Participant Guide
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo

2016-2018 USAP Participant Guide

Updated September 19, 2016

You may download the complete version of the Participant Guide below, or select individual sections and chapters using the following links.

Participant Guide Link to PDF file

Title Page Link to PDF file
Map of Antarctica Link to PDF file
National Science Foundation Letter Link to PDF file
Some Antarctic Basics Link to PDF file
Welcome Letter Link to PDF file
USAP Transportation Map Link to PDF file
Contents Link to PDF file

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Chapter 1
The 1957 South Pole
wintering party at
a group meal

U.S. Role in Antarctica Link to PDF file

U.S. Expeditions
International Geophysical Year
Antarctic Treaty
United States Antarctic Program
U.S. Antarctic Policy
Antarctic Program Structure
National Science Foundation
Support Contractors
Department of Defense
Department of Homeland Security
Department of the Interior
Department of State
International Cooperation
Science Proposals and Grants

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Chapter 2
Tent in snow.
A Scott tent in the snow

Before You Leave Home Link to PDF file

Program Requirements
Medical and Dental Examinations
Privacy Act Compliance
Deployment Paperwork
Travel Arrangements
Passports, Visas, and Permits
Permits and Approvals
Customs and Your Equipment
Personal Matters
Personal Finances
Income Tax
Power of Attorney
Notary Services
Cash, Meals, and Lodging in Antarctica

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Chapter 3
Researchers conduct an experiment.
Researchers conduct an
experiment on a stream
running into Lake Fryxell
in the McMurdo Dry

How and What to Pack Link to PDF file

Baggage Allowances
Commercial Carriers
Flights from Christchurch to McMurdo Station
Grantee and Technical Event Excess Baggage
Personal Baggage Insurance
Research Vessels and Palmer Station
Mailing Personal Packages
Army and Air Force Post Office (APO) Privileges
Personal Prescription Medications
What to Pack
What Not to Pack
Baggage Organization
Storage Availability
In New Zealand
In Chile

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Chapter 4
An Orca whale in the Ross Sea.
An Orca whale in the Ross Sea

Conservation, Permits, and Science Cargo Link to PDF file

Environmental Impact Assessment
Antarctic Conservation Act
Highlights of the Antarctic Conservation Act
Antarctic Conservation Act Waste Management
Permits and Reporting
Other Import-Export Regulations
Controlled Drugs
New Organisms
Genetically Modified Organisms
Importing Samples into New Zealand
Transshipping Samples Through New Zealand
Radioactive Materials
Science Cargo
Sea and Air
Retrograde (Return) Science Cargo
Travel within Antarctica
Air Transport

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Chapter 5
A United States Antarctic Program helicopter.
A United States Antarctic
Program helicopter

Travel Guidelines Link to PDF file

Travel Advice
Customs and Mail Warning
Stay in Contact
Be Patient
Currency Exchange
Electrical Compatibility
Pre-Deployment Personal Vacations
Post-Deployment Vacations
Travel through New Zealand
Extreme Cold Weather Clothing Issue
To McMurdo Station
Return to New Zealand
Travel through Chile
ECW Clothing
To Palmer Station
Return to Chile

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Chapter 6
Research associates pipette blood in a lab.
South Pole research associates
Nicolas Michel-Hart, foreground,
and Jason Stauch pipette
blood in a lab

Living and Working at U.S. Antarctic Program Facilities Link to PDF file

Fire Safety
Field Safety Training
     Antarctic Field Safety (AFS) Courses
Recreation and Personal Conduct
Alcohol and Drugs
U.S. Criminal Jurisdiction
Waste Management and Energy Conservation

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Chapter 7
Gentoo penguins watch ARSV LAURENCE M. GOULD near Petermann Island.
Gentoo penguins watch the
Research Vessel LAURENCE M.
GOULD near Petermann Island

Stations and Ships Link to PDF file

McMurdo Station
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Palmer Station
Research Vessels
Facility Administration