9 Bulgarian Antarctic Explorers to Spend Xmas Holidays on Livingston IslandEnvironment | December 23, 2011, Friday // 15:47| views
Professor Hristo Pimpirev, Director of the Antarctic Studies Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS). Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
The 20th Bulgarian expedition to the Antarctic includes eight women, said Professor Hristo Pimpirev, head of the expedition and director of the Antarctic Studies unit at the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS).
In a Friday interview for Darik Radio, he announced that he would depart for the Antarctic on January 05 with the last batch of participants.
The first 9-strong team of the 25-member group of Bulgarian scientists headed for the South Pole on November 02.
The 20th Bulgarian expedition will be studying the impact of global warming on seals.
The exploration mission will be conducted on a budget of less than BGN 300 000, way below the financial resources of other countries' teams, despite the fact that some of them do not have an Antarctic base.
According to Professor Pimpirev, the Bulgarian project is the first of its kind in this part of the continent and involves taking skin samples from seals to conduct DNA tests.
The team of scientists also plans to build a new Christian Orthodox chapel with funding provided by the Religious Denominations at the Council of Ministers.
The unit will be built with prefabricated elements bought from Argentina.
The Bulgarian group also hopes to be able to mount wind turbines which will make the St. Kliment Ohridski Base on Livingston Island energy independent and will also help to reduce environmental pollution.
The Director of the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute hopes that the next Bulgarian team to set off for the Antarctic will be able to afford an Internet connection which is currently too costly for our group.
Unlike other Antarctic Bases, which also have TV, Bulgarian researchers only have a satellite phone to keep in touch.
The first group of nine Bulgarians who set off for the Antarctic in early November will celebrate Christmas and New Year at the St. Kliment Ohridski Base.
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