The station is named for Nathaniel B. Palmer, usually recognized as the first American to see Antarctica. The maximum population that Palmer Station can accommodate is 46 people. The normal austral summer contingent varies but is generally around 40 people. Palmer is staffed year-round, however, and the population drops to between 15 and 20 people for the winter maintenance after the conclusion of the summer research season. There are science labs located in the Bio-Lab building (pictured), as well as a pier and a helicopter pad.