Nothing too exciting in the news so I thought I would tell you about my upcoming visit to Antarctica.
I will be taking the Quark ship Ocean Diamond on November 29th to the Antarctic Peninsula. The trip is a part of my research for a master’s thesis (towards a degree in science communication), and I am going to be looking at shipboard science communication and whether it affects passenger behaviour. Modern shipboard tourism is fairly low impact, as their presence on land is temporary and all services are provided by the ship. Antarctic tourism is still a contentious issue, as people visiting the white continent create environmental stress both to the landscape and resident plant and animal life. But if tourists become more motivated to take care of the environment as a result of their visit, would it mitigate that damage somewhat? In the eleven days that I spend aboard ship I hope to be able to question my fellow passengers about their knowledge of the Antarctic environment and their beliefs in conservation and sustainability. Then when the trip is over I will contact them again via email to see if their opinions have changed and whether they are more or less involved in conservation efforts worldwide.
I hope to be able to draw some conclusions using qualitative analysis, and write my research up as both an academic thesis and also a non-fiction adventure travel book.
This is assuming I don’t spend the whole trip feeling seasick! I have had trouble with that in the past, and since the Drake Passage is known as one of the roughest stretches of water on earth I am a little concerned. If you have some suggestions on how to deal with seasickness please leave a comment below.