Welcome to the blog of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at the University of Northampton. This will keep you up to date with both student and staff activities.

The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences includes staff with interests in biological sciences, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental statistics, geography and waste management. We offer a range of degree programmes and have a number of postgraduate research students. For more information about studying with us please visit http://www.northampton.ac.uk/.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

British Exploring Expedition to Arctic Finnmark, Norway

Dr Naomi Holmes (Senior Lecturer in Biogeography and Palaeoecology) is off to Norway for a five week expedition with the charity British Exploring. Naomi is the Chief Scientist of the Arctic Finnmark expedition. The expedition is based in Finnmark, near to the Øksfjordjøkelen glacier. The expedition will comprise over 50 explorers, who, along with the Chief Leader, mountain leaders, science leaders, two Doctors and ten trainee leaders and their mentor, will spend their summer exploring and investigating the Arctic environment. All the training is now complete, including an induction weekend, winter skills training, meeting the explorers, and a wilderness first aid course.

British Exploring is a charity whose objective is ‘to advance the education of young people by providing inspirational and challenging scientific expeditions to remote, wild environments and so promote the development of their confidence, teamwork, leadership and spirit of adventure and exploration.’ (http://britishexploring.org/AboutUs.aspx). British Exploring have a scientific enquiry model based around the idea of ‘science with purpose’, which will hopefully inspire the explorers and encourage them to continue with scientific exploration in the future.

British Exploring Scientific Enquiry Model: Science with Purpose(Source: http://britishexploring.org/ParentsTeachers/ScientificresearchandFieldwork.aspx)

While in Norway the explorers will carry out a number of interesting science projects investigating many aspects of the varied glacial environment in which they will be based. The weather during the expedition will be monitored using Kestrel weather stations kindly loaned by the Royal Meteorological Society. Projects will be undertaken on the glaciers (weather dependent), meltwater streams and lakes. A local Tern population will be the focus of an ornithological investigation, while vegetation distribution will be mapped. The impact of the expedition on the vegetation and soils (e.g., erosion) will also be recorded.

For more information about British Exploring please see http://www.britishexploring.org/