August is a very special month for women in South Africa and this said we would like to salute women within the South African National Antarctic Programme.
SANAP is filled with strong women in Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Southern Ocean research. The programme also consist of a number of brave women overwintering at the South African research stations (Marion Island, Gough Island and Antarctica).
There are 29 National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology funded projects within SANAP and 13 of these are managed by women. This is evident that women definitely have a place within Antarctic research.
The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) sends four volunteers to Antarctica every year. These volunteers assist with hard work (physically and mentally). The last take-over to Antarctica, three of the four South African National Space Agency (SANSA) volunteers were women.
During my trip to Antarctica earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet a number of very inspiring women – in the video below, meet the three SANSA volunteers of the 2018/2019 Antarctic take-over and the new VLF (Very Low Frequency) SANSA Engineer, who is currently overwintering at the South African National Antarctic Expedition station (SANAE IV).
Anché Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 13 August 2019.
It was lovely meeting up with Mpho at SANAE. We’ve spent a take-over together on Marion Island in 2016, after her year on the island as the Environmental Control Officer (ECO) for M72 (2015-2016).
72nd Marion Overwintering Team. Mpho standing in the top row, 2nd from right. Click on the photo to view more detail of the team.
Upon return from her year on Marion Island, there was an opening for an ECO on the 2017/2018 Antarctica take-over. Mpho grabbed this opportunity on with both hands. She’s also been back to Marion Island in 2018, as the take-over ECO and since been employed by the Department of Environmental Affairs, based at the Pretoria office.
VIDEO#2: Meet this take-over’s ECO (Environmental Control Officer) – Mpho Mashau
This is the first of many video’s taken by the team of Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, while visiting the SANAE IV station during this current take-over (2018/2019).
This series of videos will be posted over the next few months (See playlist on Facebook here: SEASON 1: Antarctica Take-Over 2018/2019) to introduce you to the overwintering team and the support staff of this take-over.
Watch these videos and learn more about the different operations involved in such an expedition.