This question ponders the dress requirements for outdoor operations in the Antarctic winter. This is a consideration for any field project that operates in the extreme cold and part of the logistic planning of any field campaign destined for that continent.

The question was closed (and I contributed a vote, though I initially misinterpreted the question as a survival-pending-rescue scenario) but I'm not sure that was the right call. However, I'm not rescinding my binding close vote (cast as the 5th vote) just yet, as the fifth vote would have likely come in anyway, leaving the question in the same state.

I have edited the question, making its intent clear in that it asks about a logistical issue of a field project (what clothes do I need to bring with me for operations in X environment). We are a bunch of earth and planetary scientists, and many of us have taken part in field campaigns (I've done VORTEX2 and DC3) and the logistics of putting one of these together falls on the grant PIs.

Are logistic issues involved in field projects on-topic?

If you think they are, go cast a re-open vote on the linked Q and make your argument here. If you don't, leave the Q closed and make your case here.


3 Answers 3


While I am with Michael in terms of questions that can be better answered elsewhere being considered off-topic here (SO/ServerFault or SO/Programmers analogy), I would love to see questions and answers about field research logistics and instruments, for example:

  • How many instruments X can I fit on board of ship Y?

  • What is the optimal flight trajectory for sampling wind speed in tropical cyclones?

  • What is the instrument precision for measuring quantity X using instrument Y?

I think questions like these would be great and on-topic here, and I would love to see them.

However, if a question is likely to be better answered on a different SE website, it should be considered off-topic. This question essentially asks what do people wear when it's very cold outside. While it may be very remotely related to Earth Science, it is off-topic in my opinion.

  • $\begingroup$ Of the examples, the 2nd and 3rd are generally good. The first one would depend a lot of the specifics of X and Y. Information contained in questions and answers should be at least somewhat re-usable - if it's not relevant to anyone other than the asker, it's a bit pointless having it on the site. $\endgroup$
    – naught101
    Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 3:28

I originally thought that this question was offtopic and should be migrated to outdoors.se. Now that I see the answer provided by mkennedy, I'm confident it belongs there.

We are a bunch of earth and planetary scientists, and many of us have taken part in field campaigns (I've done VORTEX2 and DC3) and the logistics of putting one of these together falls on the grant PIs.

So what? Programmers with server questions don't use StackOverflow, they use Server Fault. Academics that need to know how to write something don't use Academia, they use English Language. Just because something is related to what we do doesn't mean that it has to be here. What next? Recommendations on which chair to sit because we sit on chairs in our offices while doing science? Recommendations on the best cluster because we run simulations?

While it is an interesting question and a good answer, IMO, keep it closed.


I have to agree with Michael and milancurcic here.

Specifically, what milancurcic has stated, logistical applications directly relevant to Earth Sciences based observations and research provides an avenue for "applied Earth Sciences" - something, and as an applied scientist I am a bit biased here, that I feel is sometimes neglected, but should be given as much credence as the theoretical.

Essentially, the 'how' of Earth Science research should be on topic. But, things like what the scientists are wearing is not, but is valid elsewhere in the network.


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