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Antarctic Research Stations Rife With Drunken Debauchery, Audit Finds

posted: 10/12/15
by: Danny Clemens
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You might think that a scientific research base in one of the world's harshest climates would be immune to the drunken antics of reality television -- surprisingly, you're wrong.

A recent National Science Foundation audit of the U.S. Antarctic Program's (USAP) health and safety procedures reveals the seemingly wild behavior that takes place at the research stations:

"NSF officials acknowledged that alcohol consumption in the USAP can create unpredictable behavior that has led to fights, indecent exposure, and employees arriving to work under the influence," the report explains.

McMurdo Station from Observation Hill
Gaelen Marsden via Wikimedia Commons

Auditors recount a site visit in which a scientist was using laboratory equipment to brew and store "large quantities" of beer, an activity that is strictly prohibited by the base's alcohol policy.

Despite repeated violations, the report notes that "breathalyzer tests are rarely administered to determine if employees are intoxicated."

Furthermore, nearly 60 subcontractors have been formally disciplined by their supervisors for infractions like "posting negative comments about coworkers on-line" and "damaging government property while intoxicated."

The audit recommends that base officials enforce breathalyzer test requirements, develop a streamlined system through which officials can keep track of employee misconduct and determine whether or not Special Deputies' are able to "perform their law enforcement responsibilities" effectively.

H/T Wired

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