Remarks from Dr. Chuck Amsler, current Station Science Leader;
Professor of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Chuck Amsler

I love that the headline on the brochures we give out to the tourists calls Palmer "a community for science." My experience here only goes back 32 years, but that sense of community has been true throughout and I'm sure has been so during all of Palmer's history.

That history is one rich in scientific accomplishment. While largely including marine and occasional terrestrial projects supported from the Mary Alice McWhinnie Marine Science Center, from Palmer's small boats, and sometimes over the years in concert with ship support from the Hero, Polar Duke, and Laurence M. Gould, it has also included numerous atmospheric, astrophysics, and geospace projects now supported from Terra Lab but prior to that from T-5 and the Clean Air facility.

A Google Scholar search for "Palmer Station" and "Antarctica" returned over 4700 references. While that includes a handful of operational references primarily just listing Antarctic stations, the vast majority are original scientific contributions. Moreover, those search results must only be a small sample of the research output coming from work here since many or perhaps most papers would not have had the term "Palmer Station" in one of the searchable fields.

Still, even that low end number represents on the order of 100 scientific research papers per year from Palmer Station over its history. That is a phenomenal record of productivity for such a small research outpost. While it certainly speaks to the hard work of the scientists laboring in the labs and on the water, their efforts alone cannot explain it. The exceptional productivity that we in the science groups can have here at Palmer is only possible because we are part of a much greater community comprised of everyone on station.

All of us should be proud of what we and our predecessors have accomplished here. I am certain that we will be just as proud of what we and our successors will accomplish in the next 50 years as part of this wondrous, and very special, community for science.

Following the above remarks, the US flag was raised on the station flagpole, just as was done at the original dedication ceremony at 17:30 on 20 March 1968. Following that, the NSF and USAP flags were raised below it on the yardarms. Then the 34 station residents gathered around a U-shaped table in the galley for a champagne (or sparkling orange juice) toast.