UNBC Participating in First University Courses Ever Offered in Antarctica

February 10, 2009

A UNBC professor and four UNBC students leave Wednesday for the first University courses ever in Antarctica. Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management professor Patrick Maher and his students are participating in the Students on Ice Expedition to Antarctica from February 12-28.

“Although the primary focus of the expedition will be to expose students to the geography and biology of Antarctica, there will be special emphasis on the ways global warming may be affecting the continent,” says Maher. “UNBC is one of only three Canadian universities participating in this incredible opportunity, which coincides with the International Polar Year. In total, there will be 71 students from Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia participating. They’ll be taught by some of the world’s leading polar scientists.”

Lectures and hands-on workshops will cover a variety of topics:
  • Geological, political, and cultural history of the region
  • Environmental issues facing the polar area
  • Ice and glaciology
  • Wildlife identification and observation
The expedition will depart from southern Argentina on February 16 aboard a former U.S. polar research vessel and cross the Drake Passage. The students will take frequent trips to the Antarctic mainland to gain first-hand experience of the unique geography and wildlife of the area. They will visit key historic and scientific sites, including the site of the famous Shackleton Expedition, Deception Island Volcanic Crater, and international scientific bases.

Those interested can visit the expedition’s website at www.uantarctic.org, where they can chart the voyage’s progress through updates and journal entries from the students, educators, and expedition leaders. Digital photos will be uploaded daily to the site.

The voyage arrives back in Argentina on February 27.

Maher’s research focuses on the management of tourism and outdoor recreation in remote regions. He has conducted research in Arctic Canada, Norway, and Iceland and one of his UNBC courses included a canoe expedition down the Stikine River. He recently completed his PhD.



Contact:
Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC - 250.960.5622 
Patrick Maher, Outdoor recreation and Tourism Management Instructor, UNBC – 250.960.5235 (250.961.7998 Wednesday through Thursday morning)
Media Downloads
Click on a thumbnail below to access a high-resolution image of UNBC professor Patrick Maher and students Tasha Peterson (green coat), Jen Bennett (black coat) and Sydney van Loon (orange coat). Kendra Johnston (not in photo) will also be attending.
Pat Maher and students 
Patrick Maher

Patrick Maher

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