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Welcome to SPRI

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, and projecting the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community.


Research at SPRI

Research at SPRI

We 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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Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study

SPRI has a friendly community of postgraduate students, working for the PhD degree or the MPhil in Polar Studies.

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The Polar Museum

The Polar Museum

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a unique collection illustrating polar exploration, history and science. Find out how past discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic help today's scientists to investigate our changing environment.

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Staff and students

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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Library

Library

The Library offers a collection 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

Runaway West Antarctic ice retreat can be slowed by climate-driven changes in ocean temperature

17th January, 2023

 

An international team of researchers, led by Dr. Frazer Christie, has combined satellite imagery and climate and ocean records to obtain the most detailed understanding yet of how West Antarctica is responding to climate change.

Their results, published in the journal Nature Communications, show that while West Antarctica continues to retreat, the pace of ice melting has recently slowed across its most vulnerable sector in-sync with changes in atmosphere and ocean conditions offshore. Ultimately, the research implies that runaway, ice-sheet-wide collapse isn't inevitable, depending on how the climate changes over the next few decades.

The study was supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Natural Environment Research Council, the US National Science Foundation, the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration project and the European Space Agency.

Shackleton's Cabin on BBC iPlayer featuring SPRI Archives

12th January, 2023

 

Naomi Boneham, SPRI's Archivist appears in the film in interview with Sven Habermann sharing Shackleton's diaries.

On 5 January 1922, world-famous Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack in his cabin aboard The Quest during his final expedition to the South Pole. Shackleton's Cabin follows Sven as enthusiast Sven Habermann rebuilds the cabin and explores the life and final days of his hero.

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COP15: UN and Cambridge sign agreement to bolster conservation

12th December, 2022

 

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity secretariat and the University of Cambridge signed a Memorandum of Understanding on day two of COP15, which recognises that the CCI Masters in Conservation Leadership course hosted by the Department of Geography plays a crucial role in conservation capacity building.

The Masters in Conservation Leadership team have been working towards this agreement for several years and are delighted to now finalise the agreement, enabling a cohesive approach to building the leadership capacity needed to create a diverse world in which nature and society thrive.

A new graphic novel brings story of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole to life

28th October, 2022

 

To celebrate the centennial year of the publication of The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, an account of Scott's infamous expedition to the South Pole, SPRI Institute Associate and former Disney animator Sarah Airriess has transformed Cherry's tome into a soon-to-be published graphic novel. Retelling the story through cinematic visuals, the novel keeps as true as possible to the original account while bringing out the emotional core of Cherry's tale, and open up a classic book to new audiences.

The first volume of The Worst Journey in the World: The Graphic Novel, will be published by independent publisher, Indie Novella, and will be available to buy online and via selected distributors from 24th November 2022. The book is made in collaboration with the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, using our archives to inform the narrative, and the collection of the Polar Museum to inform the drawings.

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Professor Julian Dowdeswell reappointed as a Royal Museums Greenwich Trustee

27th October, 2022

 

Professor Julian Dowdeswell has been reappointed as a Royal Museums Greenwich Trustee, for a four-year term commencing 3 September 2022 until 2 September 2026.

Julian has been Professor of Physical Geography in Cambridge University since 2002. He has just retired from almost 20 years as Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute. He is a glaciologist, studying the form and flow of glaciers and ice caps and their response to climate change, and the links between former ice sheets and the marine geological record. Julian has worked, on the ice and from aircraft, in Antarctica and many parts of the Arctic. He has also undertaken many periods of work on icebreaking research vessels in the Southern Ocean and the Arctic.

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SPRI Centenary

SPRI Centenary

Our Centenary Campaign aims to build the endowment funds of the Institute to support new academic posts, to enhance our ability to undertake polar fieldwork, to secure the future of our Museum and Archive activities, and to train the next generation of polar researchers.

  • 7th February 2023:
    Antarctica is not one thing. Details…
    Scott Polar Research Institute - HCEP (Histories, Cultures, Environments and Politics) Research Seminars
  • 21st February 2023:
    Russian and Soviet glaciology of the Third Pole. Details…
    Scott Polar Research Institute - HCEP (Histories, Cultures, Environments and Politics) Research Seminars
  • 2nd March 2023:
    Title to be confirmed. Details…
    Polar Humanities and Social Sciences ECR Workshop
  • More seminars…