NSF Advanced Training Program in Antarctica for Early Career Scientists:

Biological Adaptations to Environmental Change

Accepting Applications for January 2018

Deadline is April 17, 2017.

How to Apply

The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) will sponsor the 11th Antarctic Biology Training Program (for early career scientists) at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in January 2018. The program is a collaboration between the University of San Francisco and the University of Southern California; and has a proven record of introducing participants to Antarctic science under realistic field conditions, and providing opportunities to understand and appreciate the complexities and logistical challenges of undertaking science in Antarctica.

Course Themes

The emphasis is on integrative biology, using a combination of laboratory and field-based projects focused on biological adaptations of polar organisms to environmental change. A diverse team of instructors offer participants the opportunity to study a wide range of Antarctic organisms (e.g., bacteria, algae, invertebrates, and fish), as well as study several different levels of biological analysis (spanning molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, ecology, and evolution).

Program Outcomes

Course alumni have leveraged their Antarctic course experience to develop new research directions, incorporate polar science into curricula at their home institutions, and enhance public outreach activities.

For participants in the 2018 program, the major impacts will be to:

  1. introduce new researchers to the unique features of biological processes in an extreme-cold environment
  2. place that understanding of Antarctic biology in the context of evolutionary and environmental change in polar regions
  3. train participants in field and research methods that are unique to the study of biology in Antarctica
  4. foster an appreciation for the importance of the Antarctic ecosystem on global processes
  5. prepare early-career scientists for success in developing their own independent research programs in polar regions

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Travel and Logistics

Antarctic MapParticipants accepted to the course receive some financial support to assist with the cost of travel from their home institution to Christchurch, New Zealand. Full support is provided for transportation to McMurdo Station from New Zealand, plus room and board, and science activities while in Antarctica. Each participant is responsible for covering the costs of completing the NSF-required medical and dental examinations (required of all participants in the US Antarctic Program). It is anticipated that travel dates to and from Antarctica will be in late December 2017 until late January 2018 (exact dates will be set in 2017).

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How To Apply »


Donal T. Manahan, PhD
University of Southern California

Deneb Karentz, PhD
University of San Francisco
main contact for questions from applicants