A Society-supported expedition has successfully retraced Roald Amundsen’s famous 700-mile sled journey following his navigation of the North-West passage. ‘In Amundsen’s Footsteps’ aimed to highlight changes to Arctic environments and incorporated an educational programme linking schools in Canada, the US, Norway and the UK.
The ‘In Amundsen’s Footsteps’ team arrived in Eagle, Alaska, last week after completing the 700-mile trip from Herschel Island. The scientific expedition, led by Tim Oakley, is the first successful attempt to complete the route since it was originally undertaken by Roald Amundsen in 1905.
The expedition was supported by the Society through the Neville Schulman Challenge Award, an annual award of up to £5,000.
The award aims to further the understanding and exploration of the planet, its cultures, peoples and environments, while promoting personal development through the intellectual or physical challenges involved in undertaking the research and/or expedition.
The three-man team set out from Herschel Island, northernmost Canada, on 28 February and arrived in Eagle on 28 March. Travelling with three sleds and 22 huskies, they followed the exact route Amundsen took when he journeyed south to find a telegram office to tell the world about his successful navigation of the North-West passage.
Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the Society, said: “Successfully retracing Roald Amundsen’s 1905 sled journey is a fantastic achievement by Tim and his team. By recording their journey and comparing it to Amundsen’s, the team are highlighting our fragile and changing Arctic environments to school children in the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, Norway and the UK. The Society is delighted to have supported the expedition and its outreach through our Neville Shulman Challenge Award”.
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1 September 2017
In June 2018, Baroness Lynda Chalker was elected as President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the second woman to take on this role in the Society’s history.
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