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.

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.

Newest members thoughts

“Being invited on this expedition is a chance that maybe only occurs once in a lifetime and it is a dream come true for me.  Growing up seeing all the photos and maps from my Dad’s various expeditions with the Arctic Research Group during 30 years, I’ve always wanted to go and explore this rare place.

William Shaw

This expedition will not only give me experience with research and exploration, while also looking outstanding on any application for jobs or post-grads.  But it is also a fleeting chance to see the high arctic in its undisturbed state before factors like climate change, pollution and increased shipping traffic begin to damage this rare place even more”.

William Shaw

Training weekend deferred

Responding to a set of circumstances topped off by a forecast of rain showers and strong winds – that would preclude flying the drone – as well as the unexpected unavailability of several members, the decision was taken to defer the training weekend to a later date. The opportunity wasn’t wasted as members focussed on other tasks of planning and fundraising.

Boots remain hanging until another day

Training weekend set for early March

Members of the 2019 expedition will be out in the Peak District National Park putting themselves and their equipment through its paces during a training session set for early March. Whilst fundraising is key to achieving the maximum return out of the expedition research, the team working together on fitness and Arctic capabilities, as well as developing familiarity with the technical equipment that they will be using, is also essential. The session will include in particular, practice flying of the drone to explore the techniques required to deliver the maximum from the extended research scope the drone is expected to help realise.

Drone training for expedition members

Ollie Hartas of Hartas Productions – sports videography – very generously flew to the UK from his home in Sweden recently to spend a day training the expedition members in flight and operation of the Mavic Pro drone that will be used on this years’ expedition. The drone will provide additional input to each of the expedition projects as well as aerial video of the expedition activities and the stunning scenery of the high arctic landscape. “Flying the drone is so intuitive and it is so precisely controllable, with high definition video & still imagery, that it clearly will allow us to add significantly to our research”. Commented expedition leader Steve Staley.

Mavic Pro drone