Palmer Station

Palmer Station January 2018
A unique low aerial view of Palmer Station in January Julian Race! Here's a larger (1mb) version.

And that April Laurence M. Gould call at Palmer was its last, as NSF is not renewing its charter contract. And...the winter started on 2 May as the Nathaniel B. Palmer left the station.

1 April 2024...the Laurence M. Gould headed south from Punta Arenas at the end of March with the winter crew. For the first time in awhile, Ken Keenan is not aboard. He'll be moving into the area manager slot, and Randall Rhodes will be the winter site manager...he was the fire chief at McMurdo. Other recent updates here....

I've been remiss about updating things...there was that pesky pandemic...and in 2021-22 there wasn't any science at Palmer...just the construction crew for the new pier.

16 June 2020....the summer season is over, as the LMG headed north today, leaving behind 16 winterovers. Four days before Midwinters Day!

11 June 2020...the "endless summer" at Palmer Station is finally about to come to an end, as the Laurence M. Gould, with the winterovers on board, arrived at Palmer Station on the morning of 10 June. Deets... as well as NSF's 11 June announcement about what the 2020-21 USAP season will look like.

25 October...have a look at the September 1987 Your Stay at Palmer Station brochure!

1 October 2019...the Palmer winter season is about to end, as the Laurence M. Gould is scheduled to head south from Punta Arenas on 2 October and arrive at the station on the 6th.

22 December 2018...a sad beginning to the summer season (an employee death) and the next stage of the replacement pier project (more information).

31 July--Happy midwinter (well, a bit late). Yes, there are photos of that, as well as some new links!

3 April: the big news is that the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the permanent station (well, the Biolab) was commemorated on 20 March 2018!

17 March...the Amsler-McClintock arrived on station on 20 February, and they've been quite active with various projects, including checking on an underwater algae garden they started last year, setting up amphipod hotels in the lab (and finding occupants), collecting sea squirts, and blogging about their activities several times a week!

Brief Hero update...while the half-sunken vessel looks much like it did a year ago, in late February the Washington State Attorney General's office filed misdemeanor criminal charges against the owner, Sun Feather Light Dancer, for causing the vessel to become derelict and for discharging pollution. The 28 February 2018 Chinook Observer article has more details.

Earlier in the 2017-18 summer, Artists and Writers visit to the station was Shaun O'Boyle, who arrived at the end of October for a 3-week stay (he lived on board the vessel). Here's his blog post about the trip--he previously spent 7 weeks at McMurdo in 2015, and here's a page of his McM photos.

As for the R/V Hero...sadly, in March of 2017 it sank at its dock along the estuary of the Palix River in Bay Center, Washington. The most recent updates... as oil spill mitigation has been continuing.

The 1999 and 2000 winters saw some major renovations of both the biolab main floor and GWR, including a new exterior back stairway on GWR, moving medical and other offices from Biolab to GWR, as well as moving the fire tank outside, to make more room inside Biolab for beakers or whatever. And the 2002 winter saw the massive complete reconstruction of the ground floor of Biolab, including all new labs, HVAC system and boiler, and consolidation (and firewalls/safety upgrades) of the mechanical spaces to make a science instrument lab in the old mechanical room. I do have a collection of photos from these renovations that I hope to put up someday.

More recently, after the 2005 winter construction of T6, things have been a bit quieter. The station science sitreps to date are published here by the LTER people, nowadays with a new look (in MS Word or pdf formats, with photos). In January 2004, the glacier behind Old Palmer between Arthur Harbor and Loudwater Cove, turning the area into Norsel Island, perhaps, but in 2007 it was named Amsler Island.

Check out the USAP webcam installed in March 2010 on one of the antenna towers near the station. It was augmented in 2012-13 with a remote penguin camera on Torgersen Island; this camera is operational during the summer breeding season.

And don't miss Dave Gallas' incredible blow-by-blow eyewitness account of the 1989 Bahia episode!

What else is here:

Old Palmer
A look at the original station
of Old Palmer, January/February 1965
...of the present station in March, 1968
The Palmer timelines
from, well, 1820 to the present with a few gaps still being worked on...
Palmer Views
Historical miscellany from the old and new days, including a look at those w/o pictures in the GWR stairwell.
Recommended links
pertaining to Palmer and the Antarctic Peninsula updated October 2019
That research vessel Hero
...her history from the 1967 keel laying...up to...the 2017 keel laying on the bottom of the Palix River estuary
About these pages...
and a dedication
Contact Bill Spindler... me!
Updated 10 May 2024
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