AU Outreach- McMurdo Station







VITAL STATISTICS: Est. 1956, Students, researchers: 1000

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Our largest outreach point is also the nearest, coastal McMurdo Station (see map), located only 50km from the main campus, on Ross Island. This island is just off the coast, and a permenant ice shelf connects it to the mainland. In fact, a shuttle service runs too and from the McMurdo outreach site to the main campus. Here our students and researchers investigate a multiplicity of Antarctic geographical problems, conduct science experiments and perform the day-to-day operations propelling Victoria Land into a world-class research area. It's an exciting time to be at UANT-McMurdo Station! (see video).

Please note Mt. Erebus on the point, and the Base just south of it


UANT students, as many personnel who work on Antarctica, see McMurdo Station before ever seeing their ultimate destination, including University Peak. This is because international students and researchers arrive in Antarctica via McMurdo's airport, Williams Field. By way of McMurdo, UANT students get to and from their home countries.

The outreach campus itself consists of research centres and personnel living quarters, and a small but bustling urban core. Students find it an exciting place to meet new people from diverse cultures, tourists and professionals. Over 1/4 of all Antarcticans live here, and not only Antarctican researchers. It is also home to the highest-level American politicians on Antarctica, namely the Senior U.S. Representative in Antarctica, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Representative, and the Antarctic Support Associates (ASA) group.

Students working or visiting McMurdo have the opportunity to use dedicated facilities supporting basic and applied research conducted in the Victoria Land. University technicians, chemists and analyists are available, as are laboratory and computer support staffs.

McMurdo Station is the communications hub not only of the University of Antarctica, but also visiting American research teams- from here UANT is in constant contact with its other outreach campuses and University Peak, and from here American science teams track their away-team parties who are taking part in missions in the continental interior.

UANT's astronomical observatory on University Peak, run by the Ross College of Natural Science, utilizes equipment located at McMurdo to investigate collected data and measurements, and relay satellite, land-sat and GIS information.

The McMurdo campus at dusk

Scott Base (not to be confused with Amundsen-Scott Station) is McMurdo Station's sister settlement, situated slightly further down the road, but well within walking distance. It was also built in the late 1950s, but the distinctive green buildings (see below), which are all connected with heated corridors that use technology similar to that at University Peak, date from 1976. Students and researchers here (many from New Zealand) conduct research primarily in the earth sciences.


Scott Base

There are regular shuttles in a loop between Scott Base, McMurdo Station, William Airfield and University Peak. The shuttle trip takes about 30 min in between McMurdo and Scott, 15 min to the airfield, and 90 min to our main campus. Although the distances are short, the shuttle is limited to 30 km/hr.

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