Working Dogs of Antarctica!
Dr. Ursula Rack....................... ...
Dr. Ursula Rack, Arctic and Antarctic Historian at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, talks with Marcie and Whistle about her incredible historical research into the working dogs of Antarctica. You will be fascinated as Dr. Rack recounts the information she has gathered about working dogs and how they were utilized in Antarctica from the diaries and reports of the explorers and scientists. Their heroic expeditions date back to the late 1800s. Dr. Rack talks specifically about these canine and human pioneering heroes and how important their work has been on our present day global climate and environment!
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I am a German and English speaking polar historian with specific expertise in Antarctic voyages from around the turn of the twentieth Century. My research interests relate to the social conditions on polar expeditions, ranging from the 19th century up until the modern day. Although I have researched a range of expeditions in the past, my particular focus is on German and Austro-Hungarian expeditions and comparing these to international expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. This research includes also biographies of expedition members and covers political, social and economic factors which influenced the expeditions.
Archival research is necessary to gather diaries, ship journals, correspondence, pictures and reports on expeditions. They are mostly handwritten and I do transcriptions, interpret the contents and position the written texts in a wider context. Social conditions cover issues such as food, medical conditions, every day life, recruitment, insurance, income, hierarchy and leadership and how these conditions influenced the expeditions and vice versa the people.
I am currently working on a project which recovers historic weather data from the Heroic Era, using diaries as a source. This data can then be compared with modern data sets to reveal information on historic weather and sea ice conditions in Polar Regions.