14 March 2023

Recruits wanted for ‘opportunity like no other’ counting penguins in Antarctica

14 March 2023

Recruitment has begun for a team to take on an “opportunity like no other” living and working in Antarctica, where they will have no access to wifi or running water and tackle jobs including a daily penguin count.

The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) has launched its latest five-month opening for some of the most remote jobs in the world at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island, Antarctica, located around 9,000 miles from the UK.

The charity needs new recruits to look after the premises at the outpost – which marks its 80th anniversary this year and is home to the world’s most southern Post Office.

The team will be responsible for caring for the flagship site, running the Post Office and gift shop, maintaining artefacts at the museum at Bransfield House, and conducting daily counts to protect the colony of gentoo penguins.

UKAHT is looking for individuals with a keen sense of adventure and a love of Antarctica to take on the role.

There are five jobs available including base leader, postmaster and wildlife monitor.

The charity is also searching for two conservation carpenters to restore parts of Bransfield House following a period of heavy snow.

New recruits will need to be resilient, physically fit and environmentally aware.

UKAHT chief executive Camilla Nichol said the positions are “incredibly popular” and attracted a record number of applicants last year.

Ms Nichol said: “We are excited to offer an opportunity like no other, living in a landscape that makes you feel pure awe and wonder and working at Port Lockroy – the birthplace of the British Antarctic Survey – where pioneering generations have gone before us making groundbreaking discoveries about our world.

“Last year we received a record number of applications for just four roles based on Goudier Island, so these positions are incredibly popular.

“This is also a really exciting season to be working at Port Lockroy as we will be celebrating its 80th anniversary.

“In 1944, Operation Tabarin – a secret Second World War mission – established Port Lockroy as the first British base in Antarctica and marked the start of British scientific research on the continent.

“Our contributions to Antarctic climate research, mapping and geology can be traced back to that moment and this year’s team will be bringing this rich history to life for visitors from around the world.”

The current Port Lockroy team of postmaster Clare Ballantyne, wildlife monitor Mairi Hilton, shop manager Natalie Corbett and base leader Lucy Bruzzone said in a joint statement: “We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend this time in Antarctica caring for this important heritage site and seeing the seasonal changes in the amazing scenery and wildlife,” they said.

“It is a beautiful place that has inspired us all to reflect on the importance of protecting this unique landscape and its heritage, and to consider what impact our actions at home may have on this very special environment.”

Applicants need to apply by March 26, while those looking to take on the role of conservation carpenter will need to submit applications by April 12.

Interviews are due to take place online, with those shortlisted invited to a two-day selection event in Northamptonshire before undertaking training in Cambridgeshire.

Successful candidates will live and work at Port Lockroy from November until March 2024, while conservation carpenters will arrive at the site in January 2024 for six to eight weeks.

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