The 2020 Pole Marker

Pole marker unveiled 1 January 2020
The new marker for 2020, unveiled to the world on New Years Day! (KB)

the marker from another angle
Another look...(JE)

the underside and shaft of the marker
...and a view showing the underside with the names of the winterovers (JE).

During the winter there is a contest among the winterovers to design the next year's marker...the entries are voted on, and the winning design this year was done by Luis Antonio Gonzalez, and created by machinist Steele Diggles.

On New Years Day there is a ceremony where the Polies line up in a circular curved path between the old marker and the new marker location...and the new (still veiled) marker and the American flag are passed hand-to-hand from the old to the new location.

the crowd gathers behind the old Pole marker
A view of the crowd gathering for the ceremony, with the 2019 marker in the foreground (ZM).
the BEFORE photo
In this photo, more folks are showing up before the ceremony...while the inset, taken earlier at around midnight, shows the predrilled/marked hole at the 2020 Pole location (MG).
passing the flag and marker
Here's Pole area manager Bill Coughran holding the new marker next to the old one...while to the right is Christian Rahl...(KB).
passing the flag and marker
...taking this photo (CR).
the marker and flag being passed around the circle
Passing the marker around the circle to the 2020 Pole site (JE).
the site of the 2020 Pole
The marker and the flag are approaching the new location (the sign was moved earlier) (CR).
preparing plant the marker
Planting the marker. Traditionally this is done by the winter site manager, but Wayne White isn't around because he wintered last year and is taking a here we have...Luis Gonzalez, the designer of the marker, who came back for part of the summer (JE).
revealing the marker
And the unveiling...(CR)
the marker revealed for all to see
And there it for all to see (JE)!
another close look at the marker
Another close look at the marker (MG).
the Pole marker in front of the station sign

Another close look at the marker from another angle (YM). If you look closely at what is engraved on the shaft in these photos, you will learn that above the names of the winterovers is the statement: "We ate dogs." From this distance I'm assuming they're referring to an Oscar Mayer product or something similar, as there have been no sled dogs in Antarctica since 1994.

the marker just after it was completed

Above is a photo of the marker taken during the 2019 winter (RS) before it was hidden away. Luis Gonzales sent me a description of where his design came from: "The design was inspired by the South Pole marker featured on the previous iteration of the USAP logo. It is an interpretation of what I thought that symbol might physically look like. I started with a rough sketch of the marker seen on the old logo and then spent most of design process in a 3D modeling software. The marker is both a tribute to the simplicity of the brass USGS markers that have gone before and a clean geometrical design that reflects and pays tribute to the modernization of the USAP."

Photo and other credits: KB is NASA glaciologist Kelly Brunt, principal investigator for the third quadrant of the 88šS traverse to calibrate/validate ICESAT-2 data (X-594-M/S)...she also shared this great blog post about the ceremony; JE is John Elliott, a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher with the all-sky-imaging spectrometer project A-343-M/S; ZM is chef Zeke Mills, a 2020 (and 2018) winterover chef; MG is LTJG Marisa Gedney, the 2020 winterover NOAA officer; CR is Christian Rahl, a 2020 winterover network engineer; YM is Yuya Makino, one of the 2020 IceCube (A-333-S) winterovers who shared his photo on this IceCube news page; and RS is 2019 winterover and astronomer Robert Schwarz. Also, Luis Gonzalez shared information about the marker design.