2 minute read
24 Sep 2019
10:22 am

Airbnb is recruiting travellers for a scientific expedition in Antarctica


Those who are chosen will first undergo training in glaciology and sample collection in Punta Arenas, Chile.

AirBnb is sending travelers to Antarctica on a scientific expedition. © Erin Aquino/Airbnb Erin Aquino/Airbnb

The online holiday rental giant has partnered up with Ocean Conservancy, a non-governmental organisation, for an environmental project which will take five travellers on a mission to Antarctica to study the presence of microplastics.

Does Antarctica fascinate you? Are you concerned about the impact of plastic pollution, and you’re wondering how to get involved with an environmental project? The project called “Antarctic Sabbatical” created by Airbnb and the Ocean Conservancy, which works to preserve marine ecosystems, may be of interest to you.

This upcoming November and December, five travellers with no scientific qualifications will be sent to Antarctica to assess the impact of microplastics on a continent located far from human activity. These citizen scientists will be accompanied by Kirstie Jones-Williams, an Antarctica specialist who is working on a doctorate in biological sciences at the United Kingdom’s University of Exeter.

The project could not be more serious. Those who are chosen will first undergo training in glaciology and sample collection in Punta Arenas, Chile. Once on-site in Antarctica, the team will be collecting snow samples. The objective: to detect microfibers which provide evidence for the presence of plastic, and thus evaluate the distance travelled by waste pollution. While the trip is for research, the adventurers chosen will be able to explore the Drake Icefall and the snowy Charles Peak Windscoop corridor.

Applications are found at To participate, you must be available during this upcoming November and December and speak English well in order to participate in conversation with the team without difficulty. The chosen candidates will be announced on October 30.

Participation in the project is open to voyagers from South Africa, Germany, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, South Korea, Dubai, Spain, the United States, France, Ireland, India, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand.

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