A Volunteer in Godzone (aka New Zealand)

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There's obviously more than one IET volunteer resident in New Zealand (aka Godzone), but I don't think anyone else is blogging yet, so first in, first served (mwahahahaha).  I volunteer in a variety of roles - currently I'm a committee member of my Local Network (South Island), a member of NZ Forum, and chair of the Communities Committee - Asia Pacific (CC-AP) (which also means I'm a member of the Communities Resourcing Committee (CRC)).

Latest Posts

  • Hot Weather And Heated Debates
    OK, I may be exaggerating slightly - I'm not sure that the debates actually got all that heated...  But I should start at the start!  And the start is full of acronyms (be warned).  Last month was the Communities Committee - Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CC-EMEA) Communities Volunteer Conference (CVC) - and as a result the Communities Resourcing Committee (CRC) decided to meet in Dubai for a change.  And in July Dubai is very hot let me tell you - especially if you've come from a country that is in winter...  Going from 14ºC to 44ºC is a bit of a shock to the system! read more...
  • A Not-about-Antarctica Blog Post
    So I was intending to write another blog post about Antarctica, but I just haven't managed to get the time.  And it's now been several months, so I thought perhaps I should just update you all on my IET happenings since I got back.  It's been a busy few months, and a really busy few weeks - I've had three IET meetings on three Saturdays in a row.  I mean, who needs weekends?   The first was a Communities Committee - Asia Pacific (CCAP) meeting in Taipei, where we talked to the local volunteers, discussed the upcoming Asia Pacific Volunteers' Conference, and continued to work on the CCAP Strategy.  That's all I'm going to say on that though - I'll be writing a blog post on the CCAP blog all about the meeting, so if you're interested, head over there in a day or two, and read all about it!   read more...
  • More Digging? Seriously? We Have To Dig To Do Research?
    Now some of you may have got the impression that we went to Antarctica to have fun.  I feel the need to point out that we were there as part of a Postgraduate Certificate , so it wasn’t all trips to wastewater plants and atmospheric research sites ! (Honestly - who can think of something more fun to do than tour poo-treatment facilities?)  We also did some actual research ourselves – which involved yet more digging…  I’m starting to wonder if we were actually on a secret digging training camp – kind of like a boot camp, but instead of getting up early to run around a field, we got up early to dig snow. Anyway, I digress.  One of the science projects we did while in the field was looking at snow accumulation at our campsite at Windless Bight .  Why?  read more...
  • What’s Darth Vader Doing In Antarctica?
    So I may be guilty of exaggerating slightly – Darth Vader himself is obviously not in Antarctica .  But he does feature on an important piece of equipment at Arrival Heights – the Dobson Ozone Spectrophotometer (Dobson) .  (Try saying that three times quickly!)  We visited Arrival Heights for PCAS (see previous blog posts if you don’t know what I’m talking about), and got introduced to the equipment used there to measure a whole range of things.  I’m only going to talk about two of them, as otherwise this would be a monster blog post!  First up is Darth Vader Dobson.   read more...
  • What To Do With Poo When At The Bottom Of The World?
    Now I know this isn't the nicest topic out there, but in Antarctica, human waste is a major talking point - especially once you're out in the field.  Our group went over the arrangements before we left Christchurch, so we all knew what to expect - and as it's one of the things I keep getting asked about now that I'm home, I thought I'd share it with you.  Aren't you lucky? For those who read my earlier blog post on digging, you will know that when we arrived in the field we had to build our toilets using ice blocks.  This meant (for my group anyway), that the toilet was not particularly private compared to what we're used to in our daily lives.  We had a proper wall on one side (towards the tents), then decent side walls (towards other groups' toilets), then no wall at all facing the road.  If this sounds somewhat dubious, remember that this is an Antarctic road, and I saw people on it less than once a day.  Plus it meant we had a loo with a view!   read more...