Westarctica was founded on 2 November 2001 as a new country project by Travis McHenry in an effort to bring increased attention to one of the most desolate and inhospitable regions on the planet. On 5 December 2014, Westarctica was incorporated as a nonprofit public benefit corporation in the state of California with the express goal of increasing conservation efforts in Western Antarctica.  On 10 October 2018, Westarctica received 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt organization.

Grand Duke Travis

E-mail: travis@westarctica.info

His Royal Highness studied Theatre and Anthropology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania from 1997 - 2000.  He also graduated from the CoRe program at Harvard Business School and completed the two year acting conservatory at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute.


Grand Duke Travis served in the United States Navy as an Intelligence Specialist from 2001 - 2008 where he was a recognized expert in the fields of anti-terrorism and foreign country military capabilities.  He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Shining Express, and the Global War on Terrorism.


His Royal Highness is a passionate lover of art, and a generous patron of Los Angeles art museums.  He also enjoys amateur astronomy, film, philosophy, Shakespeare, and world history.  The Grand Duke spends his leisure time hiking, training as an amateur boxer, and long-distance running.

Prime Minister - Duke Jordan of the Bear Peninsula

E-mail: pm@westarctica.info

The Prime Minister and Chief Operating Officer of Westarctica was elected to the office by popular election on February 11th, 2019.  Prior to becoming Westarctica's Prime Minister, Duke Jordan served as the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration as well as Commissioner of the Civilian Corps.

The Duke previously served for eight years in the United States Army and has extensive experience in the medical field as well as comprehensive knowledge of non-profit fundraising and financial management.  His Grace has also worked with Native American tribes in the Midwestern United States.

Upon introducing himself to the Grand Duke, he stated: "I, however, am a practical man, and prefer something that takes up so much time to feel like it enriches world, not just myself."

Foreign Minister - Count Stefan of Goldstream

E-mail: foreign@westarctica.info

The Foreign Minister is responsible for our nation's interactions with other countries and their representatives.  He is the guiding voice concerning Westarctica's diplomatic policies and the chief diplomat in the Foreign Office.

Count Stefan has eleven years of experience in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of Great Britain as an Attaché, Vice-Consul and Consul.  He has also served as a government advisor for the United Kingdom concerning Trade and Investment for North America where he provided regulatory guidance concerning stem cell work, intellectual property, nanotechnology, and skills development.

His Lordship earned a PhD in Biotechnology Engineering from Tufts University and is a leading authority in Tissue Engineering, Immunology, and Organ Research as well as international science policy and regulation in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Minister of Communications - Danni Michele

E-mail: comms@westarctica.info

One of the newest members of the Royal Council, our Minister of Communications is currently tasked with managing Westarctica's Twitter account as well as helping us branch out to other social media platforms.  Danni is a recent graduate of Cal State Channel Islands where she earned an AA in Graphic Design and a BA in Digital Media.  Her previous experience running Twitter accounts has given her a unique brand of humor that resonates strongly with Millennials.  In Danni's words: "Sass is good."

She has been a citizen of Westarctica since 2016, having come to our nation as part of the GISHWHES competition during which over 1,000 people became Westarcticans in an international scavenger hunt organized by Supernatural actor Misha Collins.

Minister of Commerce - Count of Dendtler

E-mail: commerce@westarctica.info

The Minister of Commerce is responsible for managing the creation and distribution of Westarctica's various product offerings and souvenirs of our nation.  The Count's first duty was designing and printing our first paper banknotes, the Ice Mark.  It is anticipated that His Lordship will eventually assume responsibility over Westarctica's stamps and coins in the future.

The Count of Dendtler has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and an MA and PhD (ABD) in Sociology. In 2018, His Lordship was appointed to the Ministry of Information where he oversaw the maintenance of Encyclopedia Westarctica, a wiki created in 2018 that serves as a digital archive of Westarctica's people, places, and past events.

Minister of Culture - Duke of Fox Grove

E-mail: culture@westarctica.info

The Minister of Culture is responsible for artistic outreach and guiding the cultural life of Westarctica. Duke August of Fox Grove creates fun and engaging programs that involve many forms of art and leisure.

His Grace became a Westarctica citizen during GISHWHES 2016. In March of 2018, August was made a member of the nobility, as the Duke of Fox Grove. He was among the first to join the Westarctica Civilian Corps the following month.  After serving as Deputy Minister of Immigration for two months, the Duke was promoted to head the Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration where he served with distinction from 2019 - 2020.

Minister of Conservation - Duchess of Eights

E-mail: conserve@westarctica.info

The Duchess of Eights comes from an academic background, having studied Zoology and Environmental Science/Management at Michigan State University.  Her Grace also completed a Master's Degree at the University of Texas at Tyler studying Map Turtle Genetics, and awarded a Ph.D in Biology from the University of Notre Dame for work in conservation genetics of salamanders.


During her schooling, the Duchess has worked many different non-profits, doing everything from working with tigers to surveying reptile populations on public lands, to teaching graduate courses.  She has spent the last three years working for a national center, where she teaches the national community of biologists how to do computation and genetics for free.

In her capacity as Minister of Conservation, the Duchess launched the Westarctica Conservation Scholarship, which awards an annual research grant for conservation and environmental studies.

Minister of Defense - Wolf Tulier, Duke of Wasche

The Minister of Defense was born on the island of Puerto Rico and became a citizen of Westarctica in 2004.  He quickly distinguished himself as an energetic supporter of Westarctican affairs and due to his extensive military experience, was appointed to the position of Minister of Defense and granted the title Duke of Waesche.

The Duke was instrumental in maintaining continuity of Westarctica during the years 2006 - 2010 when we experienced multiple changes in leadership, resulting in significant challenges from inside and outside the organization.  In recognition of his dedication and service to Westarctica, His Grace was appointed to the position of Prime Minister in 2010, a position he held until May, 2017 when he stepped down and was appointed to the honorary post of Minister of Defense.

In addition to his service with Westarctica, the Duke is a highly decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served as a tank crew member for 21 years.  During that time, he participated in Operation Desert Storm, was present at the fall of the Berlin Wall, and traveled extensively around the world.

Commissioner of the Civilian Corps - Jessica Barton

E-mail: cc@westarctica.info

A relatively recent appointment to the Royal Council, Ms. Barton assumed the role of Commissioner of the Civilian Corps in February 2019.  Her primary duty is the day-to-day management of the Civilian Corps.

Jessica has previous experience in administrative roles and is a welcome addition to the Royal Council.  She has been involved with Westarctica since 2017.

Ellsworth King of Arms - Baron of Abele

E-mail: arms@westarctica.info

The Baron of Abele was appointed to the position of Ellsworth King of Arms in 2020 and granted exclusive license to create armorial bearings for citizens and nobles of Westarctica.  He is also responsible for managing Westarctica's College of Arms, the depository for all armorial achievements recognized or created by our nation.

His Lordship has designed arms for several institutions and nobles of Westarctica, including: the Grand Ducal Court, the Duke of Fox Grove, and the Count of Goldstream.

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Chief Justice Wood

Chief Justice

The Chief Justice became a citizen of Westarctica in May 2018, and later joined the Civilian Corps.  She was invited to join the Constitutional Convention as a delegate representative of the non-noble citizens of the nation.


For her contributions to the Convention, she was invested as a Dame in the Order of the Snowflake.

Duke of Driscoll

Third Justice

Justice Callahan was granted the Princely title Duke of Driscoll in 2017 in recognition of his support of Westarctica.

From 2018 - 2019, His Serene Highness served as Consul-General to the Southern United States before being appointed as a Justice in the Grand Ducal Court in 2020.

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Viscount of Bursey

Second Justice

Justice Klempsmann was born in Bielefeld, Germany, and completed his military service at a rocket artillery battalion in northern Germany.

A member of the Civilian Corps since 2019, His Lordship was granted the title Viscount of Bursey in recognition of his support of Westarctica.  Shortly after he was appointed as a Justice in the Grand Ducal Court.

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James Murphy, KtS

Fourth Justice

Sir James was honored as a Knight of the Snowflake in 2017.

In his capacity as Clerk, he is responsible for overseeing filings of the Court, assisting with caseload management, and maintaining the records of the Court.

He publishes matters relating to judicial business on the Penumbral Emanations blog.

The Prince Consort
Prince of Siple
Princess of Thurston
Duke of the Bear Peninsula
Duke of Waesche
Duke of Moulton-Berlin
Duke of Gutenko
Duke of Ravencroft
Duke of Howe
Duke of Le Vaux
Marquis of Williamson
Countess of Benton
Count of Goldstream
Countess Radlinski
Count of Canisteo
Count of Kohler
Count of Ward
Count of Cranton
Count of Mintz
Count of Ellsworth
Countess of Chapman
Viscount of Whitmore
2nd Viscount of Reynolds
Viscount of Siple
Baron of Dorrel
Baroness of Pomeroy
Baroness Bucher
Baron of Forrester
Baron of Andrus
Baron of Lee-Tearmunn
Baron of Eburhard
Baron of Havola
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​©2014 - 2021  Westarctica Incorporated

A 501c(3) tax-exempt charitable corporation

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