4 December 2006
Matthieu, the subject of today’s log, is our resident scientist. Working for the oceanographic laboratory at Paris-Jussieu University, he is responsible for managing all of the scientific activities on board. Qualified as an engineer in computing and electronics, Matthieu has already spent one year in the polar regions, passing a winter at the French Antarctic base Dumont d’Urville. His tour in the south was as a science technician, responsible for the base computer network administration and the maintenance of various scientific experiments. When asked what led him to the polar regions Matthieu explains it was for a number of reasons. “Mainly for the scientific interest, but also the fact that the French Polar Institute was next to my engineering school when I was a student led me to knock on the door. After discovering the south this aroused my interest in returning to these fantastic regions. In Antarctica one experiences a diversity of wildlife and grand landscapes. This pure nature opened my eyes to the richness of the world and necessity to preserve it at all cost. I have a similar sensation here in the Arctic, although there is less wildlife”. “The Tara scientific base is a lot different from my experience at Dumont d’Urville. Here, on a boat, compared to a base firmly anchored on solid rock, there are many contrasts. Starting with the expanse of the sea ice, this dynamic and ever present threat to our scientific material forces us to keep a vigilant watch at all times. Here in our confined, isolated environment the human relationships are also different from on a base, a lot stronger” says Matthieu.