Free month-long trip to Antarctica; UAE residents can apply

Antarctica, Airbnb, Ocean Conservancy

Dubai - Join a scientific research mission, and visit the South Pole while you are at it.

By Staff Report

Published: Tue 24 Sep 2019, 12:30 PM

Last updated: Wed 25 Sep 2019, 10:58 AM

If you can manage a month-long vacation and desire to spend some time in the icy Antarctica, an opportunity just opened up for you. The best part is that it's free of cost.

Airbnb and Ocean Conservancy on Tuesday announced the Antarctic Sabbatical, an unprecedented opportunity for five passionate individuals to travel to the Earth's most remote continent and join Antarctic scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific research mission in December. UAE residents can apply.

The five volunteer citizen scientists will collect snow samples and study the extent to which microplastics have made their way to the interior of Antarctica. The goal of the Antarctic Sabbatical is to bring greater awareness to humans' impact on the climate in one of the world's least understood and most isolated ecosystems. By understanding the impact of plastic pollution generated elsewhere in the world, the citizen scientists will deliver insights on how the global community can help protect both Antarctica and the planet.

"Most people think of Antarctica as a pristine and isolated continent, but recent evidence shows that even the most remote locations are affected by plastic pollution. This expedition will help us understand the pathways of microplastics to remote regions such as Antarctica and comes at a critical time to highlight our responsibility to protect our natural world." said Jones-Williams. "This expedition will be hard work, with scientific rigour required during unforgiving wintery conditions. We are looking for passionate individuals, with a sense of global citizenship, who are excited to be a part of the team and to return home and share our findings with the world."

On the month-long expedition, the citizen scientists will:

> Attend an immersion training in Punta Arenas, Chile, where they will prepare themselves with courses on glaciology and field sampling as well as lab work and equipment practice

> Fly to Antarctica to begin their scientific mission, landing on a naturally formed blue-ice runway deep within the continent where the research will be conducted

> Collect snow samples from the interior of Antarctica and study them for foreign microfibers to determine how far waste and pollution has traveled across the world

> Visit the South Pole, where they can walk around the globe in just a few steps.

> Get the chance to explore the beauty of Antarctic sites like the Drake Icefall, Charles Peak Windscoop, and Elephant's Head to learn about the continent's geography.

> Return to Chile where they will continue to study their findings and work with Ocean Conservancy to become ambassadors for protecting the oceans. In this advocacy role, they will deliver insights on how the Airbnb community and others can help minimize their collective plastic footprint to support Ocean Conservancy's mission.

To apply for the Antarctic Sabbatical, visit and complete the application form. Terms and conditions apply.

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