Global travel company Airbnb and Ocean Conservancy have announced the Antarctic Sabbatical, an opportunity for five passionate individuals to travel to Earths most remote continent on a first-of-its-kind scientific research mission in December.
“Be one of 5 volunteers to join environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific expedition investigating the presence of microplastics on the most isolated continent on Earth–Antarctica,” the Airbnb Antarctic Sabbatical page reads.
“The five volunteer citizen scientists will collect snow samples and study the extent to which micro plastics have made their way to the interior of Antarctica, one of the world’s least understood and most isolated ecosystems,” Airbnb said in a Tuesday statement.
The five selected individuals will join Antarctic scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams, to deliver insights on how the global community can help protect both Antarctica and the planet. “Kirstie Jones-Williams is an environmental scientist passionate about understanding and protecting the Earth from human stresses. She has a BSc in Environmental Geoscience, a Master’s in Marine Science and Policy, and is currently pursuing a PhD investigating the impact of microplastics on polar marine zooplankton in Antarctica at the University of Exeter, funded by the GW4+ doctoral training partnership. As the leader of this expedition, Kirstie will help us understand the pathways of microplastics to remote regions such as Antarctica and highlight our responsibility to protect our natural world,” the Airbnb Antarctic Sabbatical page explains.
The page adds, “As a Citizen Scientist, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to real scientific research on the impact humans have on the environment. Over the span of a month, you’ll work as a team, collecting and analysing snow core samples to determine if microplastics have made their way into the interior of the continent. These findings could help change public policy surrounding how we use plastic and how to properly dispose of it. If it’s a success, this expedition could lead to more studies on how to better protect this unique ecosystem and our planet as a whole,” .
To apply for the Antarctic Sabbatical, one can visit the application page and fill the application form before 11:59m EDT on October 8 (9:29am IST on October 9) The mission, which comes on the heels of the Italian Sabbatical, is part of the larger Airbnb Sabbatical program designed to inspire people to take time out of their careers to give back.