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”.

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.

Research in Svalbard

Links to Approved Projects provided below

You can check out our approved projects on the Research in Svalbard website. We’ve provided URL links below to make it quick and simple to find them.

Collection & Assessment of macro-plastic and other beach Pollution (CAP)

Early Colonisation of High Arctic Substrates Exposed by glacier retreat (eCHASE)

Geochemical Investigation of warm Springs (GIS)

Collection Of fossilised remains of Devonian Fish (COF)

Search for And Recovery Of Meteorites (SAROM)

Collaboration between groups guarantees better chance of success

Base camp 96         Flow measuring

1996 Base Camp Bellsund                                             Andy Hodson gauging a sub glacial outflow

The ARG has pleasure in confirming that it will be combining forces with Professor Andrew J Hodson of Sheffield University England for its latest expedition to Svalbard.  Andy is no stranger to the Group, having previously worked with Ian Frearson as part of an international research project in Van-Keulenfjord during the Summer of 1994 and with the ARG 1996 Expedition to Bellsund.  Andy is a Glacial Hydrologist and an Associate with UNIS, the University of Svalbard, based in Longyearbyen.  He has led many research trips into areas of Svalbard and is a well known and respected scientist.  Andy will be co-ordinating with us on our work with the warm springs as well as looking into the hydrology of two pingos.  It is hoped that some of Andy’s students and staff will join and work alongside ARG members on site during 2017.  The Recce, due to take place during August 2016 is well planned with more on site collaboration also programmed to take place.  Photographic and Video referencing is to be undertaken along with preliminary sampling from various sites to allow a better start to be made on the science during the main Expedition in 2017.

Much of the credit for this goes to Prof Hodson for his foresight and desire to be practical as well as well prepared, traits for which he is well known.


Haddon makes light of a snow gulley on the ascent of another new peak

Haddon makes light of a snow gulley on the ascent of another new peak in Peru

The Group has now accepted its final member for the Svalbard expedition to take place in 2017.  George Haddon Winter is an undergraduate at Keele University currently studying Environment and Sustainability.  He is from Aston on Trent and a keen outdoor person.  He left traditional school in the UK to study at an expeditionary-based high school in Colorado, from where he visited mountainous areas in a variety of countries from Norway to Peru.  He is a rock climber, a mountaineer, a kayaker and keen camper.  His youth and enthusiasm combine to provide the ideal combination for his first visit to the High Arctic where he will be part of the team looking into colonisation of recently exposed ground and species distribution in proximity of warm springs, all under the project leadership of Professor Graeme Shaw, also known as George, so will be known as Haddon, his second name, to avoid confusion.