Vice-President : Liesl Schernthanner


Having grown up with an Austrian father, Canadian-Mainer mother, and five siblings in Sun Valley, Idaho, Liesl Schernthanner learned to enjoy hard work, great outdoors, snow, and sunshine – all great precursors to working in Antarctica. Years of successful ski racing earned her a full-ride scholarship to University of Alaska Anchorage, where she was an All-American Athlete and student of Economics and Anthropology. Upon graduating, she did applied human-environmental research for Impact Assessment, Inc. in Alaska, Washington, North Carolina, and Nevada. In 1995, however, she took a sabbatical from research to work as a contract laborer in Antarctica, and never went back to her “real job.” Antarctica--the place, people, and lifestyle--captured her interest and she continued working for station operations at McMurdo, field camps, Palmer, South Pole until recently when took on a conservation role with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Among her ice work titles, she has been a Fuelie, Fuels Foreman, Operation Manager, Winter Site Manager, Communications Supervisor, and Conservator, but in life, she can also claim to be a ski coach, sports instructor, tutor, chimney sweep, sales associate, property manager, and factotum.

When not on the ice, Liesl spends much time in Obsidian/Stanley, Idaho, and Wanaka, New Zealand, with her Welsh husband, Michael David Powell, another Antarctic sojourner. She has done 2 winters and 14 summers in Antarctica, met her husband at South Pole, and has also spent time at the bottom of the earth with two of her sisters. She still loves going to the Antarctic and feels quite lucky to have had the opportunity to work there – common feelings for Antarctican Society members.