One Day on Earth

The World's Story is Yours to Tell

We received this video submission from James Travis III, our resident One Day on Earth participant in the Capital of Antarctica, The South Pole. This video was shot just days ago outside of the Amundsen-Scott Station.

One Day on Earth Participant - James Travis III - South Pole from One Day On Earth on Vimeo.

Who are you and what is your profession?

My names is James Travis III. My father and grandfather are also named James. My grandfather was the first Travis in our lineage. My grandmother wouldn't marry him unless he changed his last name - Hoare. James Travis Hoare became James Travis Sr. for the love of a woman.

I am currently the maintenance foreman at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. I am in charge of the Utility Technicians, plumber, electrician, and carpenter. We fix everything that IT and the Power Plant technicians don't.

Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I am from the USA. I was born in Michigan. I lived in Arizona for part of my childhood and I grew up in Southern Oregon. I have lived in over 50 different dwellings. I returned to Michigan for an Associates degree in Industrial Machine Maintenance from Grand Rapids Community College and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical-Electronic Engineering Technology from Ferris State University (magna-c**-laude). I now call Philadelphia home and work as a technical engineer for the historic site Eastern State Penitentiary's "Terror Behind the Walls" haunted attraction when I am not on the Ice.

After working a variety of jobs as a young adult, I read a book about humans settling on Mars. The idea of a manned Mars mission is a very plausible idea. I figured that when I am in my 50s I would be at my physical and mental peak. This would hopefully coincide with humans inhabiting a Mars colony. I then devoted my life to learning how to fix anything that can break. I knew that my life and the lives of others would depend on my skills. That is how I came to work at the South Pole. This is the closest thing on Earth that I have found that will give me the training I need for life on Mars.
I bought a video camera for my 1st winter at the South Pole in 2008 and have loved shooting and editing video ever since. I have a Sony HVR-A1 and edit with Final Cut Pro.

What story do you want to tell on 10.10.10?
On 10.10.10 I want to tell the story not only of the science and the scientists of the South Pole, but also of the people that they rely on to keep them warm, fed, and healthy.

Many discoveries about nature and the universe have been made here throughout our history at the South Pole and in Antarctica in general. Everyone knows about the ozone h***. What if we had never explored and studied in Antarctica? We would probably still be polluting like crazy and not realize that we were killing the planet by doing so. The data and discoveries that are being made today may one day have a similar impact on humanity and on our planet. I would like future generations to be able to look at my video and say “Those are the people who made this possible.”

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Comment by treemaker9 on November 10, 2010 at 3:39pm
There are so few people who can fix things period. The fact that you ended up fixing things at the South Pole is very amazing. Do you still want to go to Mars? Is there a planned mission? Or have the conditions at the Pole been challenging enough? What is the most challenging aspect of life/work at the Pole? (Besides meeting the One Day deadline, I mean...) also looking forward to seeing more from the South Pole!
Comment by Joseph Fatheree on September 28, 2010 at 2:48am
I am just going to say that this story is really cool (no pun intended). I look forward to seeing your stuff. What an awesome segment.


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