Uruguayan Antarctic Institute

Photo: Uruguayan Antarctic Institute

About Uruguay’s National Antarctic Program

COMNAP Representative (MNAP): Brigadier (Av.) Fernando Colina, President IAU
(DMNAP): Angela Quartarolo, Secretary Director

The Uruguayan Antarctic Institute (IAU) was founded in 1975. It is the national organism under the Ministry of National Defense in charge of programming and developing Antarctic operational and logistical activities, which supports and coordinates the scientific research and technological development operations, established by the National Antarctic Program (NAP), in accordance with the provisions of the Antarctic National Policy and within the guidelines of the Antarctic Treaty System.

Since 1985 the country has been a full and consultative member of the Antarctic treaty. Uruguay has two stations, one of them is called: “Artigas Antarctic Scientific Station” (BCAA) it was founded in 1984 and it´s located at King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. BCAA operates all year round (with about 60 personnel in the summer and 9 during the winter).

Artigas Antarctic Scientific Station

The second one is “T/N Ruperto Elichiribehety Antarctic Research Station” (ECARE), inaugurated in 1997 and it is located in the Antarctic Peninsula. As a seasonal station, it is intended to complement scientific studies.

T/N Ruperto Elichiribehety Antarctic Research Station

The operational support of Uruguayan National Antarctic Program demands the participation of the vessel ROU 26 Vanguardia: it is the main ship used for oceanographic studies and logistical support to Artigas Station and Ruperto Elichiribehety Station.Other ships that usually are involved in Antarctic activities are ROU 04 Artigas and ROU 22 Oyarvide. Uruguay also maintains seasonal periods with the intercontinental flights, by C-130 Uruguayan Air Force plane.

ROU 04 Artigas



BCAA zodiac boat


Hercules C-130

Organizational Structure of the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute

The organizational structure of Uruguayan National Antarctic Program has recently been changed by Decree 60/018 (modified in terms of functions and actors involved). The Uruguayan Antarctic Program is delivered by four Ministries (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Housing, Land Management and Environment and Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining), gathering in a body called GIMAA. Specifically, the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute is a decentralized organism of the Ministry of National Defense that reports directly to it. According to its functions, the UAI is the efficient and effective organisation that operationalizes the guidelines established by the GIMAA. It is the competent institution, which delivers and enables interdisciplinary scientific research in circumpolar seas and in the continent, through infrastructure or means afloat, nationally and by international cooperation. The Institute in the exercise of deconcentrated powers has national scope and therefore, its Board of Directors is composed by representatives from the four Ministries.

National Antarctic Program structure​

Our Science Program

The science program is coordinated by the Scientific Coordination and Environmental Management. This Direction is responsible for promoting and conducting primary assessments of submitted projects, forming and maintaining relationships with universities and follow up on science projects. The scientific projects currently being developed by the National Antarctic Program are grouped into four major areas of work, which are in turn of high priority for SCAR: Geosciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Environmental Monitoring.

Uruguay works towards cooperative efforts in Antarctica. The National Antarctic Program actively seeks to promote the development of proposals involving collaboration with other programs and the carrying out of activities on bases and ships throughout the continent.

Link to our Antarctic projects in current development: http://www.iau.gub.uy/?page_id=96&lang=es.

Our Contact Details

Website: www.iau.gub.uy​
Twitter: @AntarticoUY

Postal Address

Av. 8 de Octubre 2958 CP 11600 –

Phone: (+598) 2487 8341 – 43
Fax: (+598) 2487 6004
Email: secretaria@iau.gub.uy