering Teams

Midwinter greetings from South Africa’s Overwintering Teams

We wish the South African team on Antarctica (SANAE 62), Marion Island (Marion 80) and Gough Island (Gough 68) a Happy Midwinter!

See midwinter greeting cards from the stations below.

Antarctica, SANAE 62


Marion Island, Marion 80


Gough Island, Gough68

Gough Island Midwinter Card_Gough68


Follow APECS South Arica on Instagram for video interviews from Antarctica, to be posted throughout this week. 

The first interview is with Dr. Abby Paton, Medical doctor at SANAE IV. 

Scan the QR code below on click on the image to watch the interview. 


SEAmester 2023 – Applications now open

SEAmester 2023 – Applications now open

Call for student and lecturer applications for SEAmester VI!

CLOSING date  14 APRIL 2023.

South Africa’s Class Afloat aims to introduce marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field to students who have shown an affinity for core science disciplines

SEAmester V 2022 (read more about SEAmester cruises)

Applications are now open for LECTURER and STUDENT participation on the 2023 SEAmester-South Africa’ Class Afloat Programme. CLICK HERE

The Department of Science and Innovation requires platforms to “attract young researchers to the region and retain them by exciting their interest in aspects of global change”. SEAmester introduces marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field to students. Its long‐term vision is aimed at building capacity within the marine sciences by co‐ordinating cross‐disciplinary research projects through a highly innovative programme. The strength of SEAmester is that postgraduate students combine theoretical classroom learning with the application of this knowledge through ship-based and hands-on research. The state‐of‐the‐art research vessel, S.A. Agulhas II, provides the ideal teaching and research platform for SEAmester; its size, comfort and shipboard facilities allow large groups of students and lecturers to productively interact over a period of 10 days.  

SEAmester will depart on the 19th June returning to Cape Town on the 30th June 2023.  PLEASE NOTE: Applicants to be aware that the cruise dates may be subject to change by a few days.  For further information please refer to 




© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits