Each November the Society hosts Explore, a weekend for anyone aspiring to undertake original geographical field research, plan a conservation project or travel with a purpose. But for those attempting such a challenge, the early stages can feel bewildering and the first hurdle is often where to begin. Here we showcase three groups who have recently attended Explore and reveal how their dreams evolved from an idea to become reality.
Image by Arzucan Askin
Arzucan Askin (centre), a recent geography graduate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, first came to Explore in 2018 and left with her ‘head buzzing with ideas for fieldwork and expeditions following inspiring conversations with researchers, expedition leaders and filmmakers’. Re-assured about one of her own research proposals, she then made a successful application for a RGS-IBG Geographical Fieldwork Grant and led an interdisciplinary field project on women and climate change in Cuba this summer together with two other LSE students, Caitlan Read (right) and Marta Santivanez-Fernandez (left).
Image by Oliver Beardon
When Oliver Beardon first attended Explore in 2015, his ambitions were modest and, like many, he came with an idea up his sleeve; namely that sailing had the potential to be more than just a personal hobby – it had purpose. Now he leads Sail Britain, an interdisciplinary arts, sailing and ocean research project. He says: “Explore is a must for any budding adventurer, field researcher, those wishing to join a project, or simply to hear some inspiring stories. I came away from Explore with bucket loads of encouragement that what I was dreaming was not only possible, but also found that there was a kind of family to whom I could return to as things progressed.”
Image by Matthew Jones
Second year University of Oxford students Matthew Jones and Rosalie Wright attended Explore 2018 where their expedition idea was founded. Joining with fellow team members Maryam Jamilah, Azamuddeen Nasir and Pouvalen Seeneevassin, the Usun Apau Retraced expedition was formed, following in the footsteps of the Oxford expedition to the same region 64 years ago. “We can safely say that the success of this expedition lies in our initial planning and talks at Explore last November,” says Rosie. “It’s been quite the year of planning and we were slightly in shock to have actually made it to Sarawak after all this work.” The team will be reporting back on the expedition at Explore 2019.
Explore is the place to find the inspiration, contacts and practical advice you need if you are planning field research, conservation or travel with purpose. Everyone is welcome, regardless of age or experience.
Find out more about Explore and book your tickets.
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