Projects That Need Your Support
Although Westarctica has several ongoing campaigns including education initiatives and public outreach actions, there are three projects that we feel are important enough to focus on in the coming year.
If you would like to earmark your contribution specifically to any of these projects, you may either click the blue donate button or donate through our other channels and send an email to let us know which project you wish to support.
Automatic Weather Station
An automatic weather station (AWS) is an automated version of the traditional weather station, either to save human labor or to enable measurements from remote areas.
An AWS will typically consist of a weather-proof enclosure containing the data logger, rechargeable battery, and meteorological sensors with an attached solar panel or wind turbine and mounted upon a mast.
The Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) Project is an Antarctic research program at the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison that operates and maintains approximately 63 automated weather stations in Antarctica, more than half of all stations currently known to be operating on the continent.
Westarctica would like to partner with the University of Wisconsin to sponsor one of their Automatic Weather Stations located in a remote part of Western Antarctica.
This will allow scientists to collect data and monitor the overall ecology of the area while also contributing to the mass of climate data being gathered across the continent.
Antarctic Research Expedition
Visiting Antarctica is a trip most people could only dream about. But what about visiting for a purpose?
Westarctica has been in the planning process to send a small team of researchers to Western Antarctica to observe and document the current condition of the ice shelves and glaciers along the coast of the Amundsen Sea. On two previous occasions, in 2015 and 2017, our expeditions were nearly ready to launch before funding and logistical issues prevented us from moving forward.
Traveling to any part of Antarctica is extremely expensive. Just touching the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula for a day will cost around $6,000 per person. Western Antarctica is much more remote, and further south, than the Peninsula. Tickets to spend a month on a coastal expedition in the Amundsen Sea start at around $30,000, while a flight to the deep interior of Antarctica costs upwards of $50,000 per person.
Our goal is to not only see the situation in Antarctica for ourselves, but to properly document the entire expedition with an adventure writer who has previously been published in National Geographic Magazine. We're confident the story will raise the public profile of Western Antarctica and get people thinking about climate change in a different way!
Antarctic Science Discovery Center
An important aspect of Antarctica is how incredibly remote it is, and while this remoteness has some benefits, one primary drawback is "out of sight, out of mind." Most people don't think too much about Antarctica or the associated issues because they're unlikely to ever have a personal experience with the continent.
Westarctica aims to change that by establishing an Antarctic Science Discovery Center in a major city in the United States. Ideally, this facility would also serve as a public meeting place for climate rallies and other ecological protest events.
The bulk of the discovery center would be dedicated to showcasing the history of Antarctica and providing engaging science displays that educate visitors about the current environmental crises occurring in Western Antarctica. We would also host speakers, such as scientists who have visited Antarctica.
This would be an easy and fun way to the general public to get more interested in Antarctic issues and better understand the impact their actions have on polar environments.