North East gap-year students with a lust for adventure and a passion for environmental science are urged to apply for the last two places on The British Schools Exploring Society’s Extreme Arctic expedition to Svalbard this spring, made possible through generous bursary funding. The Society is able to offer two £2,500 bursaries to interested gappers who attend an open evening at the Express by Holiday Inn, Waterloo Square, Newcastle, NE1 4DN at 6.15pm on Wednesday 10th February. Pre-registration is preferred, by emailing charlie@bses.org.uk. Svalbard, a far-flung snowy archipelago on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, is just 600 miles from the North Pole. At 78 degrees north, the average temperature on arrival in April is -20C, with the islands already experiencing 24 hour daylight. Living in tents and snow caves in sub-zero temperatures, the young explorers will be taught how to survive in the extreme cold before venturing further afield as weather improves, allowing access to unspoiled landscapes as far as the eye can see. Mountaineering, cross-country skiing and travelling with pulks across the mountain tops, valleys, and tundra, the team will experience the vast expanse of astounding natural beauty, with the freedom, under the guidance of world-class leaders, to explore wherever they choose. The young explorers will also be working alongside highly qualified scientists to conduct glacial geomorphology and phenology studies, contributing to long-term projects concerning the measurement of key indicators of climate change. In addition, an ornithological survey will also be undertaken, gathering and collating data on some of the indigenous species. Those taking part will have to be physically fit, enthusiastic and resourceful in order to comfortably live under canvas for the duration of the expedition and to bear the mental and physical hardships of such an adventure. The young explorers will benefit from contact with highly experienced volunteer leaders from the fields of education, industry, medicine and the armed forces, who will ensure that the expedition works to a professional standard so that ambitious scientific and adventurous training objectives can be safely undertaken. Any young people inspired by this opportunity, brave enough to take on the challenge and keen to experience the adventure of a lifetime should see www.bses.org.uk for more details.About BSESThe British Schools Exploring Society (BSES Expeditions) is a non-profit UK-based youth development charity which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2007. Founded in 1932 by the late Surgeon Commander G Murray Levick, a member of Scott’s final Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13, BSES is one of the longest running organisations of its type. Based at The Royal Geographical Society in London, BSES Expeditions has provided opportunities for young people of all abilities between the ages of 16 and 23 to take part in adventurous expeditions that involve scientific research in wilderness areas. The aim of BSES Expeditions is to help the personal and social development of young people, through the challenge of living and working in remote and demanding areas of the world. Over the past 75 years, BSES has: * Discovered one new site of bushman artwork and artefacts in Africa. * Trekked 57.6 times around the world (that’s 2,303,840km)! * Measured 133 glacier snouts in the Arctic. * Recorded 13,860 blood pressures in high altitude physiology studies. * Protected 30,000 turtle eggs.Patron Quotes ‘BSES gives those young people with a dream the chance to explore some of the world's most remote regions. With that exploration, I have found, so often comes a sense of pride and achievement - and that is the real magic of BSES. It builds the champions and explorers of the future.’ Bear Grylls, British explorer, Chief Scout and face behind Channel 4’s Born Survivor ‘The British Schools Exploring Society is a unique and precious national resource….it offers unrivalled personal development opportunities for young people.’ Pen Hadow, British Explorer, first person to trek solo, without outside assistance, from Canada to the North Geographic Pole ‘Scientific exploration is essential if we are to continue to develop our understanding of science. That is why the British Schools Exploring Society is vital for equipping young people with the skills, knowledge and inspiration to become tomorrow's scientists.' Professor Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to H.M. Government and Head of the Office of Science and Innovation For more information, please contact Charlie Masding: T 020 7591 3141 E charlie@bses.org.uk A BSES Expeditions, the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR W www.bses.org.uk