December talk on building South Pole station

Jerry Marty, who was in charge of building the newest South Pole station, talked about the challenges of building the third and current U.S. South Pole station at the ECWG’s annual black tie dinner at the Cosmos Club on Saturday, Dec. 3. 2011.

Jerry Marty carries the U.S. flag leading the procession of flags of Antarctic Treaty nations from the old to the new South Pole Station on Jan. 12, 2007 for the dedication of the new station. National Science Foundation photo by Glenn Grant.

In his talk Marty focused on the challenges of building a 21st century scientific research facility at the Pole and on the exciting new science supported at the station.

This is the Centennial of the arrival of the first people at the South Pole. On Dec. 18, 1911 the Norwegian  explorer Roald Amundsen, and the four men with him arrived at the South Pole. All made it back safely. On Jan. 18 the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and the four men with him arrived to find the tent the Norwegians had left at the Pole. All died on their way back.

U.S. Navy Construction Battalion officers and men built the first U.S. South Pole Station in 1957. People have lived and worked at it and subsequent Pole stations since the first crew spent the Antarctic Winter of 1957-58 there. Marty first worked at the Pole during the 1974-75 “summer” season, which was the final year of construction of the second station. He led the construction of the third station, which was dedicated on Jan. 12, 2008.

More Information: The Antarctic Sun, published by the U.S. Antarctic Program, briefly tells the story of Marty’s life and his work as manger of the construction of the new station in its March 27, 2009 edition.

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