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The first 35 years

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

ARG reflects at the start of their 35th anniversary Year - 2023

35 years ago the idea of forming a new scientific research expedition group was just that, an idea. Today the group is planning its 13th expedition to Svalbard, set to take place this summer.

During the past 35 years the ARG has had 32 members spend 245 weeks in the Arctic involving more than 20 projects researching a diversity of science from seeking meteorites on glaciers and the monitoring of radionuclides polluting the ground, to recording and clearing plastic waste from a variety of beach sites.

One of the largest projects (CAMMARG) involved the year round continuous monitoring of a surging glacier to help establish a deeper understanding of this amazing phenomenon.

Achievements of the group also include the honour of having his Grace the Duke of Rutland and British mountaineer Doug Scott CBE as its first two patrons and receiving the Rolex Award for Small Expeditions through the Royal Geographical Society.

Our recently announced and distinguished patron, Dame Joanna Lumley DBE FRGS, well known British actress and environmentalist, has said of the expedition group “ARG are doing absolutely vital work”. The ethos of the ARG is to plan and deliver high value scientific research expeditions in the Arctic, supported by donations, grants and members contributions, and that enable professional and voluntary researchers to work together.

Founder Ian Frearson FRGS commented “It has been a huge privilege to have shared time with some lovely people, in an amazing place, carrying out interesting and important research over the years. We have constantly sought to provide the opportunity for young researchers to go themselves to this fragile and hostile place, safely, whilst feeling that in doing so, perhaps they are helping to open the way to inspire continuing future research expeditions and experiences”.

The ARG is celebrating the Group’s 35th anniversary by gathering as many of the members together as possible and remembering the peaks, and troughs that have been experienced during the years. There will be some tales to tell and be told.

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