A full-scale Arctic expedition
The highlight of the ACLC program will be a six-week Arctic expedition to East Greenland. The expedition has three main purposes. Firstly, to develop advanced climate leadership skills, secondly to conduct important scientific field research and thirdly to promote international awareness of climate change in action from its source. Oh, and have fun!
The chosen few
From each of the 12 teams of Climate Raiders, one member will be chosen to become a Young Explorer and represent them in the Arctic. Young Explorers will be selected by the Field Leadership Team on the basis of the physical and psychological aptitude, team loyalty, communication skills and their willingness to learn and to serve. A sense of humour would also give them an advantage.
A solid workload
Young Explorers will have a solid workload in addition to the personal challenges posed by remote Arctic adventure. They will have a busy science and adventure schedule as well as having to provide daily satellite communication feeds to report on their scientific results, keep a detailed photo, video and written diary. They will also respond to daily questions from their fans, managed by their Team in Australia.
The 12 Young Explorers will be put through a comprehensive training program in Australia during June of Year 2. They will develop skills required for modern maritime operations, including navigation and communications, first aid, rescue and small boat handling.
The Young Explorers, along with the full expedition crew, will be outfitted with the highest quality Arctic clothing and personal equipment available, sourced from around the world.
In early July of Year 2, the full expedition team will fly from Australia to Denmark where they will attend a formal function with the Danish Government and visit the Niels Bohr Institute to meet our science partners. They will continue via Iceland to Kulusuk airfield in East Greenland, and finally cross the fjords to the township of Tasiilaq by helicopter, arriving mid-July.
In readiness, members of the Advance Team will have already set up the Advanced Base Camp and organised all the boats and equipment. The Field Operations Base will be located in a house belonging to the Tasiilaq Kommune or East Greenland Council. As is customary for such expeditions, our Young Explorers will be positioned on the seafront, in the Expedition Tented Camp, enabling them to stay close to the boats.
The Expedition Team of 22 personnel will be made up of 10 adult Field Leaders and 12 Young Explorers. The Team will comprise:
1. Arctic Leader (male)
2. Deputy Arctic Leader (+ Field Medical) (female)
3. Director: Leadership Program (+ Field Medical) (male)
4. Director: Science Program (Glaciology) (female)
5. Boat Manager / Engine Maintenance (male-youth)
6. Guide & Hunter (male)
7. Journalists: 2 (male & female)
8. Film Crew: 2 (male)
9. Young Explorers: 12 (6 male & 6 female)
An initial shakedown cruise will be operated for all personnel. Sponsor and extra media representatives may travel with the team on this phase. The purpose of the cruise will be to test boats and equipment and prepare members for the practicalities of the longer journey ahead. Over seven days, the cruise will circumnavigate Ammassalik Island, ascend onto the inland icecap and visit several outlying Inuit hunting villages to meet and spend time with local hunting families. A highlight of the cruise will be erecting a bronze plaque to commemorate the young English polar explorer Gino Watkins who inspired Australia's first Arctic expedition.
On August 1st Year 2, following an official send-off ceremony in Tasiilaq, the expedition's four fully equipped fastboats will head south into the main study area. Fuel depots will already have been laid out by helicopter.
Over the following four weeks, the expedition team will break into task teams, with each Young Explorer participating in all facets of the overall program. These facets include the scientific program (details attached), the leadership development program and assisting Peter the Hunter with food acquisition and preparation.
In contrast to our sophisticated equipment, satellite communications and scientific research, we will live the same simple daily life as our Inuit hosts. We will eat the same food, cooked in the same way, and share the same rocky bivouac sites as hunters have done for millennia. There will be no luxuries, such as packaged foods, toilet paper and toothpaste, and hence, no pollution. In this way our Young Explorers will understand how our ancestors lived and, if they cannot adapt intelligently to climate change, how their children and grandchildren might be living in the future.
The Leadership Development Program will involve Outward Bound and SAS-type training exercises that challenge and stretch participants in order to deepen their understand of themselves and their fellows. They can expect to experience frustration and anger as well as exhilaration and a sense of great accomplishment.