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Where Does the Poop in Antarctica Go? | Antarctic Extremes

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Channel: PBS Terra
Categories: Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science  
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What happens to all the garbageand human poopin Antarctica?

Antarctica is home to McMurdo Station, the U.S. Antarctic Programs base of operations, and a handful of other research stations. These stations are occupied by scientists and other staffers, all of whom generate a whole lot of waste. And every scientist and staffer, like everybody else on Planet Earth, poops. (If you didnt know this, maybe give Everyone Poops a read after you watch this episode.)

Under the Antarctic Treaty System, an international agreement to protect the continent, waste of any kindgarbage, human poop, you name itcant be left on the continent. So what happens to it? To find out, Caitlin and Arlo embark on their most peculiar Antarctic quest yet.

At McMurdo Station, as Caitlin discovers the surprisingly scientific methods of treating sewage with Lead Waste Water Operator and biologist Yubecca Bragg, Arlo meets with Waste Program Manager James VanMatre to find out what happens to all of the outposts other trash. Under the guidance of these waste enthusiasts, Caitlin and Arlo meet microscopic bristle worms, water bears, the Muffin Monster, and a quirky fleet of forklifts nicknamed Picklesand they learn that dealing with Antarcticas trash is as rewarding as it is important.

Hosted by Caitlin Saks and Arlo Prez
Editor/Digital Associate Producer: Arlo Prez
Producer: Caitlin Saks
Field Director/Cinematographer: Zachary Fink
Executive Producer: Julia Cort
Coordinating Producer: Elizabeth Benjes
Project Director: Pamela Rosenstein
Production Assistance: Matthew Buckley, Emily Pattison, Sean Cuddihy
Audio Mix: Heart Punch Studio
Director of Audience Development: Dante Graves
Senior Digital Producer: Ari Daniel
Audience Engagement Editor: Sukee Bennett
Outreach Manager: Gina Varamo
Special thanks to the United States Antarctic Program

Aisyah, Alex Muravev, Brad Herried / Polar Geospatial Center, Dolly Holmes, Elizabeth Delaquess, National Science Foundation, Pond5, Ralph Maestas, US Antarctic Program,, Yubecca Bragg

Music: APM

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.

Major funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, the George D. Smith Fund, and the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1713552. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

WGBH Educational Foundation 2020

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