The  Henryk Arctowski Polar Station


The  Henryk Arctowski Polar Station is situated in Admiralty Bay on King George Island, South Shetland Archipelago. It has operated continuous³y since its founding on 26th of February 1977. As a result of its establishment Poland became a signatory of the Antarctic Treaty, the organisation, which governs Antarctica and now numbers 27 members. Operated by the Polish Academy of Sciences, this is a medium-sized station, which can accommodate up to 14 people during the winter and 20 people in summer. These numbers include technical staff who maintains the station on a daily basis. The staff of the station realizes the polar project of Polish Academy of Sciences.

The principal role of the base is to serve as an ecological and earth sciences observatory. Since 1977 there has been continuous research in the fields of Oceanography, Geology, Geomorphology, Glaciology, Meteorology, Climatology, Seismology, Magnetism, and particularly Ecology. Research into the living resources of the Southern Ocean is directly related to the activities fishing fleets in this region. Such research is required of Poland as a signatory of both CCAMLR and the Antarctic Treaty. In addition, re­search on the base is closely connected to other international scientific programs co-ordinated by SCAR, such as BIOTAS, EASIZ, and GLOBAL CHANGE. More than 1000 Poles have worked at the station. Of these, 230 were scientists representing various Polish universities and institutes within the Polish Academy of Sciences. Within the biological sciences hundreds of papers have been published, including many in foreign journals. A similar number have also been published in Geology, Palaeontology and other earth sciences. Admiralty Bay is widely considered an ideal area for such multi-disciplinary research.

Polish scientists have co-operated with fellow workers from many countries including Argentina, Belgium, Brazi³, Chile, Check Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the near future we are looking for closer co-operation with other international bodies such as the ESF, with EEC countries. Collaboration also exists in the area of logistical support.

Ten countries, which now operate stations on King George Island, co-operate frequently. The Department of Antarctic Biology (PAS), directed by Prof. S. Rakusa-Suszczewski, is responsible for the operation and further development of the station. Arguments for the continued use of the station as a scientific base remain solid and unquestioned. The building and equipment of Henryk Arctowski Station were renewed in 1998.