Keep in a Cool Place: The first winter at Vanda Station, Antarctica (Paperback)
In 1969 Al Riordan, a US Exchange Scientist, joined Simon Cutfield and three other New Zealanders to spend a year at Vanda Station on the shores of Lake Vanda in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The men lived in a strange world—a snowless place that had not seen a glacier for millions of years. The surface of the lake was covered in 3–4 metres of permanent ice, but the temperature of the water near the bottom was +25°C. No one knew for certain why the water was so warm, and Simon’s mission was to take measurements to help solve this mystery and carry out a range of other hydrologic and earth science projects. Al’s aim was to help build a comprehensive weather record, understand the valley wind systems, and to learn why the area was snow-free. Drawing on their diaries and letters, this is a unique first-person account of life at the station as the five men carry out their daily tasks in an environment that challenges and transforms them. Supplemented with scientific appendices, the book gives the reader a window on how scientific knowledge is built one step at a time, from the initial planning, to data gathering, to building hypotheses, and to developing theory.