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SC-HASS Research Project: The impact of COVID-19 on Antarctica


COVID 19 webThe implications of a global pandemic for how we engage with Antarctica, with each other and in our institutions, have been on the minds of many and have forced a re-examination of our values, our priorities and our ways of life.  It prompted the Standing Committee on the Humanities and Social Sciences to respond to a suggestion by the SCAR President to look into this topic further.  This is how this project was born.

In June 2021, Project Director Daniela Liggett talked about the research project in the episode "Visitors and the Virus" on the Polar Times podcast. You can listen to the episode on Google Podcasts, PodBean, Spotify or Amazon.  

Research Questions:

What is the impact of COVID-19 on Antarctic research and researchers?

What are the long-term implications of COVID-19 for Antarctic operations and governance?


The research team created a survey about COVID-19 impacts for Antarctic researchers, support staff, students, and anyone else involved in Antarctic research or logistics to complete. Responses have helped the team to understand how the community is affected and will inform strategic decisions to mitigate impacts. Results from this survey can be accessed in the pdf Final Report (1.57 MB) .

Work Packages:

The project is structured into six Work Packages (WP) and is using a mixed-methods approach to meeting its research objectives, including futures scanning, interviews, surveys, social media analysis, media-based desk study, document analysis, and literature reviews. Currently more than 40 researchers from all over the world and with different disciplinary backgrounds, from anthropology to zoology, are contributing to this project.

COVID 19 Project Infographic web


Daniela Liggett (2021) - "Visitors and the Virus", Polar Times podcast, 8 June 2021

pdf List of outputs and events (185 KB) from the COVID-19 Project

McKenzie Prillaman (2022) - "COVID derailed polar research projects. Here’s how students have coped", Nature doi:

Panel Discussion: Cultural Perceptions of Antarctica, held during the 2021 SC-HASS Conference:



If you have any questions or would like to share with us project-relevant work that you have undertaken, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Project Director) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Project Manager).