Austral Winter Jobs


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  • #1275
    inostranets
    Member

    (extraneous backstory, feel free to skip): While putting off the end of my bachelor’s degree, I applied 4 years ago to RPSC for a general assistant’s job, was offered an alternate position, was PQ’d, but never was called up 😥 Now, while putting off the end of my master’s degree, I find Antarctica calling my name once again. Due to another contract I’m on now, I couldn’t deploy until New Years, so it looks like I’ll be going in the austral winter.

    A few questions:
    1) When are the austral winter jobs typically posted? I went through RPSC, and only one mentions the possibility of going during the winter.
    2) Which jobs are typically offered for the austral winter? I saw that long list of jobs that are on offer further down on the board, but considering that operations are cut back, which jobs are eliminated for the winter?
    3) Are the NANA Services jobs also for the winter as well? NANA’s PDF of job descriptions wasn’t as detailed as Raytheon seems to be about which jobs are open for what time periods.
    4) Who is taking over for RPSC in March 2011? When is that decision announced? I know that really has nothing to do with anything.

    #10533
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    1) When are the austral winter jobs typically posted? I went through RPSC, and only one mentions the possibility of going during the winter.
    .

    For the most part these would already be hired or at least in the process. However, there is not a looming deadline like the jobs for the winfly and mainbody periods and people can be hired right up to the winter deployments in Jan and Feb if there are vacancies. There will come a point in the next few weeks where it will not be possible to fill summer vacancies due to the time constraints of getting PQ’d. Unfilled winter jobs can still be processed.

    [2) Which jobs are typically offered for the austral winter? I saw that long list of jobs that are on offer further down on the board, but considering that operations are cut back, which jobs are eliminated for the winter?

    Too many jobs and depts to answer this one. Again for the most part, the jobs are related to running a base and these need to still be done. Where in the summer you might need 20 electricans, In the winter you might need 2. Jobs eliminated are less eliminating the job and more, somebody else takes it up as an adjunct to their job. IE. there might not be a person dedicated to data entry, but with less data somebody else picks that up as part of their job.

    3) Are the NANA Services jobs also for the winter as well? NANA’s PDF of job descriptions wasn’t as detailed as Raytheon seems to be about which jobs are open for what time periods.

    Same answer as above. People still need to be fed. The rec jobs may be scaled back and picked up by the general population in a volunteer environment. Also, they’ve moved over the years to the winter staff all being responsible for some of the janitorial services. Food service goes on as normal, but feeding one to two hundred instead of a thousand or more.

    4) Who is taking over for RPSC in March 2011? When is that decision announced? I know that really has nothing to do with anything.

    It has a lot to do for the winter crew as the new company would be your boss after april. At this point everyone was expecting the decision to have been made and it hasn’t. We are all in limbo. Typically, though, you should not notice much difference the first year of a new contract. It takes a while for the new company to get up and running. Changes are thought through and don’t happen fast. You can probably expect the new company to continue to hire the experienced people.

    #10534
    LeagueWin
    Member

    The list of positions for the winter is pretty much the same for the winter as the summer, but the number of actual positions is much lower. For instance, there are about ten folks in the Comms shop in the summer, but only two in the winter. I’ve done two winters, and my experience is that hiring managers only hire someone to do a winter as their first season as an absolute last resort. If you’ve done a summer or two, you know the score, and there’s less possibility that you’ll get there and want to bail. Watching that last flight leave in February is an emotional thing for a lot of us. Once it’s gone, you have no option of leaving, barring a serious injury/medevac. Personally, I like winters MUCH more than summers, for a lot of reasons, but you don’t see many FNG winterovers.

    #10535
    Iceman
    Member

    I think it also depends on the station, my first contract was a winter at Palmer (we had 6 FNGs including myself). This winter we have 4 FNGs here at Palmer out of 18, including an undergrad scientist who turned 21 on the ice back in April (I think this is the first time he ever left the country). This winter we’ll have 3 and half months between ships, if we had to medevac, they could land a twin otter on the glacier in the backyard, but it’s risky, because the glacier is receding. It’s funny because a lot of Polies, who end up eventually making their way to Palmer, pretty much agree it’s a lot harder (physically) to get to Palmer than Pole. We don’t have the isolation like Pole, but 4 days on a boat, in some of the roughest waters in the world, is not as nice as a plane ride from Mactown to Pole.

    #10536
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Palmer has some advantages and some disadvantages. Disadvantage. That darn boat ride across the Drake passage. I’ve never been and don’t know if I ever want to. Advantage for a FNG. the winter is only a few months long. At MCM the last plane usually leaves at the end of Feb. Most contracts will run to mainbody in October, some early during winfly. The Polies have it worse. It can be the end of October sometimes before it warms up enough to land a plane.

    #10537
    spidey
    Participant

    I was going to send in an app for an emperor penguin, but after watching March of the Penguins, decided maybe not, plus without a Santa Claus, where would you address the letter?

    #10538
    Iceman
    Member

    Yeah, Palmer’s summer and winter seasons are almost divided up equally, time wise (Sept. to March/April and March/April to Sept.). With most people staying 6 to 6 and a half months depending on the boat schedule and who you have to turnover with. My first winter I was here for 7 and half months and this winter I’ll only be here for 5 and half months. There’s always the exception such as Otter who stays at Palmer 8 to 9 months out of the year!

    #10539
    AGE Dave
    Member

    The AGE crew goes from a summer high of 16 or so to ONE winter mechanic doing PM’s on equipment in our shop on the ground floor of building 159….some winters we were not given the budget for a winter-over mechanic and had to have a big crew at winfly instead, hurrying to get the PM’s done prior to the ANG arriving with the LC-130’s……oh this system is penny wise and pound foolish at times……hopefully we have enough institutional knowledge left on the ICE to keep these things from happening after a contract change.

    David

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