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NSF Press Release


NSF PR 00-01 - January 7, 2000

Media contacts:

 Mary Hanson, NSF

 (703) 292-8070


 Marsha Hassell, SPAWAR



This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Antarctic Worker Dies

An employee of a technical support contractor for the U.S. Antarctic Program has died in Antarctica.

John G. Biesiada, 43, a Canadian citizen and a resident of St. Catharines, Ontario, was pronounced dead by medical personnel at McMurdo Station, the main U.S. scientific station in Antarctica, at approximately 1 a.m. on Jan 8, 2000 (local time). (U.S. stations in Antarctica keep New Zealand time and are 18 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.)

The cause of death is unknown, pending an autopsy. Biesiada's next of kin have been notified.

Biesiada, an electronics maintenance technician responsible for the repair and maintenance of the air traffic control equipment at McMurdo Station, was a seasonal employee of Scientific Research Corp., a subcontractor to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, S.C. He had passed the physical exmination that is required of all personnel who deploy to Antarctica under the auspices of the U.S. Antarctic Program.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) coordinates U.S. scientific research on the Antarctic continent through the U.S. Antarctic Program and operates three scientific stations year-round: McMurdo Station, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, and Palmer Station. NSF is an independent federal agency whose mission covers research in all fields of science and engineering.


For a fact sheet on the U.S. Antarctic Program, see:

See also:



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