I've already been at the pole for a couple of days as I write this, so there's a bit of backstory I should catch you up on. Actually, there's quite a lot, but I'll leave most of it for another day.
I'm a cosmologist, which means I study the universe. Not planets, stars or galaxies - the universe as a whole. How it works, what it's made of, when it began, what it's doing, and ultimately, where it's going from here.
Last summer, through the prodding of a friend/colleague, I started talking to people on the South Pole Telescope team about being their winterover. I should explain - a "winterover" is the poor sap who they leave running & repairing the telescope through the south pole winter, when it's too cold to land planes, and physical contact with the outside world is completely cut off.
Well, to make a long story short, I got the job, spent the next 3 months madly finishing up my PhD (and defended - successfully - Dec 7th, 2007. Hurrah!), and after an oh-so-brief Christmas vacation with family, I left on Jan 3rd, 2008, poleward-bound.