Antarctic Heritage Trust has named twenty-two young explorers from across the country to embark on the trip of a lifetime.
Explorers aged 18-30 will join the ninth Inspiring Explorers Expedition™, which is travelling to South Georgia Island.
Not only is it the largest expedition yet, but it’ll also include the first Kiwi attempt of Mount Worsley in recognition of Kiwi explorer Frank Worsley, the mountain’s namesake.
Four explorers will accompany world-renowned expert mountain guides Lydia Bradey and Dean Staples.
20-year-old explorer Lily Green is part of the climbing team and says it’s a bucket-list experience.
“It’s just insane, I can’t even explain how amazing this opportunity is. Mount Worsley is a big deal, and I can’t believe I get to be a part of the first Kiwi group to attempt it.”
In addition to the climbing team, each Inspiring Explorer will take part in an outreach project working in groups across topics such as climate change, education, history and science.
Located in the remote South Atlantic Ocean, South Georgia Island has a reputation for the greatest density of wildlife on earth. It’s home to king penguins, fur seals, and 50 percent of the world’s southern elephant seals.
MetService and Royal Society Te Apārangi are partners of the programme and will provide help with outreach projects during the expedition.
MetService Chief Executive, Stephen Hunt, is delighted to be supporting the expedition.
“It’s a privilege to be able to support 22 young people and play a part in inspiring their passion for exploration, discovery, and science. They will be our explorers of tomorrow and MetService will support the young expedition team with a weather and climate science programme. This will build a stronger connection to South Georgia’s extreme but changing environment and the enormous physical challenges overcome by the historic explorers,” says Stephen.
MetService meteorologist Kelly Davenport will be leading the science team.
“Our own Inspiring Explorer Kelly Davenport will lead a science programme using some of the latest observational technology to achieve a deeper understanding of the area’s weather and ocean conditions. This will also highlight the criticality and the value of meteorology and oceanography for understanding the impacts and making decisions about our changing climate,” said Stephen.
Kelly’s projects will include using historic and modern technologies to make weather observations.
“I love sharing my knowledge of meteorology and I look forward to taking the team through the process of making weather observations and conveying how they contribute to weather forecasting today.” says Kelly.
Royal Society Te Apārangi Chief Executive Paul Atkins says partnering in this opportunity aligns with the purpose of the Society to encourage and support New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge.
“It’s a unique opportunity for the participants to explore a completely new environment from multiple points of view, to discover new things about the world and themselves, and to share that insight and knowledge with each other and their wider home communities when they get back. We are delighted to support this life-changing opportunity.”
The Royal Society Te Apārangi representative Kaitlyn Martin has a background in science communication and will be leading one of the educational outreach projects.
“It’s very similar to what they do on the International Space Station – we’ll be working with schools around the country who will design experiments or investigations that are unique to South Georgia Island,” Kaitlyn says.
“We’ll make case studies and share them with the schools we developed the projects with, but we’ll also develop some online case studies that other schools can use to show a bit of South Georgia and the unique environment there.”
Presented by respected operator Antarctica21, Antarctic Heritage Trust’s ninth Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ will honour the centenary year of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final expedition (Quest 1921–1922) which journeyed to South Georgia and marked the end of the heroic-era of Antarctic exploration. Shackleton died on The Quest expedition and was buried on South Georgia Island. The Trust cares for Shackleton’s only Antarctic expedition base.
Antarctic Heritage Trust Executive Director, Francesca Eathorne says, “This expedition will connect these young people with Shackleton’s incredible legacy and we hope, inspire them to embrace that same spirit of exploration. It’s a spirit as critical in the 21st century as it was over a century ago – particularly for our young people who face a rapidly changing world.”
The Inspiring Explorers will sail to South Georgia on Antarctica21’s ship, the Magellan Explorer between 30 September – 14 October.