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SPRI Public Lectures - Lent term 2002

SPRI Public Lectures - Lent term 2002

All lectures are at 8.00 p.m. in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road. They are open to all who are interested, and seats will be reserved, on request, for Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute.

The discovery of gold in the Klondike: oral histories from the Yukon Territory, Canada

Saturday, 19 January 2002

Speaker: Professor Julie Cruikshank, University of British Columbia

Popular written histories of the Klondike gold rush emphasize adventures of prospectors who struggled north to the gold fields in 1898. Oral histories told by Aboriginal women who knew Keish (or Skookum Jim), Tagish man credited with official 'discovery' of gold, provide conflicting interpretations. The illustrated talk addresses how culturally specific stories told in different voices and transmitted through different forms of telling can shape the ways we understand events passed down as history.

Arctic and Polar medals - rewards for the brave, the foolhardy and the shivering!

Saturday, 2 February 2002

Speaker: Rear Admiral John Myres, CB, Hydrographer of the Navy, 1990-94, and Secretary of the UK Polar Medal Assessment Committee

In 1857 the first medal for British Arctic exploration was instituted covering the period from 1818 to 1855. Some 2500 men were eligible for it - but only about 1500 received it. In 1876 a Second Arctic Medal was awarded - to just 155 men. Since 1904, the Polar Medal has been awarded for exploration and research in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and over 1200 men and less than half a dozen women have received it. The talk will describe the origins of these medals and offer some random thoughts on their award over nearly two centuries.

Evaluating the sensitivity of glaciers to climate change

Saturday, 16 February 2002

Speaker: Dr Neil Arnold, Scott Polar Research Institute

This talk will give a non-technical review of the methods used by environmental scientists to evaluate the sensitivity of glaciers to climate change, with an emphasis on the role of mathematical modelling of key interactions between ice and the wider environment. This will be based around the speaker's work in the high Alps and the Arctic.

Young explorers in Svalbard and the Antarctic: the BSES expeditions

Saturday, 2 March 2002

Speakers: Susie Grant and Sarah Robinson, Scott Polar Research Institute

BSES Expeditions (formerly the British Schools Exploring Society) has run expeditions for young people every year since 1932, combining scientific fieldwork with exploration and adventure. The speakers took part as Young Explorers in a six-week expedition to Svalbard in 1996, and then as assistant leaders on the BSES Millennium Expedition to Antarctica, the Falklands and Patagonia in 1999-2000. This illustrated talk describes their experiences, including exploration of previously unvisited areas, mountaineering, wildlife encounters and scientific fieldwork.