Four well known antarctic personalities, Felicity Aston, 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.
In 2012 Felicity Aston, the polar explorer and adventurer, became the first woman to walk across Antarctica alone. She skied from the base of the Leverett Glacier on the Ross Ice Shelf to Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Shelf Ice by way of the South Pole in 59 days raising over £2500 for the Trust. Hear her talking about her experience at TEDx Hull.
In 2009, Felicity led the largest and most international women's team ever to make the 900km ski journey to the South Pole. Her eight woman team involved members from the Commonwealth countries of Cyprus, Ghana, India, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand, Jamaica and the UK - many of whom had little or no previous expedition experience. The aim of the expedition was to demonstrate the potential of greater inter-cultural understanding, raise awareness of the work and value of the modern Commonwealth and to highlight the achievements of women around the World. The expedition took 38 days, arriving
With a degree in Physics and Astronomy from University College London and a Masters in Meteorology from Reading and some undergraduate expeditions to Canada and Greenland behind her she spent two winters working for BAS at Rothera as a meteorologist monitoring ozone depletion and climate before launching herself on a career organising and leading expeditions to polar regions.
After travelling through South America on her return from the Antarctic she became the Expeditions Officer for the oldest youth development charity in the UK, BSES Expeditions before launching as a writing, broadcasting and expedition leader.
In the last four years she has been awarded the Captain Scott Society Spirit of Adventure Award, a Wilderness Award and a Timberland Make it Better Scholarship as well as earning support from the National Geographic Expeditions Council in the US. In the UK, she has been made a 2008 Churchill Fellow by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Felicity believes in the value of the expedition experience to personal development and is keen to encourage others to go in search of their own adventures. She currently sits on the Council of the Young Explorer's Trust, the UK's national association of youth exploration societies - a national charity dedicated to promoting safe and responsible expeditions for young people.
In 2012 Felicity walked 1744 kms across the Antarctic from the Ross Ice Shelf to the Ronne Ice Shelf at the most southerly end of the Wedell Sea. She accomplished this feat in 59 days starting on 25 November. She is the first woman to ski across Antarctica alone and the first British woman to traverse Antarctica. Felicity also holds the world record for the longest solo journey made by a woman in the polar regions.
Hear her on ipadio here or click on the arrow below if you can see it in your browser!
Felicity was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire and was awarded the Polar Medal in the New Year Honours List 2015.
John Killingbeck, who read geography and law at Bristol and who had spent 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 the 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 has not experienced the joy of being hauled along day after day by these wild independent creatures.
The 1991 Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, dogs had to leave the Antarctica by April 1, 1994, as they were deemed by the international community to be 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 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 & 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. Paul Rose website.
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.