Base Camp Food – order placed

A Derbyshire business, Base Camp Food, located in Melbourne, is to supply the mainstay of the sustenance for the 2019 expedition. Dehydrated rations are essential to help keep total carrying weights to a minimum and will also be supplemented with other lightweight foods – and of course the traditional expedition simnel cake.

Base Camp Food provided a selection of options for the members to trial before the order was placed.

“The taste and texture of these rehydrated main meals are amazing and we’re really pleased with the selection that Base Camp Food has provided for us” commented Chris Searston, “The speed of preparation is essential to help with getting food into us after our days’ work. We won’t have time for messing around and these ration packs will help with that.”

Kerry Logistics deliver support for ARG

We’re incredibly grateful to Kerry Logistics for their very generous donation towards the costs of the 2019 expedition. Their enthusiasm for providing financial support to help us deliver the research we’ve got planned, means such a huge amount to us. That they have been so generous is amazing.

Kerry Logistics are Asia’s leading logistics providers. Kerry Logistics Network Limited (the “Company”) and its group of companies (“Kerry Logistics Network” or the “Group”) is a diversified group based in Asia. Our core businesses encompass integrated logistics, international freight forwarding, express, supply chain solutions, seaport management and operations as well as insurance brokerage.
Kerry Logistics Network has more than 40,000 employees in 53 countries and territories worldwide.

www.kerrylogistics.com

Satphone broadcasts

The 2019 ARG expedition will be taking satphone communications with them to enable live broadcasts from the Arctic. Local radio stations BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio Derby are both intending to bring listeners into contact with the expedition to hear about the progress with the research direct from Svalbard.

Climate Change Project Leader Professor George Shaw commented “Being able to speak directly with the listeners about the research work we’re doing is very important to us. It will perhaps help to bring the issue into clearer focus that climate change is affecting us all now and will continue to affect all future generations. We all have to increase our efforts to tackle climate change”.

ARG Group Leader Ian Frearson added “The Satphone will also be used for reporting and confirming that the expedition members are safe.
Battery power and costs are limiting factors so we have planned to have regular scheduled contact with the intention simply to have a communication handshake by text message”.

More support received

The generosity of individual supporters for the ARG is amazing. Using online fundraising through our social media networks we have raised much needed funds towards the cost of the expedition. Thank you to all those who have been kind enough to donate. One generous supporter commented “I’m not able to go and do the sort of things you will be doing for the good of the planet and my donation is my way of being involved with you and doing my bit vicariously”.

We have also been generously loaned key pieces of kit that will help us to achieve our goals and do it safely. Two separate sources have supplied us; one with a hand held EPIRB and the other a bank of VHF marine radios. We’re also grateful that we will have a satellite telephone with us to be able to communicate with the media and our home agent, Ian Frearson.

With these essential tools we will be able to communicate effectively with each other and should the situation arise, where we need outside assistance to come to our help, then we have the emergency communication that links through the satellites back to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency to send support.

Safe water support

Rotary Club of Wirksworth have been very generous in providing the expedition with an Aquabox family filter unit, to clean all of the water that the expedition members will drink while in the Arctic.

The Aquabox project has saved countless lives around the world by providing safe drinking water using simple, hand operated pump/filter units. The innovative AquaFilter technology produces safe and clean drinking water instantly and reliably without the need for chemicals. The pump/filter units contain sub-micron filters which are impenetrable to bacteria and most viruses.

Please help this very worthwhile cause and visit their website here https://www.aquabox.org/

Countdown continues…

With just over ten weeks to go, the expedition preparation phase is in full flow. Members have been meeting regularly for months and committing their own time in taking the necessary steps for the expedition to go ahead with the best chance of success.

There are multiple aspects that have to be considered for just getting to and being in a remote location, miles from civilisation. Add in the demands to carry out precise scientific studies, whilst keeping a constant watch for the stealthiest of predators, in a place where freezing catabatic winds can descend down a glacier and plunge the temperature in seconds. The selected team has the skills, enthusiasm and expertise to deliver.

Funding or providing resources for the expedition is where you and others can be a part of it. Financial and other contributions that allow the expedition and its’ science to be carried out are just as important as being prepared to take the risks of going. Without both, nothing can be achieved. Please make a donation or contact us with offers of support.

Wilderness First Aid Training

Preparations for the remoteness of the next expedition location includes specialist training in first aid on a course that has been arranged for the weekend of 1st & 2nd June in Derbyshire.

The course is being provided exclusively tailored to ensure that the team members all have the capability of handling injury situations with calmness and knowledge, that will maximise the opportunity for survival until more sophisticated medical treatment can be accessed.

Training will include dealing with scenarios such as bear attack and firearm injuries, as well as cold water immersion and frostbite.  There are still severe implications for any ‘normal’ injuries such as fractures and deep cuts when at significant distance and time away from professional medical assistance and resources.

More support for ARG

Significant efforts are now needed to secure as much support for the expedition as possible. The current needs are the same as usual – funds, food and resources. Thankfully there are businesses that recognise both the opportunity for themselves and the opportunity for scientific research that the ARG provides.

Premier Foods have generously provided support that will allow us to purchase appropriate dehydrated and freeze dried provisions to take with us.

Batchelors have kindly donated sufficient dried potato powder that will provide us with enough for one set of meals for the entire expedition.

Grant funds received

Members of the ARG have now received additional grant funding towards the 2019 research expedition to Svalbard. Whilst additional funds are still needing to be secured, this is a very welcome input to the expedition groups finances.

William Shaw has been awarded £1000 by the Sheffield University Volunteering Fund to support him going on the expedition.

Prof. George Shaw has also been awarded £750 by the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund of the Linnean Society of London to support his research project on the climate change impacts of receeding ice masses.

Expedition Leader, Steve Staley noted “We’re really grateful to both Sheffield University and the Linnean Society of London for their support. Without such grants the expeditions we carry out would not be able to take place. There is work still to be done to achieve our fundraising goal and we hope that these grants will be followed by further support from generous donors”.

International Research Collaboration

ARG has been approached regarding a collaboration with Igor Tolstikhin, Senior Scientist at the Geological Institute, Kola Scientific Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences.  Igor is a celebrated international geochemist and recipient of the EAG Urey Award in 2013.  Igor is also co-Author of the publication ‘The Evolution of Matter: from the Big Bang to the Present Day’.

Igor has asked the ARG to collect additional geochemical samples on our 2019 expedition in conjunction with our own project.  The subsequent analyses carried out by Igor and his research team would be shared with us so that a collective report can be produced and possibly a paper written for submission for publication.

“This is an excellent opportunity and a privilege for ARG to be asked to collaborate in this way” commented Expedition Leader Dr. Stephen Staley, he continued “This is the scientific community working and communicating well together thanks to Research in Svalbard where Igor found our project”.

International collaboration is essential in tackling climate change

Up, up and away

Drone practice – first flight
All images in this post ©William Shaw

With perfect weather and an ideal location the deferred drone training and evaluation at last took place on one of the moors of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park. Expedition members Prof. Graeme (George) Shaw, William Shaw and Mike Haynes took the Mavic Pro drone out onto the moors and found a secluded spot from which to conduct practice flights.

“It was amazing how instantly we were able to operate the drone, the technology is fantastic” commented George. The practice flights soon established that the drone gave the opportunity to significantly increase the range of the research studies and save on the amount of time taken to cover the ground.

“I expect that the images and video we will be able to capture in the Arctic with the Mavic Pro, will deliver an extra dimension to our record of the expedition” noted William as he easily flew the drone for the first time.

Planning each flight in detail will be essential to maximise the imagery that can be captured within the limitations of the drone battery life. Recharging the batteries will also need planning into the expedition schedule.

Smiles all round

Henry Staley on his first Arctic expedition:

“I feel very lucky to be invited on this expedition to Svalbard. This amazing opportunity will be a challenging but rewarding experience and hopefully a gateway to further expeditions around the world. I am particularly excited to have the chance to become involved in research regarding plastic pollution. Hopefully this will improve our understanding of the issue and help to affect a change in our daily use of plastic”.

As medical officer, Henry will be providing medical support to the team. “Expedition medicine is of huge interest to me and I am thrilled to have been given this position.  I will also be conducting research into the changes in oral hygiene habits on an expedition, and this will be a relevant piece of research for my studies as a dental student”. 


And Here is the News

Two recent interviews on BBC Local Radio have meant the forthcoming ARG expedition is now better publicised and the projects more widely known and understood.

Arctic Tern entangled

On Tuesday, Steve Staley and Chris Searston both gave a live interview for BBC Radio Nottingham and discussed the challenges of research work in the Arctic, including attack from Polar Bear, the need to raise funds as a charity and the plans for the 2019 expedition, then Wednesday saw Ian Frearson delivering an account to BBC Radio Derby on the background and make up of the ARG together with details of the 2019 expedition projects. Ian described the projects and highlighted the dramatic effects of pollution on wildlife in the Arctic.

Solid Support

Without a firm foundation the best of plans will almost certainly struggle and most will fail. It is not surprising that the smallest of elements may prove to be most important so it is with great delight that the Tarpaulins Direct company have agreed to help us with a much needed tarpaulin sheet for our Base Camp tent.

Click on the image

A spokesperson today agreed the donation that will provide a sound and comfortable base on the frozen tundra and on which the members will sleep.

Rachel McGuigan, Customer Service Manager said ” We’re happy to help. Can you just confirm exactly what size you need? We have something like a 5m x 5m, would that suffice? “

Fundraising Push

ARG members are to write to the top companies in the region seeking support or sponsorship to help fund this years’ expedition.  Timed to coincide with a local radio interview and focussed on the Midlands region, the group are looking to secure further expedition sponsors.

Climate change and plastic pollution are increasingly significant problems for humanity.  Unless this generation takes urgent action, they will affect us and each successive generation.

You can be part of the solution too if you’re prepared to support those working as volunteers to carry out scientific research that will help to find it.

Hundreds of letters are to be written