Project Antarctica

This exploratory one-day workshop was held at the University of Tasmania, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies on 24 January 2023, organised by Dr Tirza Meyer who was visiting from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The workshop focused on the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Treaty System, CCAMLR and technology for under sea ice observation of the marine ecosystem. Dr Meyer’s postdoctoral research project is ‘Humanoid Oceans or an Ocean of Humanoids’, focusing on the history of underwater technology. She is planning to include a case study from the Southern Ocean, hence she spent some time in Hobart during a visit to Australia.

The workshop program proved to be absolutely inspiring and very timely for my own research. The first session focused on policy-making in Antarctica, with speakers including Dr Tony Press (Antarctic Treaty System), Dr Lyn Goldsworthy (negotiating the ATS), and Danielle Smith (legal and practical implications of implementing CCAMLR marine protected areas). The second session was dedicated to the technology and science of Southern Ocean under sea ice exploration, with Dr Will Hobbs (under-ice observations) and Professor Nathan Bindoff (fieldwork and sea ice in the Antarctic). The final session focused on science, technology and policy-making, and I presented a paper about environmental history in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, and a final presentation by Tirza Meyer (author of a book on Elisabeth Mann Borgese and the Law of the Sea) talking about her project.

The discussion was lively and traversed many challenging issues about the future of Antarctica including ocean governance, the global implications of climate change on Antarctica’s ice, and the role of historians in this space. It was such a great opportunity to be in discussion with some of the leading experts in the field, and to expand my networks in the Southern Ocean/Antarctic research space.

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