The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Polar faith

Antarctica reveals 'a God who takes care of us'

Growing up in Makoti, N.D., Judy Markwardt Goldsberry looked out her window to the beauty of the flat prairie and acres of wheat. Every October to February since 1991, she has left her North Dakota landscape to operate heavy equipment in Antarctica—at Williams Field, McMurdo Station and the South Pole.

Judy Goldsberry drives snow-moving
Judy Goldsberry drives snow-moving machinery to keep the ways clear for scientific projects at the South Pole.
She works for the U.S. Antarctic Program, a branch of the National Science Foundation, operating the heavy equipment that maintains snow roads, ski ways and the launch pad for the long-duration balloon project. In 2004 she took part in the South Pole Traverse—the first woman to drive overland from McMurdo to the South Pole and back. (The South Pole Traverse is an operational route, with goals of offsetting the required number of tanker missions to the South Pole, assisting with the removal of retrograde cargo and opening the Ross Ice Shelf to science.)

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