National Geographic and Air New Zealand are teaming up to give one lucky traveler the opportunity of a lifetime. The two organizations have announced the Antarctica: No Ordinary Place, No Ordinary Assignment contest which will send one adventurous individual off to the frozen continent where they will spend two weeks working closely with a Nat Geo photographer there.
The winner of this contest will be sent on assignment with professional photographer and environmentalist Jason Edwards. The expedition will begin in mid-January of 2014 and will start and finish in Christchurch, New Zealand. After spending a few days getting oriented at the International Antarctic Centre, the team will then fly off to the Scott Base, located on Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf . While there, the contest winner will spend his or her time documenting research work and assisting in the collection of data. That data will later be examined by scientists in an effort to track the impact of global climate change on the continent. The person selected will also be asked to share their experiences from the field with an online audience following their adventure from back home.
Nat Geo and Air New Zealand aren’t just looking for your typical traveler to join them on this expedition. They are searching for someone who is passionate about the environment, has a strong sense of adventure and is a good storyteller/communicator too. To that end, they’ve devised a rather ingenious system for entering the contest. On the entry page, you’ll find two short films, each 30 seconds in length and lacking any kind of narration or storytelling whatsoever. Those interested in joining this Antarctic assignment must record or write their own voiceover for the video of their choice, describing in true documentarian style what it is they see on screen. After that, prospective explorers will simply fill out an online contact form and write a 300 word essay explaining why they are the right person to join the expedition.
The competition runs through Thursday, November 7, so get your entries together now. By November 13, a group of judges will examine each of the entries and create a short list of candidates for the position. That list will be passed on to Edwards and a representative of Air New Zealand who will conduct a Skype interview with those who make the cut. Following those interviews, they’ll pick one winner based on a number of criteria, including personality, skill set, passion for the environment, creativity and more.
The winner of the No Ordinary Assignment will receive roundtrip airfare from their country of origin to New Zealand, as well as a pre-trip preparation and activities in Christchurch. They’ll also receive a flight to and from the Scott Base, which will serve as their home for 2-2.5 weeks while they learn about life in the Antarctic. They’ll also be given access to mobile devices and digital cameras to help them share their experiences over social media and the Internet.
Having already visited the other six continents on our planet, a trip to Antarctica is fairly high on my bucket list. The fact that you would also get the opportunity to work with an actual research team – not to mention a National Geographic photographer – while living there seems too good to be true. This isn’t just some Antarctic cruise that safely follows the coastline. This is an actual adventure at the bottom of the world. Whoever wins this trip is going to be one lucky traveler as it sounds like they’ll have an amazing experience ahead.