In mid-November of 2011, Laura Hobbs and Thomas Perriment from the UKPN committee attended the Royal Geographical Society’s annual Expedition and Fieldwork Planning weekend – Explore. Set in the heart of London, the theme of the conference could not have had a less city feel to it; and with every lecture and workshop, it felt as though the doors to the world were opening a little more. After their own expedition-worthy journey from Plymouth to London, Laura and Tom set up their poster that would inform delegates and speakers about the UKPN, its aims and its benefits to early career scientists. Throughout the weekend, they were inundated with questions about the Polar Network, and people were amazed to find that this resource and wealth of information was available to them. They had a lot of interest in the workshops and outreachevents coming up this year, and I think it is safe to say that this interest will grow as word spreads throughout the expedition community. Laura said, "It was a pleasure to be part of such an exciting and inspiring event, and also great to meet many UKPN members, both new additions and those who have previously been involved."
So what can we takeaway from Explore for the UKPN?
Although predominantly explorers and adventurers, many delegates were interested in getting some scientific information to support their expeditions which may not have a research theme at their core. Thomas said, "The support available to expeditions and research trips in both physical and life sciences, as well as anthropology is vast, this is where the UK Polar Network can assist you and your team."
Would you like to assist with expeditions and inform the team about research in the area? The interest in outreach work was quite frankly overwhelming… Let’s run with this and really put the UKPN out there in terms of engaging the future generation in Polar research. The Explore weekend is a great way to go about designing your own Polar expedition or research trip. The RGS and the staff are brimming with information, and their breadth of knowledge is incomparable and seems never-ending. If you have any ideas that you would like to discuss, please contact the RGS or contact the UK Polar Network can get you in contact with the right people
Hi UKPN! My name is Allen Pope and for the next three weeks I will be up in Ny Ålesund, Svalbard for the next 3 weeks doing fieldwork. My research is related to collecting ground-based glacier-surface reflectance data to help in validation and interpretation of satellite and airborne imagery.
In addition to myself and two other team members, we will be joined by our mascot Fjord the Reindeer. As an outreach measure, Fjord will be keeping a blog of our activities, research, life in Ny Ålesund, and stories about Arctic research complete with photos, maps and hopefully video.
So, check it out at www.notrudolph.blogspot.com, and keep checking back as he’ll be putting up new content frequently. Please feel free to tell any friends you have interested in education & outreach, too – we would love to get questions from anybody interested in our work or Arctic fieldwork in general whether school kids or armchair explorers. If you’re interested in more expeditions and outreach, check outwww.educationthroughexpeditions.org.