Student Expedition Receives Bursary to ‘Go-Beyond’ and Study Remote Icelandic Glacier
Today, ‘Glacier in a Greenhouse’ a student-led expedition from Durham University, pick up the keys to a Land Rover Defender 110, as well as £10,000, as they prepare to set off on a month-long research trip to Iceland.
Recipients of this year’s Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ bursary, awarded by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), will depart for Iceland on 15th August 2011. They are using the bursary to venture into central west Iceland and study a remote ice plateau, near which they will set up base camp. The team will drive daily from camp to the glacier ‘Klofajökull’ which, due to its inaccessible nature, was last researched some 15 years ago.
On return the ‘Glacier in a Greenhouse’ team will develop materials to present in schools with the hope of inspiring future glaciologists. They will then work with past bursary winners to produce recommendations on the challenges and solutions to working in extreme environments.
Guided by Dr David Evans, a glacial geomorphologist from Durham University’s Department of Geography, the team consists of seven Durham second year university students: Will Lake (expedition leader), David Benhamou (deputy expedition leader), James Thomas (treasurer), Clare Howes (medical officer), Nicola Ledsham (equipment officer), Sian Evans (transport officer) and Victoria Winterbottom (secretary).
Will Lake, expedition leader for Glacier in a Greenhouse, said: “It is testament to the rugged terrain and sometimes severe weather that a destination such as Iceland still offers relatively unexplored areas. As recipients of the Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ bursary from the Society we have been lent a Defender 110, enabling us to reach the remote glacier Klofajökull, that has not been researched for more than 15 years. We hope that our study will complement past and future research into glaciers and their importance as barometers for changing climates.”
Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “This project, made possible through our 25-year partnership with Land Rover, shows the power of geography and the dynamic environment it creates. The team will, as well as ‘going beyond’ their normal limits and boundaries, be supporting one of the Society’s objectives which is to promote the wider understanding of our world.”
Journeys undertaken by previous recipients of this award include last year’s winners, Fault Line Living, who travelled almost 25,000km across Europe to the Iranian border over a 12-week period to gain a detailed understanding of the issues faced by communities living on fault lines.
You can follow the Glacier in a Greenhouse team on Facebook
For more information about the Go Beyond bursary visit www.rgs.org/grants
For more details concerning Land Rover’s sustainability programme please visit www.landrover.com/ourplanet