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16 March 2009

Amabassadors to promote British Antarctic Monument Trust


Three well known Antarctic personalities have agreed to act as Ambassadors
Category: General
Posted by: admin

Three well known Antarctic personalities, John Killingbeck, Paul Rose, and Dr Russell Thompson have agreed to act as Ambassadors for the Antarctic Monument Trust. They all lecture frequently and act as guides and interpreters on Antarctic tour ships. Their role is to promote the interests of the trust.

John Killingbeck and the last husky journey
John Killingbeck, who read geography and law at Bristol and who did his national service in the RAF, spent his first year, 1961, in the Antarctic as base leader at Deception in charge of building the hangar to accomodate the two Otter aircraft. Whilst there he took a dog team around the island and the experience convinced him that he wanted to go further South. He resigned as Base Leader and moved to Adelaide Island as a GA where he spent the year dog driving as he wished. He formed a great bond with the dogs, a bond which is difficult to appreciate for those who have not experienced the joy of being hauled along day after day by these wild independent creatures.  

The 1991 Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty stated that dogs had to leave the Antarctica by April 1, 1994, as they were deemed by the international community to be a non-indigenous species. The British Antarctic Survey had only two teams left. As they represented an important genetic stock, it was decided to return them to their ancestral home in Labrador and to give them to the Inuit community. John Killingbeck, with John Sweeney, was asked by BAS to drive these last dog teams, the Huns and Admirals, to support the scientific programme on Alexander Island in the 1993/4 season.

Paul Rose
Paul was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station for 10 years and was awarded The Queen's Polar Medal for his work. He was awarded US Navy Polar Medal for his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica.

Paul is a BBC TV Presenter - credits include Scrapheap Challenge, Take One Museum, Meltdown, Voyages of Discovery, Oceans,  and live appearances on BBC Breakfast, BBC 24 News, Sky News, Border News, BBC National and Local radio including World Service, Midweek, You and Yours, Simon Mayo and US National radio.

The Royal Geographical Society presented The Ness Award to Paul - "For the popularisation of Geography and the wider understanding of our world".

His professional diving work includes science support diving in Antarctica, (as BAS Institute Diving Officer) and Indian Ocean (as Diving Ops Advisor to the RGS Shoals of Capricorn project). He ran the US Navy diver training programme at Great Lakes Naval Training Centre and trained many emergency response dive teams including the Police, Fire Department and Underwater Recovery Teams.

Paul is a Mountain and Polar Guide leading Greenland Icecap crossing expeditions, polar science support logistics & mountaineering expeditions. He was a Mountain Safety consultant to the oil industry in the Middle East. He advises & provides operational support to expeditions, charities & business in Health & Safety, Fieldwork, Diving Operations & Expedition Training.

Paul was Vice President and Chair of Expeditions & Fieldwork Division 1999 - 2002 at the Royal Geographical Society.

Dr Russell Thompson
After graduating from the University of Wales, Swansea in 1958, Russell joined the Falkland Island Dependencies Survey as a meteorological assistant. He spent two winters and four summers in Antarctica mainly at bases on King George Island and Signy Island and was base leader during his second winter in 1961. After completing glaciological research on the Orwell Glacier at Signy, he was awarded a MSc degree by the University of Wales in 1967. In 1970, he obtained a PhD degree at the University of New England in Australia based on mesoclimatological research in north-eastern New South Wales.

Between 1963 and 1965, he was Head of the Geography Department at the English School in the Hague, Netherlands and between 1965 and 1999, he held lectureships/professorships at universities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada  (including a 3-month expedition to northern Baffin Island researching the permafrost/climate relationships) and Fiji, retiring from the University of Reading in 1999 after over 20 years as lecturer/senior lecturer in climatology and as University warden at Windsor Hall of Residence. Over the past 12 years, he has lectured frequently aboard four Antarctic cruise ships on some 33 cruises covering topics such as Antarctic geology, weather and climate, glaciers, icebergs and pack ice, and his life and work with FIDS between 1958 and 1962.

He has published over 60 papers on climatology and glaciology in international journals and has authored/co-authored 10 text books on meteorology/climatology.


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