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Polar explorer pays a visit

Polar explorer pays a visit This week, the Junior School girls heard from a special guest during their morning assembly. 

Martin Hartley is an explorer and photographer who has spent more than 400 days working on the surface of the Arctic Ocean and over 300 days living in Antarctica on over 30 polar expeditions and assignments.  

He spoke to the girls about surviving in minus-40 degree temperatures, dealing with packs of wolves and polar bears and traversing safely across moving ice flows.   

Video content and stunning images helped to bring his talk to life, and Martin also brought polar bear fur, a Polar Bear claw and some Inuit snow googles made from Narwhale tusks and a pair of fur seal mitts made by Canadian Inuit to show everyone.   

“That was amazing!” said Matilda in Year 5 who took reams of notes throughout Martin’s talk.  

“Given the number of questions the girls wanted to ask, Martin could have stayed all day!” a member of teaching staff added. 

Martin then went on to speak to Year 12 students where he adapted his talk to focus more on the implications of climate change and the work he has done collecting data to help scientists better understand our planet. In 2017, for example, he joined a North Pole expedition to collect snow depth measurements for the European Space Agency's CryoSat programme, which is being conducted in conjunction with NASA‘s Operation IceBridge mission

When asked about his motivation for returning to such a bleak and inhospitable region, Martin explained how he’d seen the impact of global warming first-hand and felt compelled to play his part in documenting it.  

All in all, it was an engaging and educational session for staff and students alike.  

Date Posted: 29 June, 2021

Articles for: STEM, The World Beyond

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