This page is an excerpt of an article about 1991-92 science planning, from the June/September 1991 Antarctic Journal. The full issue containing the full article is available here.
This austral summer support activities will be highlighted by the dedication and opening of the new Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo Station. The new center replaces McMurdo Station's currently used but outdated laboratories, Eklund Biological Center (EBC) and Thiel Earth Science Laboratory (TESL). Designed to afford scientists better working conditions and access to modern technology, it also will facilitate cooperative research among scientists from other countries, who are working in the Antarctic. When completed, the 46,500-square-foot center will consist of five "pods" and will be about 6,000 square feet larger than Eklund Biological Center, the largest of McMurdo's laboratories. The building, which was begun in 1987, is being constructed in three phases. Phase I, which will begin limited operations during the 1991-1992 austral summer, includes a two-story core pod and the biology pod. On the first floor of the core pod are management offices, special equipment rooms, storage rooms, and a receiving and staging area; the second floor contains a telescience room, computer facility, conference room, multi-purpose space, and a lounge. The biology pod contains two environmental monitoring laboratories, seven general-use laboratories, two microbiology laboratories, four freezers, four environmental rooms, a chemical storage room, storage and preparation rooms, field-party staging area, and ten offices.
The center's first occupants will be environmental researchers from Argonne National Laboratories, biologists from Montana State University, and ocean scientists from the University of Alaska. Using the Environmental Monitoring Laboratories, Argonne researchers will analyze samples collected in the McMurdo area to assess USAP waste management practices. Montana State biologists will analyze algal pigments with special equipment in the core pod laboratories, and Alaskan ocean scientists will prepare and analyze sea-ice cores in the environmental rooms of the biology pod.
The center will support primarily NSF-funded researchers, three research centers/labs, a Geographic Information System (GIS), and a Linked Area Network (LAN). The three research centers/labs are the two Environmental Monitoring Laboratories, a Snow and Ice Mechanics Laboratory, and an Antarctic Meteorological Research Center. Discussions are also underway for the installation of a very-long-base-line interferometry tele- scope and synthetic-aperture radar ground station. Full operation of Phases I and II is planned for November 1992; Phase III will be added in January 1993. USAP will begin to phase-out use of the Eklund Biological Center and Thiel Earth Sciences Laboratory in early 1992 and continue the effort during the 1992 winter.