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Recent news

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# University of Cambridge closure

In light of recent government announcements, and of recent developments including a growing number of staff members now working from home, the University of Cambridge has now moved into its "red" phase in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, the Scott Polar Research Institute will close its doors at 5pm on Friday 20th March, for the foreseeable future. Find out what this means in a statement from University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope.

Please check our social media platforms and this website for further updates and news on our re-opening.

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# Closure of the Polar Museum

Due to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and in the interest of public safety, the Polar Museum will be closed effective immediately until further notice.

The well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff is very important to us and this decision has not been made lightly. We look forward to welcoming you all back to the Polar Museum very soon.

In the meantime, you can explore our range of online resources, Virtual Shackleton and view our collection on the Polar Museum pages.

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# Quaternary Glaciations - top of the pops!

The Geological Society

Quaternary Glaciations - Extent and Chronology - A Closer Look. Developments in Quaternary Science 15. 1108 pp. published by Elsevier: Amsterdam in 2011, ISBN: 978-0-444-53447-7, edited by Emeritus Professor Philip Gibbard with J. Ehlers and Philip Hughes was the most downloaded e-book from the Geological Society of London's Library in 2019.

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# Antarctic research features on BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Current glaciological research being undertaken by Ian Willis and Alison Banwell as part of a joint US-NSF and UK-NERC funded project featured on a recent edition of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, guest edited by Greta Thunberg. The research investigates the role of surface meltwater movement on the stability of Antarctic Ice Shelves and involves fieldwork on the George VI Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsular from where the SPRI scientists have recently returned. Their work is mentioned as part of a larger report into Antarctic glacier melt and sea level rise, which begins about 47 minutes into the programme.

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# Drone images show Greenland Ice Sheet becoming more unstable as it fractures

In a new study, researchers at the Scott Polar Research Institute used drones to observe how fractures form on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The new research, published 2nd December 2019 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, explains why supraglacial lakes in Greenland drain rapidly, and how the drainage creates conduits for continued supply of surface meltwater to the base of the ice sheet.

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# Launching 'Shackleton Online'

We are proud to announce the launch of our new site: Shackleton Online.

This part of the Polar Museum website showcases our exceptional material related to Sir Ernest Shackleton. It is a source of information on everything from the stories of Shackleton's expeditions to the Antarctic, the biographies of his men, and the objects which they took with them to the far South. We also have some audio-described objects from our collection as well as videos on subjects voted for by the public over the summer.

This project has kindly been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

We can't wait for you to see it!

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# Applications open for new climate project

Applications for the Cambridge Climate Life and Earth (C-CLEAR) NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, are now being accepted.

The C-CLEAR NERC DTP is among the first programmes in the world to study the connected issues of global change, past, present and future from a cross-disciplinary vantage point. Students will gain deep insights into the processes and outcomes of global change in the past and be equipped with the tools to understand and question the processes of human and planetary change and transformation taking place now and into the future.

Students will engage in research projects of global significance across NERC science, and receive high-quality training in research, professional, technical and transferable skills through a focused core programme.

The application deadline is noon Tuesday 7th January 2020. Find out more and apply.

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# ERC Arctic Cultures Workshop, 9-10 January 2020

The ERC Arctic Cultures grant led by Richard Powell is holding its first Project Workshop – 'Knowledge Formations and Colonial Encounters in the Arctic', 9-10 January 2020 at the Scott Polar Research Institute.

The workshop is part of a series of research events bringing team members, leading international experts and interested scholars into dialogue around the themes of the project. The focus for this workshop specifically is to examine the co-production of Arctic knowledge formations through encounters between indigenous inhabitants and non-indigenous actors. Presentations will draw upon empirical research and theorisation to investigate spatial formations of the Arctic and the role of Northern actors and institutions.

All are welcome and attendance is free, but prior registration is required please. The full programme, abstracts and registration details are available on the project website.

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# SPRI Director, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, awarded RSGS WS Bruce Medal

Dr Bryan Lintott

Congratulations to our Director, Professor Julian Dowdeswell, who has been awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society 2019 WS Bruce Medal, for his contribution to glaciology & polar science.

We were pleased to welcome RSGS Chief Executive Mike Robinson, as he visited the Scott Polar Research Institute to present Professor Dowdeswell with the award.

# Award success for SPRI Education & Outreach

Congratulations to SPRI Education and Outreach Assistant, Naomi Chapman, who has recently received a University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor's Research Impact and Engagement Award.

The Vice-Chancellor's Impact and Public Engagement with Research Awards schemes were established in 2016 to recognise and celebrate excellence in research impact and public engagement with research.

Naomi received her award for her role in developing innovative tactile maps of the Arctic and Antarctic, which have allowed many young and partially sighted people to enjoy a touch tour of polar research.


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