Post office in Antarctica seeks staff | Polarjournal
Port Lockroy is a natural harbour. The station is located on Goudier Island. Here, the effects of tourism on penguins are tested. A maximum of three cruise ships with a maximum of 500 passengers are allowed to anchor each day, of which only 60 may be ashore at any one time. Only a part of the island is accessible to tourists, who are only allowed to stay on designated paths and in limited areas. The larger part remains closed to protect the penguins. So far, results show that tourism has a rather positive effect on the penguins, possibly by the fact that the presence of humans chases away predatory gulls that prey on penguin chicks and eggs. (Photo: Heiner Kubny)

Are there staff shortages at stations in Antarctica? This question arises after Australian, New Zealand and British research stations, in addition to their website, had various positions up for grabs. The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) has now added Port Lockroy, another station in Antarctica that has spectacular jobs to offer.

If you don’t mind cold weather and love penguins, then some recently posted jobs might be right for you. The UKAHT is looking for a team of people to run the world’s most remote post office and gift store for five months. The post office is located on Goudier Island in Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition, Port Lockroy is the oldest permanent British base on the Antarctic Peninsula. It was founded in 1944 and is currently one of the most visited stations in Antarctica.

The station is largely financed by the sale of souvenir items to tourists. (Photo: UKAHT)

The UKAHT is forming a new team for Port Lockroy Station. According to the trust’s website, openings are available from November through March 2023 for positions such as base manager, store manager and gift salesperson and postal assistant. The jobs are described as “physically and mentally challenging”, and applicants were advised to speak with their primary care physician for health advice before applying.

Accommodation and meals are provided. The bedroom was described as “simple but comfortable”. Applicants are required to be willing to adapt to a simpler way of life, without great comfort.

Part of the Port Lockroy staff’s job is to observe and count the penguins. (Photo: Heiner Kubny)

What are the requirements?

Lauren Luscombe, the UKAHT Antarctic operations manager, told BBC News that the charity is looking for applicants who have a range of skills: “Given the nature of the day-to-day tasks required to keep Port Lockroy running smoothly, we are looking for applicants who can bring a range of skills to the team, such as retail experience, building maintenance and team leadership.

“The successful candidates will live in close quarters for five months, so it’s also important that we find the right balance of skills and personalities.”

From the Port Lockroy post office, which is considered the southernmost on earth, items will be carried on the next supply ship to Falkland. From there, the mail is sent on to the rest of the world. Thus, it may not arrive until months after the return of the sender.

How do I apply?

Individuals who wish to apply for the position may do so at the UKAHT website by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, 25 April.

Successful candidates will receive one week of training in Cambridge in October before departing for Antarctica later in the year.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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