Polar bears! Did I mention the polar bears?! Seriously, POLAR BEARS!!

May 10, 2018

 

It is highly unlikely that we will meet polar bears during our time in the field.  But, that is certainly a situation for which we ought to be well prepared!  We’ve been preparing for our worst-case scenarios under the guidance of our Personnel Safety Officer, Suz, who has decades of global experience as a mountaineer and has served as a senior member of the U.S. Antarctic Program Search and Rescue team for ten seasons.

 

We are taking all the normal bear precautions:  

  1. There is no food, deodorant, or other fragrant things allowed in the sleeping areas.
  2. The cook tent and food stores are kept outside of the sleeping area, and downwind.
  3. The sleeping quarters are surrounded by a trip-wire perimeter an electrified fence (see diagram).
  4. We have bear spray and flares to deter any that wander too close. 
  5. We are bringing big guns!

Should the bear-spray, flares, banging of pots and pans, and foul language not work to deter a bear, it is up to the sharp-shooters.  For the Install Team, this is Dani and Brad.  For the Demob team, it is Dani and Veronica. The sharp-shooters have been in training as much as possible before deployment. Although admittedly, clay pigeons/skeet are a lot smaller, orange, and less threatening than a charging polar bear!