Lily Ann Fouts

South Pole Freethinkers

This last weekend Keith and I went to a Labor Day party and ended up doing an impromptu interview on a live podcast show called Dogma Debate.

Our friend, Darrel Ray, thinks it is utterly cool that we have worked at the South Pole and that we took his books (The God Virus, Sex and God) down there and donated them to the South Pole Library.

Darrel immediately led us over to David Smalley (the host of the show) when he saw us walk up. […]

Holiday Letter 2013

December 2013

Season’s greetings from Blackwell, Oklahoma!

South Pole Marker for 2013

South Pole Marker for 2013

We have just had our first snowfall and the ground outside is all sparkly under the bright sun.  By the end of the day it will all be gone and the brown winter landscape of the Oklahoma plains will appear once again.  It contrasts sharply with our landscape 12 months ago–all flatness and whiteness extending out beyond the curvature of the earth, with the exception of the South Pole Telescope, the Atmospheric Research Observatory, and a few other buildings in the foreground at the South Pole station. […]

What is it like to live and work in Antarctica?

South Pole Crew 2012-2013

The South Pole Crew, summer 2012-2013


I recently answered this question on and thought I’d reproduce my response here along with some photos.  Enjoy!

My husband and I worked at the South Pole Station; I have been there one season and he has been there 5 seasons (all summer seasons).  About half the population is scientists and half is support staff.  We were support staff.  Scientists seem to work seven days a week as much as needed; support staff typically work 54 hours per week (9 hours per day, 6 days per week) and most have Sundays off, but that varies depending on the job position. […]

Say Again?

I really wish I could hear like a normal person.  Usually my hearing aids do a tolerable job of making up for the deficit, but there are notable exceptions. […]

South Pole Marathon 2012

“Tell your boy that I’ve got a six pack on him and he’d better win.”

Eric eyed me through the dish pit window as I scraped egg remains from the breakfast plates in the South Pole galley.  The marathon was coming up and bets were flying as to who would finish first.  Eric and other local gamblers had a special interest in the outcome of the race as they calculated the odds and bet money and six-packs of beer on their favored contestants.

My husband, Keith, 34, was a top contender. […]

Ladies Night at the South Pole Telescope

Invitation to Ladies Night at the SPT.

Invitation to Ladies Night at the SPT.

“Hello, ladies!  Have you heard about Ladies Night at the South Pole Telescope?”

I turned to lend my attention to the bearded speaker who maneuvered his lean, tall frame into a chair next to us, fixing his smiling eyes on each of us in turn.  I recognized him as the cosmologist who had given last Sunday’s science lecture on the Big Bang and the discoveries being made by the 10-meter telescope here at the Pole.

“My name is Brad.  I would like to give you a personal invitation to come and enjoy chocolates, fine wines, slow dancing with a cosmologist, and an intimate tour of the telescope.  What color do you like?” […]

Holiday Letter 2012

C-130 lands at the South Pole, Nov. 1, 2012.

Our C-130 lands at the South Pole, Nov. 1, 2012.

A few minutes before midnight, I left the cockpit of the C-130–vibrating on its giant skis, propellers buzzing–and placed my fat white boots onto the crunchy snow, blinking into the sunlight reflecting off the sea of white stretching ever outward to fall away with the curvature of the earth.  In the foreground, a small crowd of winterovers in puffy red coats, anonymized by their hoods, balaclavas and dark goggles, waited anxiously for the opportunity to climb into the noisy beast and escape their 8 1/2-month (or longer) imprisonment from this center of science at the earth’s southern axis.  Beyond them, several small buildings cluttered the landscape, dwarfed by the futuristic elevated Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station which we now call home. […]