Photo by Carolina Sandretto.
Robert Swan and Myself at Union Glacier, Antarctica. December 2016
My name is Wendy Gediman, and I am a teacher at TASIS, The American School in England. I presently teach all subjects to a class of 10 to 11 year old children from countries around the world. I also run a Roots & Shoots Wildlife Club with children aged 6 to 14. Roots & Shoots is Dr. Jane Goodall’s program that inspires young people to make a difference and take positive action working on environmental, conservation, and humanitarian issues. I am on the advisory board of Romanian Children’s Relief, working with students spending time with abandoned babies, special needs children from infant to young adult, and Roma children. I also am an alumni, three times, of Robert Swan’s 2041, Leadership on the Edge Program, where we travel to Antarctica to learn about the need to preserve it firsthand. I am the Education Advisor to Robert Swan and 2041.
My first expedition was the EBase IAE 2008, on the ship, Ushuaia, with a group of 69 people. We began in Ushuaia, meeting initially with Anne Kershaw and Peter Malcolm, as Robert Swan and a small advance team were already in Bellingshausen, King George Island. The advance team lived for two weeks in Antarctica, using only renewable energy. We sailed and met them in Bellingshausen, packed them up, and brought them onto our ship. We then spent 11 days in Antarctica. The Ushuaia was a very basic ship, which weathered a terrific storm, but somehow got us home safely! My second expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula was IAE 2013 with about 100 people on the ship, Sea Spirit, a Quark ship. Barney Swan was on this expedition, as was Gareth Woods, who had walked to the Pole with Rob and Roger Mear back in 1985/6. I learned a lot about the early expedition. I had also learned a lot in 2008 from Peter Malcolm, who was part of the expedition logistics.
Then, in 2016 came the chance of a lifetime for me. I was part of a very small expedition team of a total of 14 people! Rob and Barney led the expedition, and we had a NASA scientist, as well as various energy specialists along. We flew into the interior of Antarctica, at Union Glacier. I finally felt the real energy of the continent, and I could almost feel the heroic explorers from over 100 years ago. Of course, I was with one of the greatest modern explorers, as well as one in the making. Robert and Barney Swan are so knowledgeable about Antarctica, and they live and breathe the goal to preserve it. Our team spent one and a half weeks testing the renewable technology that Rob and Barney will use on the SPEC (South Pole Energy Challenge) in November 2017. I had now experienced the inside and outside of this magnificent place. Antarctica is in my veins, in my heart, and a place I want to do all I can to leave as the last untouched place on earth! This leads to the work of 2041 Climate Force.
The goal of 2041 is to work for the preservation of the Antarctic, as it is the last wild continent on our planet. Robert Swan’s life passion is to engage others to understand the need to protect Antarctica and to promote a more sustainable life all over our planet. He leads people in promoting recycling, development and use of renewable energy and to live a more environmentally sustainable life in order to counter the effects of climate change. His son Barney, has followed in his father’s footsteps, and works alongside his father to make positive changes in our world. Together, they have created a challenge for all people, especially young people, to become a part of The Climate Force Challenge and work towards real solutions to move towards sustaining all life on our planet.
The South Pole Energy Challenge beginning in November 2017 and finishing in January 2018 will be the first time a walk to the Pole is taken using no fossil fuels! Kyle O’Donoghue has travelled to Antarctica numerous times with Rob, in charge of filming on expeditions. I have had the privilege to travel with Kyle twice. Martin Barnett was one of our incredible guides at Union Glacier in December 2016. His knowledge and attention to detail will be invaluable on SPEC. Rob, Barney, Kyle, and Martin will walk to the South Pole, covering 600 miles, using only renewable energy. If they can do this in the harshest environment on earth, we can do it at home.
Please follow my Blog on this website, as it will be updated regularly. This will give you up to the date progress on the South Pole Energy Challenge, as well as all of the Climate Force Challenges. Included below are some links that will give you an insight into Robert Swan, Union Glacier, and the work we do as members of 2041!
Robert Swan speaking at Nasa Ames Research Center
This is Union Glacier, the destination for our trip last December.
*Please note that all photographs have been taken by Wendy Gediman on trips to Antarctica with Robert Swan and 2041, unless credited as taken by Carolina Sandretto.