Sixty-two years on the ice

Victoria University of Wellington has a long and proud history of Antarctic research.

Our scientists have been on the ice every year since 1957, and are dedicated to understanding the past, the present and the future impacts of the climate.

In 1959 research in Antarctica had taken off. People from around the world were making incredible discoveries in what was one of the last unexplored places on Earth. When it became apparent that this could lead to potential conflicts between nations, the Antarctic Treaty was negotiated and, in December that year, signed. The treaty has kept Antarctica free from mining and military activity, and open for scientific discovery.

It’s now been 60 years since this unprecedented document was signed. To celebrate we’re highlighting some of the amazing research our scientists and students are involved in.

"Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. The response of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean to climate change remains a key uncertainty in a warming world, and our students and graduates play an important role in our efforts to improve future projections."
Nancy Bertler, Associate Professor at the Antarctic Research Centre

We have a variety of unique opportunities for students to study, and even visit Antarctica, whilst working alongside the leaders in Antarctic research in New Zealand. These opportunities include investigating Antarctica through the lens of geophysics, geology and climatology, to computer modelling and data science. Our science also has direct applications to decision making, policy, and law.