What follows is a summary of the most common acronyms used in the program.

ACL: Allowable Cabin Load – how much weight is allowed on a plane

ANG: Air National Guard, the New York ANG does all the air logistics for the USAP

Beaker: a scientist, grantee, or other researcher. Occasionally, and historically, used in a derogatory manor it can be used affectionately as well.

Boomerang: A flight that is re-routed back to it’s point of departure.

CHC or Cheech: Christchurch, New Zealand (our jumping off point for most of Antarctica)

CDC: Clothing Distribution Center (or where we get our ECW)

CONUS: Continental US, or Stateside

DNF: Do Not Freeze – referring to cargo such as fresh food, liquids etc that cannot be left outside.

ECW: Extreme Cold Weather gear

Field Camps: Any camps or bases other than Palmer, McMurdo, and South Pole Stations. (example: WAIS divide)

FNG: F** New Guy, pronounced “Fyngie” – a term used, sometimes affectionately, to describe those new to the program, or acting like it.

Freshies: Any fresh food – eggs, milk, fruits and veggies

GA: General Assistant, DA or dining assistants are just about the only ones “lower” than the GAs. It is however, one of the best ways to get into the USAP and to get a taste for the wide variety of science and work that goes on at the stations as well as meeting just about everyone.

Haz or HazMat: Hazardous Materials

Herc or Hercules: Ski equipped LC-130 Hercules planes used by the ANG and US Air Force to transport cargo and personnel to the South Pole.

Jamesway: A portable, rigid frame, insulated tent.

JP-8: Type of fuel used in aircraft and diesel equipment (ex: Hercs, generators, tractors).

MCM: McMurdo Station or Mac Town

Mogas: Motor Automotive Gasoline (if it doesn’t run on JP-8 it runs on mogas – ex: snowmobiles).

NPX: South Pole Station (I know, super obvious)

NSF: National Science Foundation

Pallet: A portable platform, general metal, for handling/moving cargo. They clip into the floor of the LC-130 Hercs. Designated by the US military as 463L pallets.

PAX: Passengers

PI: Primary Investigator – the senior representative of a research group.

Polie: A person working at the South Pole Station

PQ: Physically Qualify (medically)

Retro: Returning cargo/pax.

Sastrugi: beautiful wave-like forms on the snow surface carved by the sun/wind.

USAP: United States Antarctic Program

WINFLY: Winter Fly-in, the first flights and arrival of people to Antarctica after winter – usually in mid-August.

Winter-Over: Someone who has spent the winter season at one of the stations. At the South Pole this means late February to late October or early November with no flights.


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