Author Brian Gaull will be visiting Midland Public Library to talk about his book Chill Out: An Antarctic Odyssey.
As a small boy, the protagonist dreams of the ultimate adventure of sailing to Antarctica as a researcher. This book is about how this dream came true many years later. It tells the story of the struggles leaving his young family in Australia and his subsequent survival in this extreme environment. It relates to the reader that scientists are no different from anyone else in that they have physical, emotional and sometimes spiritual needs. It provides a unique insight into the minds and lives of the several inimitable characters that are entwined into the story.
In his role as geophysicist at Mawson Station, Big Dee strives to make a difference; he is not happy with just routine collection of seismological and magnetic data. In his quest, he seizes an opportunity to demonstrate that people’s lives are at risk every time they venture onto the sea-ice that surrounds the continent: some of the gigantic outlet glaciers into the Southern Ocean are not easily identifiable to passing traffic. Consequently, when he showed the link between the signals portrayed on the Mawson seismograph and catastrophic iceberg calving events from such outlets, he felt vindicated. He knew that this link could provide an early warning signal to those wanting to venture out across the sea-ice near to these potentially dangerous sites.
His relationship with some of his fellow Antarcticans provide plenty of amusing anecdotal material, but underneath this apparent success story, is a gripping and tenuous relationship back home.
Brian Gull started his long career as a geophysicist in Papua New Guinea and Australia before his Antarctic experience. He has a Master's Degree in Geophysics and has enjoyed the varied lifestyle of being a teacher, field scientist, researcher and consultant. His publications include papers on earthquake hazards, some of which were used as the basis for the 1993 Australian Standard's Building Code for Earthquake loads in Australia. In later years Brian has been honing his creative writing skills and has already enjoyed success with the short story genre. In this memoir, the science is understandable and interesting and is counterbalanced with his very personal journey which demonstrates the humanity within us all. Brian also discusses his research on catastrophic iceberg calving in Antarctica and proposes how the seismic signals from them just prior to collapsing, could be used to warn people to avoid walking in their vicinity. He also suggests that the historical data seen on past seismograms may be used to ascertain whether East Antarctica is also warming, like its counterpart in the West.
Places are limited so bookings are required.
For more information or to book contact Midland Public Library on 9267 9020.