Antarctica 2016


International Antarctica Expedition | 2041 Foundation

 

 
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The Expedition

The International Antarctic Expeditions lead by Robert Swan OBE and his organisation, The 2041 Foundation, are environmental education trips. These expeditions bring teachers, students and business leaders from around the world to Antarctica to learn about the environment, climate change, the politics involved. The expeditions include a strong focus on developing leadership skills with the goal of every participant being able to return to their college, community or corporation as a champion for the environment.

I first visited in 2013 as a student participating in the Antarctica Youth Ambassador Programme, which I then returned to lead the following year. 

 
 
 

My Roles

Effectively taking on two full-time jobs during the expedition, I worked 20 hour days serving as a storyteller working with images and words to document and share our adventure with the world, sending out our daily updates via the ships satellite to 2041's dedicated expedition blog.

Photographer

As the official photographer it was my job to document the visual story of the expedition, capturing the beautiful scenery, unique wildlife and our expedition group exploring their classroom for the week, Antarctica. 

Photography in the Antarctic is a challenge, from the harsh cold eating away at battery life to relentless snow covering the lens, it is working under pressure on a new level. 

Blogger

When night fell on the ship I would go through my shots, creating a collage that would give an instant impression of the day and write about the team's adventures. It was our goal for the 2016 trip to feature the different voices of our participants and so I also worked to curate the blog into being a showcase of the dramatically different perspectives of the Antarctic, from Middle Eastern business women to South American students joining us down south.
 

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Antarctica 2015

 

International Antarctica Expedition | 2041 Foundation

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The Expedition

Lead by Robert Swan OBE, The 2041 Foundation created another incredible trip to Antarctica. In 2015 I participated as a team leader and expedition assistant. The trip started with boarding a ship in Ushuaia, Argentina and sailing across the Drake Passage to reach the Antarctic Peninsula, which would then become our classroom for the next week.

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My Role

On IAE 2015 I was joining the 2041 Expedition staff for the first time. This was made possible by my many years of volunteering and gaining relevant safety training. I helped to facilitate the on-board presentations and lecture series as well as being the 2nd expedition photographer. I worked as a guide for the participants when making shore landings and also as an assistant to the team leaders whenever needed in physical or administrative tasks.

 
 

Himalayas 2013

Global Himalayan Expedition | GHE

 
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The Expedition

The goal of GHE was always about people. Starting in the remote city of Leh in the northern tip of India we would complete our first task before heading into the mountains for the second.

 

In Leh we oversaw and helped with the completion and opening of the world's 3rd E-Base. An initiative started by Robert Swan with his first in Antarctica and the second in the Pench Tiger Reserve, India. 

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Ours was called the 'Third Pole E-Base' because the glaciers of the Himalayas are the worlds 3rd largest store of fresh water on the planet, and with billions of people dependent on the welt water that leads into India, China and more, climate change is having a devastating effect on these areas as well. In 2010 the Ladakh region of India, including Leh, was caught in devastating floods that wiped out villages, killing hundreds. It has been said that this flooding, caused by cloud bursts, are now occurring on a higher frequency because of the increasing temperature rise of the planet caused by mankind.

When discovering this, IAE Alumni Paras Loomba founded GHE, to bring electricity and education to a part of the world that was being affected by climate change so much, when having contributed towards it so little. By building the Third Pole E-Base, GHE gave the children of Mahabodhi School access to internet for the first time, expanding their educational horizons exponentially. With a working television and fully stocked library the E-Base would be a hub for learning about the environment with the internet, documentaries and books, all powered on solar energy.

 

 

Portraits

 

The 2nd Goal

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The next part of the expedition was to distribute portable electricity where it had never even been seen before. We trekked for a week from Leh to the remote village of Sumdha Chenmo where we then gave out solar powered lanterns. This meant the village no longer had to send a person away for 2 weeks to retrieve fuel from the nearest town to power the generators with, which only powered 3 lightbulbs wired into the kitchens of 3 houses. 

With this renewable and portable energy the whole village could increase it's productivity, no longer having to stop all activities after the sun has set. By giving the village this technology it is more likely to survive as the younger generations grow up and want to move away to the cities.

The expedition as a whole took us on rocky mountain passes to monasteries and sacred lakes, meeting incredible people with inspiring stories along the way.

GHE 2013 was such a success they have escalated to installing fully functioning solar grids in remote villages across the region with GHE 2017 set to be the last one ever because they have reached every village!