The Johann Gregor Mendel Station

The Czech Antarctic Station is situated on James Ross Island, near the Antarctic Peninsula. The station was built in the years 2000–2006 and serves as a research base for scientists and academics from the Masaryk University and other research institutions. The idea of constructing the Czech Antarctic Station was developed and put into action at the Department of Geography of the Masaryk University in 1999. The Czech Antarctic Law effective from March 31st, 2005 significantly helped the Masaryk University gain international approval for the construction of the research station. The CzechRepublic was admitted to the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) of the Antarctic Treaty during the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Stockholm in 2005, and was also admitted to the European Polar Board (EPB) – in this case, the Czech Republic was represented by the Masaryk University. The Czech Antarctic Station was named after the famous Czech geneticist and climatologist, Johann Gregor Mendel.

The main aim of the project “Construction of a Czech scientific station in the Antarctica” was to build a research station that provides technical and logistical support for Czech research activities in Antarctica. Construction of the Johann Gregor Mendel Station was completed in 2006; the Czech Republic thereby became one of the developed countries participating in Antarctica research.

About the Station

The Czech Antarctic Station was built on the Northern coast of James Ross Island in the period 2004 – 2006. Construction of the building was completed on March 4th 2006 and it was inaugurated on February 27th 2007. The Masaryk University is the owner of the Johann Gregor Mendel Station. The station consists of the main building and a series of 9 technical containers. The whole complex is situated on a coastal terrace at an altitude of 8 meters above sea level at a distance of 100 meters from the coast. The main building is made of panels (layers of OSB – hardened polystyrene – OSB) and provides accommodation, technical and research facilities for 15 staff members. The main building is divided into several parts: entrance hall, drying cabinet for wet shoes, boots and clothes, medical and technical material storage, 2 laboratories, 11 bedrooms for 1–2 people each, kitchen, dining room, operating rooms with workshop and sanitary facilities. The technical containers are located in close proximity to the main building and (besides being the site for wind–power units) serve as:

• Electricity distribution centre and electrical switchgear (accumulators, converters, electric regulators)
• Machine room with diesel generators
• Storage of food, cleaning and hygiene tools
• Storage of building tools, materials and technical facilities
• Storage of scientific tools, samples, etc.
• Storage of liquid fuels
• Garage for 3 rubber Zodiac dinghies
• Off–road vehicle garage (1 wheel/track Scot–track vehicle )
• Waste incinerator + service water heating system

In the vicinity of the station there is also a transmitting aerial mast, meteorological mast, water supply pipes, wastewater reservoir (drain sump) and soil water drainage.