Representation of Reinhardt University recently transpired in an unlikely place: Antarctica. It was part of a working adventure for Reinhardt Trustee Jeff Dobson and a unique way to celebrate his 78th birthday.
Dr. Dobson (class of ’65) is the President and CEO of Global InterLink Corporation. Invited by the Argentine Antarctic Command, his business partners from Buenos Aires improved and integrated radio communications technology at two Argentine Antarctic Command stations, Bases Petrel and Marambio. They installed special radios designed for harsh conditions on robots to relay control information as well as data for remote engineering and environmental assessments. The Argentines are building an airport to become one of Antarctica’s primary logistics hubs. Their scientific research and environmental stewardship efforts include earthquake prediction, measuring the ozone layer and solar radiation, and studying cloud formation.
“I had three other missions,” said Dr. Dobson about his time at the headquarters. “One was to let them know about Reinhardt University and recruit any students who would be interested. The second was to see if there were possibilities for student exchange programs with Reinhardt. The third was to discuss joint programs for Reinhardt with some of the Latin American universities that support activities in Antarctica.” On March 1st, he gave a presentation to base staff and its scientific community in residence. He garnered interest, and everyone gave a big wave to Reinhardt at the end of the presentation.
Before Dr. Dobson arrived in Antarctica, he traveled to Buenos Aires to visit the operations of his Latin American Partner Interlink LatinoAmerica. His twin brother and former Reinhardt board member, Jerry Dobson (class of ’65), and five friends accompanied him on this part of the journey. Their Argentina trip included wine country tours, horseback riding in the high Andes mountains, a hike on Mt. Aconcagua, and seeing incredible glaciers in Patagonia. Brightening the night was the Southern Cross, and a spectacular view of Elon Musk’s Starlink chain of satellites coursing the sky.
The Dobson twins co-wrote two novels called The Waters of Chaos. The successful action-adventure stories are fictional accounts of how human society may have evolved from the Ice Ages to today. Dr. Jeff Dobson enjoyed meeting experts at the Antarctic base who were familiar with the research discussed in his books. His friend and business associate Carlos De Almeida helped with Spanish translations and socializing.
Dr. Dobson and De Almeida had a memorable trip, despite cold temperatures, penetrating headwinds and a snowstorm. Bad conditions even delayed their flight out for eight days. Dr. Dobson, who might be the oldest person to visit the Marambio Base, hiked to a distant view of a great arm of Cape Hope, located a geodetic survey marker, and enjoyed watching icebergs suddenly turn gold and pink at sunrise and sunset. His biggest highlight was a birthday surprise of a scenic helicopter ride over the South Atlantic and Antarctic peninsula.
Dr. Jeff Dobson has now worked on every continent and in 37 countries and has traveled to 57 countries. About this experience, Dobson says, “Marambio is magical in so many ways, but the greatest magic is the people. It’s like a crossroads of science and intellectual achievement.”