“The 26th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition left for the Vernadsky Research Base on March 24. Researchers will spend approximately 13 months in Antarctica,” the National Antarctic Science Center press office informs.
Bohdan Havryliuk, a geophysicist from Kharkiv, is the team’s leader. This is the ninth annual expedition for him. Before that, the maximum number of winters spent at the base by one person had not exceeded eight. Bohdan is also the oldest team member and he will celebrate his 49th birthday at the station.
In total, the expedition includes 12 participants: 7 scientists, a doctor, a cook, a diesel engineer, a system mechanic and a system administrator. Of these, 11 men and one woman, a biologist Oksana Savenko, is going to the base for the second time. This is also a record as no other woman had wintered twice before.
Three expedition’s members are from Kharkiv region, Kyiv and Chernihiv region are represented by two people each and Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia, Poltava, Kyiv and Lviv regions have one person each.
Before being sent to Antarctica, the team had a mandatory one-week training, gaining the knowledge and skills required for work and life at the base.
Polar explorers will study the climate, living organisms, the structure of glaciers, the formation of precipitation and monitor the level of ozone in the air. The team also plans to explore the “languages” and “dialects” of whales, recorded using hydrophones.
Text: Natalia Ivanova