If you’ve read over my two introductory posts (About my Dream and Welcome to Dream it. Do it.), then you’re probably well acquainted with my dream of going to the Arctic. As the expedition date draws nearer and nearer (check my countdown on the right side of the page), I am receiving more details about the expedition. I figure I might as well keep you all in the loop as soon as I can so you can track my progress. So here are more details about the expedition.
As you may very well know, the blog is not only about Dreaming but also Doing. Signing up for this expedition wasn’t effortless, I had to seize the opportunity. Like many of you know, it is often taking the first step that is the hardest but I did it, and I encourage you to take the first step to your dreams as well.
The snow shoes defeated me and I ended up upside down... Good exercise though.
My dream began to take form when I applied for a spot on a 10 person expedition to Svalbard, Norway. The expedition location is a snowy archipelago of islands, deep within the arctic circle. The organization leading this expedition is the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES). As you can see in the name, this organization is based in Europe, and I believe that I will be the only Canadian on this expedition. For my team members, I may be the only Canadian they have met (and may ever meet). As such, I promise I will represent Canada well and not tarnish our friendly reputation. Click below for more information about BSES.
The BSES logo
Before I was offered a spot on the expedition I had a phone interview with a representative, Karen, from BSES. The interview was informative and friendly which makes me confident that this experience will be awesome! After I received the offer, I set about completing the paperwork process which I just finished.
The purpose of BSES is to provide university students with the opportunity to gain field experience and valuable research skills. As I prepare for the expedition, I will be learning about how to plan and execute my own expedition in the future.
Map of Svalbard, Norway
Although expedition preparation is extremely valuable, I am most looking forward to the expedition itself. The expedition will allow us young explores to collect data as part of an ongoing study. This ongoing research has focused on two main ares: 1) Glaciology (the study of glaciers) and Geomorphology (the study of landforms and the processes that shape them) and 2) Ecologically based field studies (botany, bird migration, etc.). As a biology major, I am hoping to contribute my knowledge of ecology, wildlife management, and evolution to the ecologically based field studies. I am currently pursuing opportunities to discuss potential study projects with various researchers around the world. This may allow me to conduct my own experiment.
In conclusion, I thought I would share a tentative itinerary for the expedition. It shows not only the research aspect of the expedition, but the physical aspects as well. Enjoy!
Day 1: Course participants arrive and go to guesthouse.
Day 2: Kit issue/sort personal kit. Get boat to base camp at Wimandalen.
Day 3: Science brief, polar bear response and rifle training. Evening pack to move out.
Day 4: Expedition skis 12 km to Glacier camp at Tobredalen or Fangenbreen
Days 5-9: Mountain, glacier, snow craft and emergency snow shelter sessions. Glaciology. Geomorphology.
Day 10: Return to base camp at Wimandalen: 12 km by ski.
Days 11-15: Ecologically based field studies.
Day 16: Return toLongyearbyen by boat. Stay in guesthouse
Day 17: Party flies home to London, England. I fly home to London, Ontario, Canada.