2019-2020 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2019-2020 USAP Field Season
Station and Vessel Schedules

The United States Antarctic Program operates three permanent research stations on the continent and two research vessels.

Opening Dates

  Austral Summer Openings Austral Winter Openings
Operational Science
(Early Season*)
19 Aug 2019 22 Aug 2019
19 Sep 2019
24 Feb 2020
McMurdo (Mainbody) 30 Sep 2019 2 Oct 2019
South Pole 5 Nov 2019 5 Nov 2019 15 Feb 2020
Palmer 6 Oct 2019 5 Apr 2020 N/A
Research Vessels Vessels Operate Year-Round
(Find Vessel Schedules)
*A limited number of science projects deploy early

Estimated Population

Summer Winter
McMurdo 850 (weekly average)
2,300 (total)
(winter total)
South Pole 150 (weekly average)
450 (total)
(winter total)
Palmer 36-44 (weekly average)
196 (total)
RV/IB* NBP 39 science and staff
ARSV** LMG Capacity per cruise: 27 science and staff
Capacity per transit to/from Palmer Station: 37 science and staff with two berthing vans.
*RV/IB, Research Vessel/Icebreaker
**ARSV, Antarctic Research Support Vessel