mlml logo

nsf logo Powered by Blogger.
Friday, October 26, 2007: Word on the McMurdo Street is….

I can see observation hill out of one of the windows in our lab. If you look closely you can see a cross that has been mounted at the top.

So after three weeks I have started to become familiar with all of the acronyms and slang that runs ramped around McMurdo Station. There are so many times when I have to search my brain to connect the acronym to the actual meaning. So just incase you intend on coming to Antarctica I have taken the liberty of introducing all of you some McMurdo idioms.


Mac Town: Short for McMurdo Station

Bag Drag: When people who are traveling to and from McMurdo Station show up to weigh in for their flight

Beaker: Scientist

Boomerang: A flight that turns back to the departing airport usually due to bad weather.

Bunny Boots: Boots that are issued to you in Christchurch. These boots water proof and keep you pretty warm.

C-17: A type of aircraft that most people fly to Mac Town in and will boomerang if there is bad weather.

CDC: The Clothing Distribution Center that is located in Christchurch. This place issues you all of your Extreme Cold Weather gear.

ChCh: Short for Christchurch

The Crud: The name of the sickness that fresh arrivals get when they come to Mac Town. Usually the crud flies in with the freshies.

D.A.: Dinning attendant who makes sure the food in the galley is fully stocked.

DNF: Do not freeze. This was written all over our food that we are sending out to our field camp.

ECW: Extreme cold weather gear. This gear is issued at the CDC and is a life saver in this cold environment.

Finjy or F.N.G: Stands for “Freakin New Guy/Gal”. We’re all a finjy at some time or another.

G.A.: General assistant who does all sorts of labor type tasks.

Helo: Short for helicopter.

The Ice: Another name for Antarctica.

Mainbody: The group of people who come during the summer season. The mainbody can reach up to 1,000 people during the summer.

Midrats: This is short of “midnight rations”. The crew who work the graveyard shift need to eat to and the galley is open at midnight to provide them with food.

NSF: National Science Foundation. They have paid for most of us beakers to be here. Thanks NSF!

Ob Hill: One of the hiking trails that is just above MacTown and provides a great view of the town.

P.I.: Principle Investigator and the person who is head of a science project. Stacy is our P.I.

POO: Point of Origin. My POO is in San Jose.

The Pole: Short for the South Pole Station. People who are flying to the pole usually come through MacTown first.

Polie: This is the person who is headed to the pole either to be a worker or a beaker.

S.A.R. Team: The Search And Rescue Team. If you get lost, these people will find you… hopefully.

Skua Central: When people are leaving MacTown and don’t want to lug all the stuff they have collected while here back home they drop it off at skua central. Think of it as a place where you can drop off anything of value that you don’t want and think someone else might.

USAP: The United States Antarctica Program, they make the whole trip possible

WinFly: Usually the group of people who fly to the Ice in August and are the first people the winter-overs will see that summer.

Winter-Overs: People who spend the winter on the Ice. Someone’s got to be here to keep the place running. There are usually about 200 winter-overs here during the winter.

And that is just some of the new words I’ve had to learn. There have been so many new people whose names I have been trying to remember that have been packed into my head. One new name I remember is Ben Bachelder. The reason I remember Ben’s name is because he was our tender dive tender today. Stacy and I dove at a site called Outfall B and we had Ben and Mindy as dive tenders. I had a great dive and it was all due to a tender dive tender named Ben.

Tender dive tender Ben in all his might and glory.

Stacy snapped this photo of me while we were at our safety stop.

The sun and blue skies returned to McMurdo Station today. It’s been pretty cloudy and overcast lately and it’s nice to be able and see Mt. Discovery across the Ice.


alright,i can't keep this surprise from u any longer, nick(and crew):

i want u and ur crew to know that an elementary/middle school classroom in your hometown, nick, at the same school we went to, nick...

Mr.Marco(me) took the liberty of presenting your adventures and your project to his class. the kids are ecstatic about your project and the entire class is following your adventures. we even had a projector presentation i set up for the class the other day and used this website to project all entries on the huge white board. the kids are very excited about you and your "robot".

what stared as something ive become immensely proud of u for, nick, has become a part of a 6th grade lesson plan :) i want you to know what you guys are doing is extraordinary and there are lil 6th graders who are being moved by what you are doing, there inturn, making a difference in the youth of today. they need positive role models like you, nick, and the crew. u guys make it possible for these kids to "believe" that they too can one day be... in Antarctica. or make robots. or swim with seals. As an educator, i thank u all for this.

with my surprise revealed :) i would like to now cordially invite you and maybe another one of your buddies from the project to speak to our class about SCINI. i mentioned to them it might be possible, and they are looking forward to the possibility. everyday, the kids ask.."mr. marco, how's your best friend nick doing now? whats he doing now? is he diving again?! is his oxygen tank ok now?! have they seen more seals?".

try to get back to me. i know ure on the south pole hehe, but whenever u get a chance in your journeys, contact me at


much love, bro.

random fact: we just had a 5.6 quake, nick. it was o so scary, and o so long. 8:05pm

how's the ice? :)

Post a Comment!

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]

This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.