At last the final group that will form the 2019 Expedition to Bockfjord North Spitsbergen has been named.
Leading the Expedition will be Dr Steve Staley, a founder member and veteran of several ARG expeditions. His scientific role will be looking at the geological elements surrounding the warm springs that are to be visited and the supervising of sampling. It is also planned to look for ancient fossilised fish remains and log all findings with a view to recording locations and attitudes within the rocks. Steve will be heading the whole team when they are locating, recording, collecting and disposing of beach pollution, particularly plastic, that is now an unsightly and dangerous feature of Arctic shores. This work is being undertaken in partnership with two other international organisations and data and results will be shared to provide maximum input to the understanding of this global problem.
Professor Graeme Shaw, another veteran of the ARG will be undertaking research into the vascular plant species present and their species distribution around and remote from the springs, as well as investigating the climate change balance of early colonisation of recently exposed ground due to glacial ice retreat.
Mike Haynes, founder member and a member of several previous ARG expeditions is to explore the use of drones in increasing the data collection possibilities for Arctic research. This will allow less physical damage to be caused to the delicate Arctic environment by exploration physical visits for data collection.
Chris Searston, another ARG previous expedition member and very experienced Svalbard traveller will be undertaking a search for meteorites at suitable locations where glacial ice retreat provides the best opportunities for success.
Dan Clarke rejoins the Group following his previous trip as Joint Expedition Leader in 1996 as logistical planner and Safety Officer. He will also be running the day to day operations of the pollution programme. Dan is in charge of the First Aid provision.
Two first time expeditioners join the make up the full compliment. Henry Staley, a fourth year medical student in Dentistry joins in a general assistant category and to undertake some human physiological experiments on the rest of the team.
William Shaw, a second year student of Computer Science completes the seven man team and brings his expertise in computing to help log and record the whole of the research information in anticipation of the papers and reports that will be generated.