Why is Airbnb taking UAE Volunteers to ANTARTICA?

03 November 2019

Lab Chat

Tourism and lodging hub Airbnb have announced they will be taking five lucky volunteers to Antarctica this winter – and UAE residents are eligible to apply. The initiative is part of a scientific mission to improve our understanding of how humans impact upon the environment around us, even in the furthest reaches of the planet.

The expedition will take place over a four-week period, encompassing a fortnight in Chilean Patagonian, where the team will be put through their paces, followed by ten days of collecting evidence and exploring the area surrounding the South Pole. The final days of the trip will be spent collating and analysing the results of the research for presentation.

The trip of a lifetime

Those successful in their application will be whisked away to the south of Chile in mid-November to spend two weeks preparing for the upcoming expedition. During this time, they’ll familiarise themselves with scientific jargon necessary to perform their roles, make sure their gear is up to scratch and meet Chilean partners in the project.

The next 10 days will take place in Antarctica itself, where the 24-hour days of sunlight will be filled with collecting snow samples, analysing them in the lab and determining whether microplastics can be found in their composition. The final few days of the trip will return to Chile, where the volunteers will unpack their findings and use them to provide a measure of human impact on one of the world’s most isolated regions.

No specific qualifications or prior experience are needed, though it might help if you are inclined to adventuring and have a real passion for the environment. There are certain geographical restrictions in place, but those living in Dubai with a solid grasp of conversational English are more than welcome to apply.

All work and some play

The expedition will be led by environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams at the University of Exeter, who promises it “will be hard work, with scientific rigour required during unforgiving wintery conditions.” However, it’s also guaranteed to be the experience of a lifetime, and Jones-Williams says that they are seeking those who appreciate the opportunity.

“We are looking for passionate individuals, with a sense of global citizenship, who are excited to be a part of the team and to return home and share our findings with the world.” With microplastics an increasingly concerning problem on a truly global scale, the scientific community is always on the lookout for innovative ways of reducing plastic waste and research missions like these can only help to expand our knowledge.

Plus, it won’t be all work and no play. The lucky winners of the competition will also be afforded the opportunity to witness such natural marvels as the South Pole, Charles Peak Windscoop, the Drake Icefall and Elephant’s Head in the flesh. That’s a prize surely worth the entering.

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