Participant Guide
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2018-2020 USAP Participant Guide

Updated September 7, 2018

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

Complete 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
USAP Transportation Map Link to PDF file
Table of Contents Link to PDF file

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

The United States in Antarctica Link to PDF file

Antarctic Exploration and the Antarctic Treaty
United States Antarctic Program (USAP)
The Antarctic Treaty and U.S. Antarctic Policy
USAP 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
Antarctic Data Repositories
USAP Stations and Ships
McMurdo Station
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Palmer Station
Research Vessels
Facility Administration

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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
Travel Expenses
Meals and Lodging in Antarctica
Passports, Visas, and Permits
Visas and Permits
Visas for Non-U.S. Citizens
Customs and Your Equipment
Personal Matters
Power of Attorney
Notary Services
Absentee Ballot
Personal Finances
Income Tax

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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
Research Vessels and Palmer Station
Grantee and Technical Event Excess Baggage
Mailing Excess Baggage
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

Environmental Protection, Permits, and Science Cargo Link to PDF file

Environmental Impact Assessment
Antarctic Conservation Act
Highlights of the ACA
ACA Waste Management
Permits and Reporting
Import-Export Regulations
Controlled Drugs, New Organisms, Genetically Modified Organisms
Importing Samples into New Zealand
Shipping Samples Through New Zealand
Radioactive Materials
Science Cargo
Transport Methods for Science Support Cargo
Retrograde (Return) Science Cargo

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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 Personal Vacations
Travel Through New Zealand
ECW Clothing Issue
Travel to McMurdo Station
Travel Within Antarctica
Air Transport
Aircraft Travel Rules and Guidelines
Return to New Zealand
Travel Through Chile
ECW Clothing Issue
Travel 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 USAP Facilities Link to PDF file

Work Requirements
Fire Safety
Diving Safety
Field Safety Training
     Antarctic Field Safety Courses
Personal Conduct
Alcohol and Drugs
U.S. Criminal Jurisdiction
Waste, Energy, and Water
Postal Services
Station-Specific Information
McMurdo Station
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Palmer Station
Research Vessels