A GEOSCIENTIST IN ANTARCTICA: SUSAN R. EATON JOINS 2041 AND THE INTERNATIONAL ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 2012 (FEBRUARY 27 - MARCH 12). 2041 IS DEDICATED TO PRESERVING ANTARCTICA THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF RECYCLING, RENEWABLE ENERGY AND GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY.
An Antarctic explorer-in-the-making, I return to Antarctica in 2012-2013, participating in two international expeditions led by world renowned experts which focus on the interplay of glaciology, geology, geophysics, plate tectonics, climate change, ocean change, renewable energy and global sustainability issues.
From February 27 to March 12, 2012, I'll participate in the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) which focuses on climate change, renewable energy and global sustainability issues. These global issues will be investigated — at the scientific, environmental, social and economic levels — using Antarctica as the teaching platform.
I'll be sending dispatches from Antarctica during the IAE 2012. Please join me, virtually, as I explore the Bottom of the World.
The IAE 2012 will be led by Robert Swan, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and recipient of the Polar Medal and founder of 2041, an organization dedicated to preserving Antarctica by the promotion of recycling, renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change.
Antarctica, the planet's remaining frontier, belongs to citizens of the world and is development-free until 2041 when the Madrid Protocol, declaring it a place for peace and scientific endeavours, expires.
The IAE 2012 will draw 64 participants from around the world, bringing together leaders from academia, industry, government, environmental non-governmental organizations, media and youth groups. Corporate representatives from BP Wind Energy, Shell, KPMG, Coca-Cola, Lloyd's Register and renewable energy companies will be participating in the expedition. School teachers from the United States and other countries will also be participating in the IAE 2012. In October 2011, Swan ran the US Marine Corps Marathon, raising funds to send two wounded US Servicemen on the IAE 2012.
Robert Swan was the first man to walk (unassisted) to both the South and North poles in 1986 and 1989, respectively. In November 2012, Swan will make history again, by walking to the South Pole, supported solely by solar and wind power.
In 2008, Swan and his team were the first explorers to live in Antarctica — powered solely by renewable energy — and to communicate to the world, via internet, using renewable energy. Also in 2008, Swan launched the Voyage for Cleaner Energy featuring the 2041, a sailboat equipped with sails made of recycled plastic bottles and an engine refitted to operate on wind, solar and biodiesel fuel.
In contrast to the 2010 Elysium Visual Epic Expedition where I spent a lot of time snorkeling and filming in -2C waters, my participation in the IAE 2012 will enable me to experience Antarctica from above the water, with my feet firmly planted on the ground. Participation in the 2012 IAE will enable me to investigate, document and report on new subjects: renewable energy applications and sustainability issues as they relate to Antarctica and the broader world.
As the sole geoscientist on the expedition, I'll deliver lectures on the geology of Antarctica and I'll investigate the application of geothermal energy, a 24/7 renewable energy source that's independent of the number of hours of sunlight in a day or of the wind speed. As a geoscientist, I'll also emphasize the key role that the disciplines of geology and geophysics play in studying climate change in Antarctica and around the world.
The IAE 2012 includes a Leadership on the Edge Program designed to promote team work in harsh conditions and to create environmental educators (adults and youth alike) and global leaders at the personal, corporate, academic, governmental, community and country levels. Reminiscent of an Outward Bound School, the IAE 2012 team will camp on polar ice floes and will scale glaciers. But, in contrast to Shackleton's era, we'll be equipped with satellite phones and radios, and decked out in the latest micro-fabrics, waterproof clothing and expedition-rated sleeping bags.
Sculpted Iceberg off the Western Antarctica Peninsula