West Spitzbergen, Svalbard Archipelago, British Schools Exploring Society Scientific Expedition

 

After finishing A-levels, I joined the British Schools Exploring Society‘s summer expedition to the island of West Spitzbergen in the high arctic.

The nine week expedition was broken into three phases: scientific exploration, adventure and for my group, geology. Our science phase was spent studying the 24 hour daylight conditions and monitoring how sea birds have adapted their breeding and ‘lifestyle’ strategies accordingly. Sadly the Ptarmigan which we were hoping to study had been decimated by hunters shortly before our arrival!

Whilst in the Arctic I witnessed first hand the retreat of glaciers and the thinning of the ice sheets and the impact of such changes on the flora and fauna.