Course Details

The Antarctic Biology Courses, offered since 1994, have 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 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.

2018 Course Details

  • Lectures - The program will include an intense series of daily lectures, closely combined with laboratory and field work.
  • 2018 Focus - The focus of the 2018 course is on the biology of marine organisms. Scientists from other disciplines are encouraged to apply, and even participants with a marine science background should not expect to work on projects in their own particular area of expertise. Rather, we provide the opportunity to expand interests and learn about other organisms and processes beyond those you are most comfortable with. This is a training program, not the opportunity to undertake your own individual research.
  • Research Projects - Participants will, however, be involved in individual and group research projects that are part of the general course themes; personal research activities cannot be supported. The course projects are designed to be collaborative. New ideas and approaches are highly encouraged and will be accommodated whenever possible, if resources are available.
  • Data - All data collected belong to the program, not to individuals.
  • Samples - Due to many complex logistical and legal permitting processes for movement of samples to and from Antarctica, participants will not be allowed to return any samples from Antarctica to their home institution.

Travel and Logistics

  • Travel Date Flexibility - Given the logistical complexity of traveling to Antarctica, participants have to be flexible regarding actual dates of travel, spanning from late December 2017 to early February 2018. The exact travel dates will be finalized by the travel coordinators for the United States Antarctic Program. Individual travel preferences will likely not be accommodated.
  • Travel from Home Institution to Christchurch - Full airfare from each participant’s home institution to Christchurch, New Zealand will be covered by the United States Antarctic Program. Participants will have to pay for their own food while traveling to and from their home institution to Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • Travel from Christchurch to Antarctica - Travel to Antarctica from Christchurch, and full room & board while in Antarctica, will be covered by the United States Antarctic Program.
  • Clothing - The United States Antarctic Program will provide each participant will official outer “extreme weather” clothing – these are standard-issue garments (size appropriate) for each member of the United States Antarctic Program who is working in Antarctica. Personal items, such as thermal underwear and thermal socks, will need to be provided by each individual.

How To Apply »


Donal T. Manahan, PhD
University of Southern California

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