The IcePod
The IcePod
The IcePod
The Live Episode – Paid to Look at the Clouds and Play with Balloons
1 hour 7 minutes Posted Oct 7, 2020 at 2:00 am.
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Show notes

The IcePod goes live and Antarctic! For our first live episode that we broadcasted during the APECS workshop "Antarctic Science: Global connections", we met with the Australian weather observer and Ph.D. candidate Vicki Heinrich. Well, actually, it wasn't only Vicki but we had another special guest: Vickie's pet cat sneaking around. 

For more than ten years, Vicki has been a regular in the Antarctic to look at the clouds and play with balloons, all courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). To be trained on the ten types of clouds, she found this opportunity once in a newspaper, and it saved her from the mining industry. To get paid to stay twelve months at a weather station in Antarctica still feels extraordinary to her – as are the beauty of the Antarctic icescape and the many friendships she has built along the way, both with colleagues and penguin colonies.

So why did Vicki then move into psychology? In 2019, she started her Ph.D. thesis with the project "Use of Weather and Climate Information: Risk perception and decision-making in the Antarctic" in order to learn more about how people use weather information to make their daily decisions. To get to know the other side – the user's perspective – is clearly an add-on to her career, and to us as her project got YOPP-endorsed. It turns out – as a preliminary result – everybody wants to know about the wind.

For updates and other materials, check also our website:

If you want to know more about the Association for Polar Early Career Scientist check the APECS website at

More about the APECS workshop "Antarctic Science: Global connections" can be found at*

Read about Vicki's project at or at the YOPP-endorsement projects overview

The IcePod is the podcast about polar science and the people. We’ll talk to scientists who went on board Polarstern, the German research icebreaker, for the biggest research expedition in the Arctic. The IcePod is the official podcast of the Year of Polar Prediction initiative to improve weather and sea-ice forecast in the Arctic and Antarctic. 

Editorial responsibility: Kirstin Werner and Sara Pasqualetto 

Music from

"Sweeter Vermouth" by Kevin MacLeod (

Licence: CC BY (

Photo credit: Peter Hargreaves