The Trust’s 2021-22 summer conservation team at Cape Evans. © Antarctica New Zealand/Anthony Powell
The 2021-22 summer Antarctic season saw a seven-person conservation team spend nearly two months working on an extended monitoring and maintenance programme at the Ross Island explorer bases of Robert Falcon Scott at Cape Evans and Hut Point, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s base at Cape Royds, and Sir Edmund Hillary’s hut at Pram Point. For the first time since 2014, we have a team of four wintering over in Antarctica. The winter team comprises Jane Hamill, Belinda Hager, Conor Tulloch, and Shannah Rhynard-Geil.
Transition from Summer to Winter On-Ice
A major focus this summer season was to identify artefacts in need of treatment, or re-treatment. Approximately 1000 objects were collected from the historic expedition bases of Scott and Shackleton, packaged and transported to New Zealand’s scientific base, Scott Base, for the Trust’s winter conservation team to work on through the Antarctic winter.
In January, summer conservation team members Al, John, Nicola and Zack returned to New Zealand, and in February our fourth winter conservator Shannah Rhynard-Geil joined the winter team of Jane, Belinda, and Conor at Scott Base.
The winter team have started the work of retreating objects selected over summer. Conservator Belinda Hager says, “These objects were amongst the first conserved by the Trust, but after 16 years in challenging conditions, they have re-corroded or become compromised in other ways. With our well-resourced conservation laboratory, we will carry out conservation treatments and prepare them to be taken back to the explorer bases next summer season.”