Summer jobs Oct-Feb or Aug-Feb?


Antarctica Forums Forums Antarctic Memories Message Board Discussion topics Summer jobs Oct-Feb or Aug-Feb?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1389
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Quick question. It’s been my understanding summer jobs are typically Oct-Feb. Lately I’ve been seeing job postings for Aug-Feb. Can any of you guys in the know clarify or elaborate on what a typical summer season encompasses and when you generally leave theUS for NZ/SA if you are deploying?

    #11656
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    Aug-Feb deployments are WINFLY, short for WInter Fly-in, positions at McMurdo. The arrival date at MCM will be around 20 Aug, give or take a few days. To get there, you’d start work about a week before with orientation either in the states or NZ, flying to Christchurch, and picking up ECW.

    Oct-Feb is “main body”, when most of the crew arrives. Expect to start deployment mid-September-ish, arriving at MCM around the end of September or the beginning of October. Some people, some seasons, stay until almost March; it depends on when they want to close the station, the weather, and what your position is.

    South Pole usually opens around the end of October and closes in early Feb, so summer Pole positions are typically true Oct-Feb deployments. Some people go to MCM at main body, work there for a while, and then deploy to Pole.

    Palmer turns over in September and April.

    With any position, there may be additional TDY in the office, emergency training, or other job-related training before deployment.

    #11657
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Sweet, thanks for the clarification 🙂

    #11658
    spidey
    Participant

    Has anyone seen much from GHG? I’ve only seen two come up on their site, one being a Sat Comm position.
    Have all the IT type posts come and gone for the coming Summer season?
    -Pete

    #11659
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    @spidey wrote:

    Have all the IT type posts come and gone for the coming Summer season?

    I doubt it. My guess is they haven’t hired anyone yet.

    #11660
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Hey Sciencetech I’m sure you’ve been asked this ad nauseum but what exactly do you do out on the ice?

    #11661
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    A unique job… Maintaining long-term experiments, mostly for geophysical and atmospheric research groups. I’m kind of a science experiment babysitter (or science mercenary). Right now I’m operating about 16 projects that collect data from deep in the ground to outer space.

    #11662
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Nice that sounds like quite a bit of fun. This is at Palmer yes?

    #11663
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    Yup, Palmer. The same position exists at all three stations (x2 at Pole), with some variation in the experiments maintained.

    #11664
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    Not to turn this into an interview but would you mind elaborating on the qualifications/experience you had going in? One thing as a hopeful that vexes me is wondering what types and how much experience the hiring managers out there are looking for.

    #11665
    Iceman
    Member

    ORKINman, Lockheed just posted the Research Associate position today for McMurdo and for Pole last week. The RAs at McMurdo and Pole do a 12-month contract, which is one of the longest contracts currently in the program. The RA at Palmer does 6 to 7 months, and is divided between the summer and winter seasons, with some overlap (turnover) if the person coming in is new.

    Here’s the required skills for all of the RA positions (from LM job posting):

    Bachelor’s degree or higher in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Physics, or other engineering discipline is required.

    Two years experience in laboratory or observatory technical work is required. Laboratory or observatory technical work should include operational experience utilizing experimental physical, optical or atmospheric science equipment.

    A minimum of two years of experience in the use of multiple commercial software packages and DOS and Windows operating systems is required. Windows XP administration and knowledge of Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT and XP required.

    Fluency with networking topics and file transfer tools required. Knowledge of MS-Excel and Word required. Administrator ability for Macintosh and Linux/Unix platforms required. General electronic troubleshooting ability required.

    Excellent written and verbal communication abilities required. Must be organized, able to multi-task and work without direct supervision.

    A valid driver’s license is required.

    Deployment to Antarctica is required for this position. The individual in the position must successfully complete the physical, psychological and dental examinations as required by the NSF for deploying to Antarctica. Failure to meet these requirements may result in withdrawal of employment offer or other employment action.

    Most of the people I know that are/have been RAs had degrees in electrical engineering or computer science or some other hard science like chemistry/physics. I don’t know what your background is, but that would be a good start. Like most ice jobs, there’re qualifications that help you get past that first step, then of course the “luck factor” comes in, such as them needing someone ASAP and you just happen to be in the right place and the right time (that’s what happened to me) and the incumbent wasn’t coming back. Then there’s also the ramdon little factoid on you’re resume/CV, that you might think is not worth even putting down, and that might catch the hiring manager’s eye on some random day and gets you to the interview stage at the very least.

    #11666
    Sciencetech
    Keymaster

    Good reply, Iceman. Thanks.

    I helped write that job description and I see that it needs some updating. For instance, “Windows XP administration and knowledge of Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT and XP required” would be better as “Windows administration ability and working knowledge of all versions of Windows, from DOS to Windows 7” or something like that.

    Really, the job is so varied that you need to be comfortable with just about any computer or OS, and be a fast learner. Electro-optical skills are increasingly important as many of the newer experiments use interferometry, lasers, and other optical sensors. A physics degree with a whole lot of computer agility (what I have) is probably the best combination of skills.

    The most important skill, IMHO, is enthusiasm for the science. An RA can be the best EE or physicist in the world but if they don’t care about the job or experiments, everything is hosed.

    #11667
    skua77
    Keymaster

    ORKINman…I was just going to post the same basic job description info, because I know that Sciencetech is rather busy at the moment. From my time knowing a few of the science techs, the job requires a fairly general knowledge of a lot of different systems and the ability to troubleshoot some unfamiliar ones at the drop of a hat. The equipment and software can range from ancient undocumented legacy stuff to cutting-edge one-of-a-kind systems. Depending on the station and the timing of getting hired, first-time science techs might get some project-specific training at some of the grantee institutions around the country. Partly for this reason, experienced returnees have an edge for getting the positions if they decide to come back.

    Also, while you’re a contractor employee with all of the general duties and obligations that entails, your duties won’t respect the normal contractor work schedule. You’ll be doing some work every day, even while everyone else has that day off and might be partying, and you’ll be subject to middle-of-the-night alarms from the projects (or from their principal investigators). At least at Pole and McMurdo you’ll get a fair amount of daily exercise visiting the various experiments, some of which are a fair distance from the main station.

    #11668
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    I have a Computer Science background, it’s my second degree with the first Bachelors having been Poli Sci. Unfortunately I haven’t finished my second degree yet (although I am just a few half time semesters away :P). I might take a stab at one of those as I have all of the qualifications with the exception of my Comp Sci degree not being complete yet. I am just a bit of a science geek too 😉 One of my sister’s neighbors is a professor/researcher at FSU’s magnet lab and we have all sorts of fun conversations about physics when he comes over for BBQs. In fact by the end of writing the post I think I just talked myself into at least taking a stab at it. Worst they can do is say no or stay silent 😀

    #11669
    TheORKINMan
    Participant

    @skua77 wrote:

    ORKINman…I was just going to post the same basic job description info, because I know that Sciencetech is rather busy at the moment. From my time knowing a few of the science techs, the job requires a fairly general knowledge of a lot of different systems and the ability to troubleshoot some unfamiliar ones at the drop of a hat. The equipment and software can range from ancient undocumented legacy stuff to cutting-edge one-of-a-kind systems. Depending on the station and the timing of getting hired, first-time science techs might get some project-specific training at some of the grantee institutions around the country. Partly for this reason, experienced returnees have an edge for getting the positions if they decide to come back.

    Also, while you’re a contractor employee with all of the general duties and obligations that entails, your duties won’t respect the normal contractor work schedule. You’ll be doing some work every day, even while everyone else has that day off and might be partying, and you’ll be subject to middle-of-the-night alarms from the projects (or from their principal investigators). At least at Pole and McMurdo you’ll get a fair amount of daily exercise visiting the various experiments, some of which are a fair distance from the main station.

    skua77: Middle of the night alarms and 24/7 work schedules mean nothing to me 😆 In both my current job and my last job I am on-call 24/7 and get woken up in the middle of the night every week when say a 911 center’s circuits go down, a core router hiccups or the child abuse hotline stops working because of some random VOIP issue. My last job had mandatory OT during weather emergencies and calling in sick or failing to show up for it without being dead or incapacitated = termination on the spot.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.