Why does the Antarctic matter to all of us? Join Shackleton for Antarctica NOW, a seven-day online festival featuring leading experts on all things Antarctica: wildlife, conservation, exploration, climate change and politics.

Antarctica NOW is a seven-day online festival celebrating the extraordinary continent that has captured restless imaginations for centuries. Normally, January would be a time when thousands of people head to the Antarctic, whether for work or exploration, but COVID-19 has inevitably impacted on that. As borders close and lockdowns intensify, we invite you to come with us on a virtual journey. Through dynamic presentations and discussions, provocative writing and pioneering photography, this is a chance to explore the unique wonder and vital significance of Antarctica today.

Over a century ago, when our namesake Ernest Shackleton led three expeditions to Antarctica, exploration was about discovering new lands and breaking records. Today’s explorations in the seventh continent are more focused on fields of science, climate and conservation, all of which are playing a pivotal role in our understanding of the planet. This is why Shackleton has decided to host Antarctica NOW, to spread awareness of what’s happening in the coldest place on earth right now - and why it’s crucially important to every single one of us.

Each of the live talks will be published to the Shackleton Journal the following day, along with a bounty of articles and photography focused on the beauty, pressing issues and everyday life of Antarctica. We hope you can join us to celebrate this remarkable continent.

Monday 25th Jan @ 6PM

Klaus Dodds

A new Cold War? Why the Antarctic is on the brink of an international power struggle.

Klaus is Professor of Geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is a trustee of the Royal Geographical Society and Editor-in-Chief of Territory, Politics, Governance. His books include The Antarctic: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2012) and Border Wars (Ebury/Penguin 2021). He has visited Antarctica four times and is an Hon Fellow of British Antarctic Survey.

Tuesday 26th Jan @ 6PM

MARK DRINKWATER

Checking earth's pulse at the Poles from space: are 2020's vital signs cause for concern?

Mark heads the European Space Agency (ESA) Earth and Mission Science Division in the Earth Observation Programmes Directorate. He is responsible for scientific activities to support the development and operation of ESA’s Earth observation satellite missions. He has supported a string of successful pioneering scientific and operational missions, spanning a 34-year career working for NASA and ESA. His division supports the conception and design of future new Earth Explorer, Copernicus Sentinel, and meteorological satellite missions to deliver environmental data 24/7 around the globe.

Wednesday 27th Jan @ 6PM

Mackenzie Grieman

Ice as a time machine – what stories can glaciers and ice sheets tell us about our past?

Mackenzie received her BA in public policy analysis with an emphasis in chemistry at Pomona College in Claremont in 2009. She completed a PhD at the University of California in 2016 as part of the Saltzman/Aydin research group and worked at the American Institutes for Research in Washington, D.C. from 2017-2018. She then joined the Wolff research group at Cambridge as part of the WACSWAIN project, which involves using an Antarctic ice core to investigate the possible collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheets and its ice shelves during the last interglacial.

Thursday 28th Jan @ 6PM

Sebastian Copeland

Waking the giant – how can polar photography help bring about change?

Sebastian is a polar explorer, climate analyst and photographer. He has led expeditions across the Arctic sea, Greenland and Antarctica, covering more than 8000kms. An international speaker on the climate crisis, Sebastian has addressed audiences at the UN, at universities and museums, and many Fortune 500 companies. He is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, the American Polar Society and the International Glaciology Society. He was knighted in the National Order of Merit by French President Macron in 2019.

Friday 29th Jan @ 6PM

lizzie daly

From penguins to whales – what I learned from my close encounters with the wildlife in Antarctica

Lizzie is a wildlife biologist, broadcaster and conservation filmmaker. From Blue Planet Live Lessons to a National Geographic Live YouTube series, Lizzie has a real passion for connecting others with the natural world. Lizzie is currently studying a PhD on how we can protect and coexist alongside the African elephants in Kenya by attaching tags, and is an Academic Teaching & Outreach fellow at Swansea University with the aim to continue to bridge the gap between the general public and scientific communities. 

Saturday 30th Jan @ 6PM

Hugh Broughton

Polar architecture – what are the challenges of designing for the world’s most extreme environment?

In 2005, Hugh’s practice (Hugh Broughton Architects) won an international competition for the design of the UK’s most southerly Antarctic research station, Halley VI. The modular elevated base was completed in 2012 and is the world’s first fully relocatable polar research facility. Hugh’s practice has gone on to win a string of design competitions for remote projects and is now considered one of the world’s leading designers of research facilities in the polar regions. He has lectured worldwide and regularly sits on competition juries.

Sunday 31st Jan @ 5PM

Stephen Jones

Earth’s final frontier – what are the lessons from the past for today’s Antarctic explorers?

Steve is the Expeditions Manager in charge of expedition planning for Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions LLC (ALE). He has spent more than 10 summers working in Antarctica and for six of these he was the Field Operations Manager in charge of ALE’s operations in Antarctica. He has been involved in the planning of around 75% of all South Pole expeditions and is an expert on expedition planning, safety management and polar expeditions. As a polar guide, mountaineer and expedition leader, he has led groups to both North and South Geographic Poles.

Sunday 31st Jan @ 6PM

LOUIS RUDD MBE

Tales of the unexpected – the inside story on The Spirit of Endurance Expedition.

Louis is a record-breaking polar adventurer, expedition leader, former Royal Marine Commando and SAS soldier, with 34 years of service. In 2018 he become the first Brit to cross Antarctica solo and unassisted. He is the only person to have traversed Antarctica twice using human power alone and has reached the South Pole three times from different coastal start points. He is the Director of Expeditions at Shackleton, a member of the Explorer’s Club, a published author and accomplished public speaker.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED // The live talks will be 45 minutes each and hosted on Zoom, starting at 6pm (GMT), with a double-header on Sunday 31st starting at 5pm (GMT). We recommend downloading Zoom in advance if you haven’t already, although you can also join straight from your browser. All talks are free. Fill in the form below to receive the Zoom links direct to your inbox each day.

OVERVIEW

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