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Applications to join the research team for field work in fall 2023 are now closed. Selections for the 2023 field team will be made soon.

From November to December 2023, Dr. Dan Morgan will lead a team from Vanderbilt University to Antarctica to conduct research on the glacial history of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. We seek three current sophomore students (who will be juniors in the fall of 2023) to be part of the field team, conduct lab research, and complete immersion projects.

To apply – Because of the timeline for the project, we are only accepting applications from current sophomores (’25) who will be juniors in the fall of 2023 when we go to Antarctica. There are three steps to the application process:
1) Attend one information session about the project (dates and times below).
2) Attend one group fitness class of your choice at the Vanderbilt Recreation Center, or do a minimum 30 minute workout on your own (e.g. run or
3) Complete the application (Antarctica_Application_2023S) and email it to by March 10, 5:01 pm.

Helicopters move us between field sites.
Helicopters move us between field sites.

Additional Details:

1) You must attend one of the following information sessions before you can apply:

T: 2/28 in Stevenson 5722, 4:15 pm
W: 3/1 in Stevenson 5722, 4:30 pm
M: 3/6 in Stevenson 5722, 5:30 pm
W: 3/8 in Stevenson 5722, 5:30 pm

2) You do not need to be an elite athlete to join the team, but the field work requires daily physical work, so we ask that you commit to a regimen of physical activity in preparation for the field work. For the application, please attend any group fitness class at the Vanderbilt Rec Center, and record the class, day, time, and instructor on your application. Any group fitness class is fine, and it could be a strength, flexibility, or cardiovascular workout. Alternatively, you can do your own, individual workout, a video (e.g., or a run on your own. We ask you to do this as part of your application to demonstrate that you are aware of the physical and mental challenges you’ll face in the field, and of the commitment we are asking you to make.

You do not have to be in the best physical shape now, but before you apply, please consider the physical and mental demands that will be put upon you during the field work. We will be camping for at least 5 weeks in the harshest environment on Earth, and we’ll be hiking, carrying heavy packs, and moving heavy equipment every day. There are additional mental challenges from the remoteness and isolation of the work. We think that good physical preparation helps support your mental preparation for the experience, and that you build up mental toughness as well as physical strength with physical conditioning. Please note that everyone who goes to Antarctica has to be deemed “physically qualified” to go by the U.S. Antarctic Program, but this is a medical definition, and is not a measure of your physical fitness.

3) Complete the application (Antarctica_Application_2023S) and email it to  by March 10, 5:01 pm. Interviews will be conducted from March 22-30. We expect to select and notify students by April 7. Those that are selected for the project are expected to submit an Immersion Experience Declaration Form for this project.

More information about the project can be found on the Antarctica 2023 page.

Videos and Photos of recent trips to Antarctica can be seen on the pictures and videos page and on Twitter ( We encourage you to look through these to get a sense of what the field work and life will be like in Antarctica.