CgvK_87WIAA0KZ-Two close friends and colleagues of Oceanites and the Antarctic Site Inventory — Kim Crosbie & Jérôme Poncet — were honored yesterday with Prince William’s awarding them Her Majesty the Queen’s Polar Medal. Beaucoup congratulations to both!

Kim’s polar career began in 1991 when she joined the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, as a research student. She initially worked in the Canadian Arctic before embarking on a PhD that focused on the ecological monitoring and management of visitor sites in the Antarctic. This required three austral summer seasons in primitive conditions at a temporary field camp on Cuverville Island in the Antarctic Peninsula surrounded by some 4,500 breeding pairs of gentoo penguins. Following completion of her PhD, Kim remained in the field of visitor management leading expeditions to both Poles primarily on board expedition cruise vessels, a role that enabled a diverse range of people to sustainably experience and work in these unique environments. In 2005, she joined the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) as Environmental Manager and subsequently Operations Director before being appointed Executive Director in 2013. Throughout she has continued to publish scientific papers, books and articles with a diverse range of scientists and non-governmental representatives. Kim’s varied experience in environmental management, from research to practical application and policy development, has led to a greater understanding and cohesion across the Antarctic community, resulting in improved management techniques that help support visitation to these areas in a safe, environmentally responsible way.

Jérôme was honored for his pioneering efforts in supplying logistics in support of Polar science and wildlife documentaries for over 40 years. His intimate knowledge of these relatively unexplored coastlines and his understanding of the extreme Antarctic environment has enabled the discovery of many penguin and other breeding bird colonies and facilitated a greater understanding of animal behavior and ecology. Never one to turn down a challenge, Jérôme’s work has not only progressed science but has also allowed millions of viewers around the world to enjoy and learn about the unique Antarctic environment by allowing film-makers to capture ground breaking footage. Examples include the BBC’s Life in the Freezer, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.

Jérôme has several notable firsts for a small yacht in the Polar Regions. These include sailing to Spitsbergen in 1969 and subsequently the Antarctic Peninsula and below the Antarctic Circle in 1973. In 1978 and 1979 he and his wife, Sally, wintered in Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, onboard their yacht, Damien II, which continued to be their home in the Southern Ocean for several years as their family grew with the arrival of three sons. Throughout Jérôme has authored and co-authored many books and science articles sharing his practical knowledge and experience of these little known places.

_mg_3406The environmental movement has made progress, but much work remains to protect the planet from manmade changes.

Source: Earth Day: Are we at the beginning of a new geological era? – The Washington Post

Unless countries develop more ambitious plans, they say, the world could suffer profound consequences, including debilitating heat waves, food shortages and fast-rising seas.

Source: Leaders Roll Up Sleeves on Climate, but Experts Say Plans Don’t Pack a Wallop – The New York Times

A very warm start to the year, and mounting climate impacts, underscore that current pledges to cut warming aren’t strong enough.

Source: How Earth itself has dramatically upped the stakes for the Paris climate accord – The Washington Post

imrs.phpAnd you don’t even need to get up from your computer to do it.

Source: Scientists need you to count cute baby penguins – The Washington Post

12PENGUINEJP-master1050The shy yellow-eyed penguin, threatened by human endeavors, natural predators and hot weather, faces extinction despite conservation efforts.

Source: A New Zealand Penguin, Hard to Spot, Is Harder to Preserve – The New York Times

10CORAL-master675Researchers believe that bleaching, which they attribute to heat stress compounded by climate change, is threatening more than a third of the planet’s reefs.

Source: Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists – The New York Times

imrs.phpIf carbon emissions continue unabated, expanding oceans and massive ice melt would threaten global coastal communities, according to new projections.

Source: Scientists nearly double sea level rise projections for 2100, because of Antarctica – The Washington Post

Convened by Oceanites and hosted by One Ocean Expeditions onboard the MV AKADEMIK IOFFE expedition ship, February 28-March 9, 2016, the inaugural “Future Of Antarctica Forum” provided a unique opportunity for Antarctic stakeholder interests — governments, fishing, tourism, environmental, and scientific — to gather together and discuss moving forward, collaboratively, to secure Antarctica’s future as envisioned by the Antarctic Treaty, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The participants reaffirmed the basic principles of these landmark international agreements that, for all humankind, Antarctica is to be used for peaceful and scientific purposes, maintaining the ecological relationships of its living marine resources.

Participants emphasized the global importance of climate change, identifying Antarctica’s central role in better understanding climate change impacts. The Forum noted that changes in Antarctica influence the rest of the world and changes in the rest of the world influence Antarctica.

Moving forward, focusing on the continued evolution of the Antarctic Treaty System in the 21st century, climate change, and ecosystem management, the participants tasked Oceanites — which, through its Antarctic Site Inventory project, has been monitoring the vastly warming Antarctic Peninsula for 22 years — to pursue:

“Distinguishing the direct and interactive effects of climate change, fishing, tourism, and national operations on ecosystems in the Antarctic Peninsula region for improved environmental management”

Ron Naveen, president/founder of Oceanites and principal investigator of the Antarctic Site Inventory, stated:

“I am honored that my colleagues and I have been tasked to pursue this important work addressing the complex issues impinging on the Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem. Most importantly, I’m looking forward, in the collaborative spirit of the Antarctic Treaty system, to working closely with my “Future Of Antarctica Forum” partners and others as this effort advances. Our commitment is to providing Antarctic Treaty Parties the best possible scientific data and information to inform accurate, fact-based decision-making.”

OOEAlong with distinguished government representatives and experts from all key Antarctic constituencies (education, tourism, science, environment, fishing), and with the unflagging support of One Ocean Expeditions, Oceanites is thrilled that the 1st FUTURE OF ANTARCTICA conference will be sailing this Sunday, February 28, from Ushuaia, Argentina, onboard the AKADEMIK IOFFE (ONE OCEAN NAVIGATOR). We return to Ushuaia on March 9.

In addition to visiting and enjoying the glories of the Antarctic Peninsula, our esteemed group of participants will be examining Antarctic governance, science, and media/education, focusing particularly on:

Where the Antarctic Treaty system is now, what’s been achieved, what still needs to be accomplished, going forward and working together, to ensure that Antarctica is conserved as the Antarctic Treaty intended?

Stay tuned for Oceanites Feed blogs, Tweets, and  Facebook posts about our FUTURE OF ANTARCTICA conference in the days ahead!

Antarctica Forever!

 

Source: Polar Conference | One Ocean Expeditions

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