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NEWS


TWO ACCOMPLISHED EXPLORERS JOIN THE TEAM


Martin Budd Dr. Paul Klemes

We are very pleased to announce that Mr. Martin Budd, son of the famed Heard Island explorer Grahame Budd (see below) and Dr. Paul Klemes, a General Practitioner (doctor) have joined the team. Both men have extensive wilderness experience, particularly in Antarctic and subAntarctic regions.
Together with Grahame Budd, these three men will make a traverse across Heard Island to document the glaciers, plant and animal life, and make collections of samples that may contain unknown species.
15 December 2014

LEGENDRY HEARD ISLAND EXPLORER JOINS TEAM




We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Grahame Budd, legendary explorer of Heard Island, will join the team, together with two companions yet to be named. Dr. Budd is one of the most experienced explorers of Heard Island, having made many research trips there over the past 50 years, including the first ascent of the volcano Big Ben in 1965. His contributions have been recognized by three topographic features on the island – Budd Peak, Budd Pass, and Budd Ridge.
Budd and his companions plan to make a glaciological and biological survey of the whole island, including the remarkable increases in fur seals and king penguins, and further retreat in the island’s glaciers. They plan to carry out an unsupported overland journey from Long Beach to Atlas Cove.
10 November 2014

EXPEDITION TEAM UPDATE


We are pleased to announce that we have more than the minimum number of team members required for the vessel charter, and also that the team is well-balanced between scientists and radio operators. This enables us to proceed with the preparations for the expedition, including acquisition of facilities and equipment, planning logistics, defining specific scientific and radio operation goals, development of software, fundraising, and other activities.
Approximately half the team will be carrying out exploratory science, searching for rare and unknown species of plants and animals. It is predicted that between 200 and 300 species live on Heard Island that are presently unknown. This comprises a significant part of the total biodiversity of this extremely isolated island, crucial for testing model predictions of the effects of global climate change.
The other half of the team will carry out a major amateur radio operation, using the callsign VKØEK. With the anticipated stay of up to 21 days on the island, we expect to log well over 100,000 contacts worldwide. Some aspects of the activity on the island will be seen in real time on the expedition website http://www.heardisland.org.
The full team, including the participants who will travel to the island, is listed here. Although participation is by invitation only, we welcome inquiries from anyone. The project is described in detail in the Project Description. Other documents are available on the expedition website. For more information, please contact the Expedition Leader: robert@schmieder.com.
10 October 2014

NEW VESSEL IS SELECTED AND EXPEDITION SCHEDULE IS ADVANCED TO NOV./DEC. 2015


Akademik Shokalskiy

During the past several months, we have made considerable progress and some signficant changes in the plan for the Heard Island Expedition. The most important change is the switch to the vessel Akademik Shokalskiy, operated by Heritage Expeditions. This switch brings numerous advantages, including:
* Departure from Fremantle, Australia, significantly more convenient to the numerous Australia team members.
* The vessel will stay with us for the duration at Heard Island, nominally 21 days. We are discussing the possiblity that the vessel will make visit to Kerguelen following the stay on Heard Island, perhaps enabling additional activities from that location.
* Due to the higher vessel speed (14 kt, 16kt max) and the lower distance (2209 nm) of the Skokalskiy, the total trip duration is reduced to 35 days, rather than 45 days previously planned.
* Calculations by N6BV and KY6R indicate that radio propagation is optimum in November, significantly better than the previously planned for January.
* Carrying out the expedition in 2015 enables us to apply for a major grant from the Explorers Club, available only for 2015.

Akademik Shokalskiy

During this period we have also increased the team roster, which currently has 28 members, more than the minimum of 25 needed for the vessel charter. The roster will be updated on this website in the relatively near future.
The budget for the entire expedition is $800k. Considering expected support, especially from the amateur radio community, we expect to be able to cap the participant expense at $18k. In addition, the team will be working on corporate in-kind donations that can reduce this to $15k.
In summary, we believe we now have all the core elements in place for the expedition, and have moved from the planning phase into the preparation phase. We will welcome your contributions of any kind, and still have spaces for a few more participants.
We sincerely thank the sponsors and donors to this point, and future support in advance.
For information, please contact the Expedition Leader.
15 September 2014

RICH KY6R MAINTAINS THE RADIO WEBSITE AND BLOG


The blog for the amateur radio operations, as well as other information about the VKØEK DXpedition can be found on the VK0EK.org site maintained by Rich KY6R. Please feel free to contribute comments on the blog.

Some of the information, e.g., sponsors, is duplicated on both sites. For detailed information about the scientific activities on Heard Island, please look at this website www.heardisland.org.


Copyright (c) 2014 Robert W. Schmieder All rights reserved. Last update: 18-Oct-2014