NSF PR 00-01 - January 7, 2000
Mary Hanson, NSF
Marsha Hassell, SPAWAR
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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: