George Reese, a Bangor University student from Lugwardine, near Hereford (and a former student of Heart of Worcester College) has been selected to undertake one of the world’s most ambitious unconquered challenges: to reach the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility.
World renowned explorer, Jim McNeill, has chosen Marine Biology & Zoology student George, to take part in one of the most important and ambitious polar expeditions of our time; to be the first expedition in history to reach the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility, collecting vital climate change data on route.
Defined as the furthest point from land on the Arctic Ocean and therefore its centre, the Northern Pole of Inaccessibility remains the last truly significant place in the Polar Regions, yet to be reached by humankind and is over 270 miles further than the Geographic North Pole. The whole journey will be near to 800 miles from the northern shores of Canada.
The expedition is not only a record-setting adventure but will be gathering “crucial datasets” to benchmark the condition of the ocean for the NASA funded National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) scientists, led by Nobel Prize winning scientist, Walt Meier. These, along with weather data, measurements of pollution and counting polar bears that may be encountered, deliver the reality of climate change and make the whole endeavour worthwhile and purposeful.
Having been selected for the Ice Warrior #LASTPOLE Expedition George, who has taken a year out from his studies, is undergoing a comprehensive and intensive training programme (from February 2022 – January 2023) to take on one of four 20-day legs, pushing the route across the Arctic Ocean.
George said: “I have a passion for the natural world, a keen interest in climate change and its effect on the planet. I decided to study at Bangor University for its world-renowned reputation, and for the amazing schools of Natural and Ocean Sciences. When introduced to the Ice Warrior Project I knew I wanted to get involved. I felt I could play a part in the collection of data and contribute to scientific research which will have a direct impact on the understanding of the effects of climate change in the polar regions. I have always dreamed of being a polar explorer and taking part in a big expedition such as this. Being a part of this expedition will deepen my understanding of my scientific studies whilst collecting scientific data along the way.
“By taking on a life changing challenge such as this, it’s sure to broaden my career prospects within the natural history film-making industry. My comprehensive training so far has consisted of rigorous first aid and expedition core skills, over the last twelve months and I am now preparing for Polar and Advanced Polar training in Svalbard come January 2023. I feel like my path and past challenges have brought me to a point where I’m looking forward to taking on a challenge such as the Last Pole Expedition.
“The Last Pole expedition aims to depart for the Pole of Inaccessibility in February 2023.”
Explorer, expedition leader and Founder of Ice Warrior, Jim McNeill said “I’m delighted to have George in the expedition team and look forward to training him in every aspect which will make him a competent polar traveller.”
Professor John Turner, Head of the School of Ocean Sciences said: “We are all very proud of George for undertaking this adventure. Ocean Sciences is by its very nature an adventurous subject, so we were very excited to hear that George wanted to take part in such an important expedition. We will be watching his progress with great interest. Good luck to George, Jim and the rest of the Ice Warrior team.”
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