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EMPIRE ANTARCTICA, an Interview with author Gavin Francis

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/25/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Observing Emperor Penguins in Antarctica for a year with author Gavin Francis
The Halley Research Station, a profoundly isolated British research station in Antarctica, is so remote, it is said to be easier to evacuate a casualty from the International Space Station than it is to bring someone out of Halley in the winter. A small group of people winter over each year along this portion of the Antarctic coast. Their sole companions are thousands of Emperor Penguins, the only animal that has evolved to endure and breed during the harsh Antarctic winter. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Gavin Francis, a doctor who spent 14 months at the Halley Research station. His memoir Empire Antarctica follows the Emperor Penguins throughout the year—from a summer of perpetual sunshine to months of winter darkness. We'll learn about the world of great beauty conjured from the simplest of elements, the hardship of living at 50 degrees Celsius below zero, and the unexpected comfort that the penguin community shares.

Gavin Francis is the author of True North, and has traveled the globe working in places such as Africa and India, and has made several trips to the Arctic. He has lectured at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge and is a regular speaker at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He lives in Edinburgh.

 

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