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Welcome to SPRI

The Scott Polar Research Institute, established in 1920 as part of the University of Cambridge, is a centre of excellence in the study of the Arctic and Antarctic. Research covers both the natural and social sciences and is often interdisciplinary. The Institute also houses the World's premier Polar Library, extensive archival, photographic and object collections of international importance on the history of polar exploration, and a Polar Museum with displays of both the history and contemporary significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and their surrounding seas. The Institute is a sub-department of the Department of Geography.

SPRI's mission is to enhance the understanding of the polar regions through scholarly research and publication, educating new generations of polar researchers, caring for and making accessible its collections (including its library, archival, photographic and object collections), and projecting the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community for public benefit.


Research at SPRI

SPRI's staff and students investigate a range of issues in the environmental sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities of relevance to the Arctic and Antarctica:

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Graduate study

SPRI has a friendly community of postgraduate students. Many are working for the PhD degree, awarded on the basis of individual research and requiring three years of full-time study. Others are working for the MPhil in Polar Studies.

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The Polar Museum

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a unique collection of artefacts, journals, paintings, photographs, clothing equipment, maps and other materials illustrating polar exploration, history and science. Come and find out how past discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic help today's scientists to investigate our changing environment.

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Features

Library

The Library offers a collection developed since the 1920s with over 700 current journals and over 250,000 printed works covering all subjects relating to the Arctic, the Antarctic, and to ice and snow wherever found.

Library catalogue


Staff and students

SPRI's staff publish regularly in a range of leading journals, and attract research funding from a wide variety of sources.

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Drs Ian Willis and Alison Banwell awarded Fellowships at the University of Colorado Boulder

16th May, 2018

 

Ian Willis and Alison Banwell have been awarded, respectively, a 1-year sabbatical fellowship and a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship to undertake collaborative work with Waleed Abdalati and Michael Willis (no relation!) at the Co-operative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. They will advance their current work investigating the surface hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the surface hydrology and stability of Antarctic ice shelves.

Research Assistant/Associate in Remote Sensing of Forests

1st May, 2018

 

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/ Research Associate to work under the direction of Dr Gareth Rees, for a British Council funded research project mapping the distribution and spatial characteristics of forests in northern Russia, using remote sensing techniques.

The closing date for applications is 25th May 2018.

Major research project planned into collapse of the Thwaites Glacier

30th April, 2018

 

Dr Poul Christoffersen will co-lead one of eight projects in a new joint UK-US research programme, that is one of the most detailed and extensive examinations of a massive Antarctic glacier ever undertaken. Dr Christoffersen's project, Thwaites Interdisciplinary Margin Evolution (TIME), will investigate how the margins of the Thwaites Glacier drainage basin will evolve and influence ice flow over the coming decades.

Professor Julian Dowdeswell elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales

26th April, 2018

 

Congratulations to Professor Julian Dowdeswell on being elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Fellows to the Society are elected in recognition of academic excellence.

Subglacial lakes discovered under Devon Island ice cap

18th April, 2018

 

A new study of the Devon Island ice cap, led by a team from the University of Alberta, has discovered two subglacial bodies of water. These are the first subglacial lakes to be observed in the Canadian Arctic, and are estimated to cover areas of five and eight square kilometres respectively.

The findings, co-authored by Director of The Scott Polar Research Institute Professor Julian Dowdeswell, have been published in Science Advances

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