This year marks the 50th anniversary of Scott Base, the New Zealand Antarctic Station, which is next door to McMurdo (the US base). To celebrate the occasion Scott Base was visited by several distinguished visitors, including Sir Edmund Hillary and the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark. As well as being the first person to scale Mt. Everest, Edmund Hillary was a keen Antarctic explorer and was a member of the party that founded Scott Base in 1957.

Diana, Byron, Dorota, Mike, Breana and Abigail attended the ceremony and met Edmund Hillary and Helen Clark, as well as the other visitors. Jeb and Ross were in the field and missed all the excitement. The next day Prime Minister Clark spent some time in our lab and we told her about soil ecology and she looked at nematodes down the microscope. Perhaps we have convinced her that nematodes are cool!

Diana hobnobs with PM Helen Clark and Sir Edmund Hillary at a dinner in McMurdo held in honor of our Kiwi friends.

Diana Wall and Helen Clark

Diana Wall and Sir Edmund Hillary

Other photos of the historic trip can be viewd on our Flickr page!