Last chance: Young Explorers and scientists NEEDED for Arctic expedition

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The British Schools Exploring Society (BSES Expeditions) is urgently calling for all budding scientists and explorers to apply for a three month expedition to Arctic Svalbard, (Spitzbergen) taking place at the end of March 2008. The deadline for applicants to join this life changing expedition is 14 February 2008 and starts immediately with a long training weekend to the Cairngorms, Scotland. All 18-23 year olds who don’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity need to get their applications in NOW.Charlie Masding, Marketing Manager for BSES Expeditions said, “We urgently need to fill up the last couple of remaining places for the 21 strong team on this Arctic expedition. It is a chance to see the effect that climate change is having on the world around us. The Polar Regions show tangible evidence of the devastating effects of climate change and BSES Expeditions have a unique expedition to Svalbard where young explorers can study and explore one of the world’s most pristine archipelagos.”Svalbard is just 600 miles from the North Pole, and over 60% of the archipelago is covered by glaciers, making it a paradise for scientists and explorers. The lucky team will cross-country ski across remote and stunning landscapes, live and camp in the Arctic wilderness, as well as work along side qualified scientists to complete hands-on fieldwork projects with the aim of gaining a more personal appreciation for this unique environment and the issues facing it today. The explorers will also need to be on the look out for polar bears, as of course the Arctic is home to the endangered species.The glacial setting is ideal for investigating climate change. The serious science that the group will undertake also includes glacial geomorphology research surveying glaciers and ornithology projects investigating bird migration, both of which act as key indicators to global warming.Charlie Masding continues, “You don’t need to have masses of outdoors experience as training will be provided; you simply need to have plenty of enthusiasm and determination. Few would dispute that taking part in a BSES expedition is a life changing experience. The combination of physical and mental challenges in remote the Arctic environment encourages the development of personal confidence, teamwork and leadership skills, as well as a spirit of adventure and exploration.”The total cost of this BSES Expedition is £5,000 (excluding flights which are expected to be £500). In many instances, the total fund is met by a combination of fundraising, sponsorship and bursaries. Will Taunton-Burnet, BSES Expeditions Executive Director explains, “It is only through educating the next generation that we can hope to protect the environment in the long term. This truly is a wonderful opportunity for the right candidates and we would be disappointed for anybody to miss out due to the tight deadline! “We fully realise that the expedition represents a significant investment, but BSES is offering fundraising help, plus the opportunity of a personal mentor and bursary funding,” says Will Taunton-Burnet.All prospective applicants need to do is contact Tim Moss, Expedition Co-ordinator, on tim@bses.org.uk or 020 7591 3141, or visit the website at www.bses.org.uk to download an application form.