Palmer Station

Palmer Station January 2010
A fresh look at Palmer Station as of December 2012...photo courtesy of Glenn Grant!

Happy end of July...the sky is a bit darker now than in the above photo. Well, it is winter for those 22 folks...

A strange sad bit of news from Bay Center, Washington...on 12 December the current owner of the Hero said he'd begin to take action to scrap the vessel as soon as possible. Perhaps. Or not. (details).

The 2012-13 summer season began as the LMG arrived on 22 September, bringing a bunch of summer folks and taking most of the w/o's away a week later. The population was then 26, midseason the place got more crowded...up to about 54, perhaps the most residents since the Bahia Paraiso debacle. In late season, things are a bit more quiet.

Winter 2012...Lockheed-Martin took over as the new support contractor...and renovations in the aquarium and GWR shop/storage areas (info).

The 2011-12 summer season brought...an amazing trip by an autonomous underwater vehicle from Palmer to Rothera...not to mention the Blue Ribbon Panel! (updates)

One item of interest...author Fen Montaigne spent 5 months in 2005-06 with Bill Fraser's penguin research team. The result is an amazing book Fraser's Penguins! (author Fen's web site about the book).

Doctor Matt Houseal, who spent 3 months here between September and December 1990...was murdered in Baghdad in early May 2009, one of 5 people shot by a fellow soldier. Matt left Palmer Station to go winter at Pole in 1991. A bit more news and info about Matt is here.

We thought the contract rebidding would be over BY NOW except for the award etc., but NSF has given it a SECOND one-year extension. Perhaps the contract will finally be awarded in 2011. In 1989 the bidders actually got to visit Palmer Station, but that hasn't happened since, all they got were Powerpoint presentations and videos. Here's my commentary on the Antarctic contract rebidding adventure.

25 January 2007...have to announce the death of long-time Antarctican and 1976 manager Larry Miyoda (obituary).

Don't miss Dave Gallas' incredible blow-by-blow eyewitness account of the 1989 Bahia episode!

The late Richie Skane was in the news...before Midwinters Day 2006, veteran science tech Glenn Grant gathered documentation to officially name a significant Antarctic feature (well, significant to us Palmer folks at least) named after Richie. And it happened! Follow the process here.

The 1999 and 2000 winters saw some major renovations of both the biolab main floor and GWR, including a new exterior back stairway on GWR, moving medical and other offices from Biolab to GWR, as well as moving the fire tank outside, to make more room inside Biolab for beakers or whatever. And the 2002 winter saw the massive complete reconstruction of the ground floor of Biolab, including all new labs, HVAC system and boiler, and consolidation (and firewalls/safety upgrades) of the mechanical spaces to make a science instrument lab in the old mechanical room.

What has going on at Palmer more recently? After the 2005 winter construction of T6, things have been a bit quieter. The station science sitreps through 2006-07 were published here by the LTER people, nowadays with a new look (in MS Word, with photos). In 2005. Woods Hole set up the first webcam as part of their survey for their proposed/cancelled remote underwater observatory. That one is no longer functional. Several years ago Glenn Grant documented the January 2004 collapse of the glacier behind OP between Arthur Harbor and Loudwater Cove, turning the area into Norsel Island, perhaps, but in 2007 it was named Amsler Island.

And more recently there is a USAP webcam installed in March 2010 on one of the antenna towers near the station. It was augmented in 2012-13 with a remote penguin camera on Torgersen Island (operational during midsummer).

Old Palmer
A look at the original station
Construction
of Old Palmer, January/February 1965
Commissioning
...of the present station in March, 1968
The Palmer timelines
from, well, 1820 to the present with a few gaps still being worked on...
Palmer Views
Historical miscellany from the old and new days, including a look at those w/o pictures in the GWR stairwell.
Recommended links
pertaining to Palmer and the Antarctic Peninsula updated September 2012
That research vessel Hero
...her history from the keel laying...up to 2012, the long (and sad) version...
About these pages...
and a dedication
Contact Bill Spindler...
...email me!
Updated 31 July 2013
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