Antarctic Acronyms, Abbrevs, & Lingo

I've spent 3 summer seasons (Oct - Feb) working at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. From the second you arrive on station you are bombarded with ridiculous amounts of acronyms, abbreviations, and lingo. It's pretty overwhelming. This is a growing list, so please help me fill it out by leaving a comment if you there's something missing. Also keep in mind that the ALL CAPS items are pronounced by sounding-out each letter individually, accept when specified {inside curly brackets}.

  • 155 [the main building on station: dorms, galley, etc]
  • AGAP [Antarctic GAmburtsev Province, field camp - {a gap}]
  • AGE [Air Ground Equipment]
  • Andrill [Antarctic Drilling Project]
  • ANG [Air National Guard]
  • Apple [red, domed, igloo-like, fiberglass, warming hut]
  • ARG [Acronym Reduction Group]
  • Arrival Heights [strange, off-limits area near Hut Point Loop trail]
  • ATO [Antarctic Terminal Operations, Cargo Handlers]
  • Bag Drag [checking your luggage the day before you leave]
  • Basler [Retrofitted Douglas DC-3s, smallish passenger plane]
  • Beaker [scientist - see Grantee]
  • Bertha [the 20-foot beast of a dishwasher in the Galley]
  • BFC [Berg Field Center, issues all gear for field camps]
  • Big Red [big, red, puffy, coat issued to all as part of ECW]
  • Boomerang [a flight that has to turn around after take-off]
  • Boondoggle [any outing away from the usual work routine]
  • Bunny Boots [large, white, rubber boots; part of ECW]
  • C-17 [large, jet-powered military cargo plane]
  • C-130 or Herc [medium, prop-powered military cargo plane]
  • Carp [Carpenter]
  • Castle Rock [1400-foot bold rock crag, hikable from McMurdo]
  • CDC [Clothing Distribution Center in CHC]
  • The Chalet [the main NSF & RPSC administrative building]
  • CHC [Christchurch, NZ - {cheech}]
  • COD [Crush Of the Day]
  • Condition 1-3 [weather: 3 = good, 2 = bad, 1 = horrible]
  • Crary [Building 001, the main science lab on station]
  • Crud [a general sickness that makes you feel like crud]
  • DA [Dining Attendant, all-purpose Galley Slave]
  • Day Bar [bar hours for the MidRats - 7am to noon]
  • Day Sleeper [night shift worker - see MidRats]
  • Delta [wierd old Navy transport vehicle]
  • DHQ [Denver Headquarters, home office for RPSC]
  • DNF [Do Not Freeze, a type of cargo]
  • DV [Distinguished Visitor, usually a government official]
  • ECW [Extreme Cold Weather gear, issued at the CDC]
  • eFoot Plan [must be filled out for some hikes around McMurdo]
  • Erebus [Mount Erebus, a 14,000-foot active volcano]
  • Fata Morgana [a mirage really far out on the sea ice]
  • FEMC [Facitlities, Engineering, Maintenance, & Construction]
  • FDX boots [a newer, bluer version of Bunny Boots]
  • Fines [very fine-grained volcanic sand used as non-slip]
  • Fleet Ops [truck fleet & heavy equipment operations]
  • FNG [Fucking New Guy, a new person on station - {fingee}]
  • Freshies [perishable foods delivered weekly from CHC]
  • Frosty Boy [soft serve ice cream]
  • FTSP [Field Safety Training Program - {f stop}]
  • Fuelie [Fuels Operator]
  • GA [General Assistant, all-purpose laborer]
  • Gallagher's [Gallagher's Pub, the non-smoking bar]
  • Galley [Old Navy term used to describe the dining facility]
  • Gear Issue [free gear rental: skis, climbing shoes, costumes]
  • Gerbil Gym [the workout facility with a focus on treadmills]
  • Goat Trail [dirt path connecting main FEMC shop to Carp Shop]
  • Golf Ball [weird communications structure]
  • Grantee [scientist who got a grant from the NSF]
  • Green Brain [small green notebook given to everyone]
  • Happy Camper [basic field camp survival training]
  • HazWaste [Hazardous Waste]
  • Helo Ops [Helicopter Operations]
  • Highway 1 and 2 [the two main hallways in 155]
  • HoCal or Hotel Cal [Hotel California, Building 166, dormitory]
  • House Mouse [community janitorial duties during winter]
  • Hut 10 [a small house that can be reserved for private parties]
  • Hut Point [the location of Scott's Discovery Hut, a nice walk]
  • The Ice [Antarctica]
  • Ice Pier [a pier made of ice, where the supply ships dock]
  • Ice Shelf [a floating platform of ice, hundreds of feet thick]
  • Ivan [the Terra Bus, a very large bus]
  • Jamesway [portable, rigid-frame, insulated, dome tent]
  • Jano [Janitor]
  • KBA [Kenn Borek Air, Canadian air support sub-contractor]
  • Kiwi [New Zealander]
  • LDB [Long Duration Balloon project]
  • Little Red [stripped-down windbreaker version of Big Red]
  • MAAG [McMurdo Alternative Art Gallery - {maug}]
  • Mac Ops [Field Operation Communications Center (FOCC)]
  • Mattracks [rubber track conversion systems for 4x4 vehicles]
  • MCC [Movement Control Center, mainly around runways]
  • MCI [Mass Casualty Incident, also a training simulation drill]
  • MCM [McMurdo Station, the largest base in Antarctica]
  • MEC [Mechanical Equipment Center]
  • MedEvac [Medical Evacuation]
  • Mid-Rats [Midnight Rations, also 3rd shifters themselves]
  • MMI [Mammouth Mountain Inn, Building 188, dormitory]
  • Muffin Monster [macerator, chops up waste as it enters WWTP]
  • NANA [Galley, Housing, & Rec sub-contractor - {neh nuh}]
  • NAVCHAPS [Navy Cargo Handling Personnel - {nav chaps}]
  • NPX [South Pole Station, usually referred to simply as Pole]
  • NSF [National Science Foundation]
  • OAE [Old Antarctic Explorer, special status for program veterans]
  • Ob Hill [Observation Hill, a popular climbing spot near town]
  • Oden [the Icebreaker, opens the channel for resupply vessels]
  • Off-Load [Cargo & Supply operations with The Vessel, early Feb]
  • Ops [Operations]
  • Pax [passengers]
  • Pegasus [Runway, primarily for landing C-17s]
  • Pickle [small forklift]
  • PistenBully [a weird-looking vehicle with tracks like a tank]
  • POC [Point Of Contact]
  • Polar Plunge [a refreshing dip into sub-freezing water]
  • Polie [South Pole worker]
  • PQ [Physically Qualified, physically approved for deployment]
  • Pressure Ridges [collision of the ice shelf and the sea ice]
  • RPSC [Raytheon Polar Services Company, primary contractor]
  • RTSC [Raytheon Technical Service Company, parent of RPSC]
  • SAR [Search And Rescue {sar}]
  • Scott Base [Kiwi base between McMurdo & Willy Field]
  • Sea Ice [frozen ocean, usually thaws out each summer]
  • Skua [large brown scavanger seagull, also Antarctic Freecycle]
  • Slim [steam sanitizer in the Pot Room]
  • SOPP [?]
  • Southern [Southern Exposure, the smoking bar]
  • SSC [Science Support Center]
  • The Tanker [fuel resupply vessel]
  • TDY [Temporary Duty, off-ice office work at DHQ]
  • Transition [where a road spans the transition from rock to ice]
  • Twin Otter [small passenger plane]
  • Uppercase Dorms [the 3-story dormitories]
  • USAP [United States Antarctic Program]
  • The Vessel [general resupply ship: frozen & dry foods, parts, etc]
  • VMF [Vehicle Maintenance Facility, also called the Heavy Shop]
  • Wastie [Trash Collector & Sorter]
  • WAIS [West Antarctic Ice Sheet, deep field camp]
  • Willy Field [Williams Field Runway: C-130s, Baslers, Twin Otters]
  • WinFly [Winter Fly-in, the transition between Winter & Summer]
  • WWTP [Waste Water Treatment Plant]
  • Yak Tracks [detachable grips for the bottom of your shoes]

Listed by eliduke on February 7th, 2009

Comments

  • Great.

    posted by jack on February 7th, 2009

  • This is a great list, e.

    posted by n8duke on February 7th, 2009

  • What about NANA? I sort of think COD (crush of the day) should be included for posterity. AND you forgot a BIG one, Big Red... Ice Wings, Apple (warming hut), and what do they call a mass casualty drill, I know there was an abbrev for that. Slim (in the pot room). Golf Ball (weird NASA thing on the hill).

    posted by ruby on February 8th, 2009

  • Oh, little red (windbreaker)

    posted by ruby on February 8th, 2009

  • Thanks, Ruby!

    posted by eliduke on February 8th, 2009

  • Ah, great list!

    posted by jeffzilla on December 12th, 2009