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NatGeo and NZARI partner for doco series

National Geographic, 30 June 2015: National Geographic, the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) and Antarctica New Zealand announced yesterday an unprecedented, cross-platform partnership to document the hard-working men and women working on the frontiers of science at New Zealand’s Scott Base, Antarctica.

Scott Base

Scott Base, Winter night
Photo: Peter O’Sullivan

The partnership includes significant funding to support scientific research and an agreement to showcase the challenging work undertaken by the researchers and support staff through a global television series for National Geographic Channel, articles in National Geographic Magazine and multimedia content on the National Geographic web platforms.
Antarctica is a continent that is entirely focused on science. Every single Antarctican is either engaged in pivotal scientific projects to learn more about the planet, or engaged in supporting this research – or both.  Between the extremes of the harsh continent itself and the focused dedication of the communities around the work, life on an Antarctic base is like a fully operational extra-terrestrial facility – a space station on ice.   Each person on base works to keep the science running and to make this place habitable, from contemplating how to drill through the 300-metre-thick Ross Ice Shelf to how to serve hot meals to a cold crew to gearing up and guiding teams to brave the elements on the ice. 
Now, for the first time, National Geographic is entering into an exciting new partnership which will allow it to accompany the research expeditions, and document life in this isolated outpost like never before. 
“There is no one but National Geographic who can truly offer a 360-degree look inside this important scientific community,” said John Francis, Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration at the National Geographic Society.  “The work being done here not just by the scientists but the army of support staff is heroic, and the world should know about it.”
“We are all about bringing our viewers a real look inside places most will never go, “ added Tim Pastore, President, Original Programming and Production for National Geographic Channel.  “Our series will document the incredible feats that take place on a daily basis on the least explored continent in the world.”
“Nat Geo Studios is thrilled to be able to document the great work that all of these men and women are doing every day,” added Brooke Runnette, President, National Geographic Studios. “Their stories are not just heroic, but inspirational, and through all of our platforms we can provide a comprehensive portrayal of the people and their projects unlike any other media company in the world.”
“NZARI is excited to be entering into this new partnership with the National Geographic Society. It will help us launch some challenging new research expeditions deep into the interior of Antarctica to investigate how vulnerable Antarctica and its ice sheets and ice shelves are as the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere warm. At the same time we hope to learn how the changing ice cover and temperatures will impact the fragile and iconic life of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean,” says Professor Gary Wilson, Director of NZARI
The coverage is expected to include inside access to those on the ground who keep this isolated world running, including travelling with helicopter pilots and crew who work in numbing temperatures flying teams across giant glaciers, ice shelves and to wildlife colonies, while the base team monitors storms and white-outs approaching. We will be right alongside scientists researching charismatic mega fauna – the great predators of the Southern Ocean.  Our camera teams will also be driving shotgun with the brave men and women who clear the roads (after building them) to transport scientists, and then build camps for their three-week field work out in the elements. These are the real heroes that make science possible. 
The series is expected to air on the National Geographic Channel in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages.  
Further details on the specific projects will be announced in the coming months.
National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
Antarctica New Zealand
Antarctica New Zealand is the Crown Entity responsible for developing, managing and executing New Zealand Government activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Antarctica New Zealand also manage Scott Base, New Zealand’s Antarctic research station which supports science in the Ross Sea region. With almost 60 years’ experience working in Antarctica, New Zealand is recognised a leader in the international treaty system, and has a strong commitment to the natural environment. Enhancing the public awareness and understanding of the important role of Antarctic science is intricately linked to the vision statement of Antarctica New Zealand: Inspiring people to connect with Antarctica, through knowledge and collaboration. Demystifying science through strong outreach and education is an essential part of our mandate.
New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) and Antarctica New Zealand
NZARI partners with Antarctica New Zealand and research agencies to develop a global understanding of Antarctica’s impacts and vulnerability in a changing global climate. Its vision is to inform industry, government and community alike so that we can plan for impacts of change and where possible mitigate them. A particular focus is placed on the Ross Sea region, where the Southern Ocean reaches its furthest south (85◦S) beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. Funding for NZARI is from organisations and individuals concerned with global scale connections to Antarctica and consequences of its changing environment. The grand scientific challenge for NZARI is to determine how Antarctica, its ice, oceans and climate will respond in a warming global climate and indirectly what those changes in Antarctica will mean for the rest of the world in terms of sea level, climate and ecosystems. NZARI is a charitable trust.