This EARCOS provided some top notch speakers but my personal favorite was Geoff Green. Geoff is an arctic explorer and educator. He was an inspiring person in many ways. He believes passionately in what he’s doing and it shows.
Geoff started an organization called Students on Ice. As it states on their website:
STUDENTS ON ICE is an award-winning organization offering unique educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic. Our mandate is to provide students, educators and scientists from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the Earth and, in doing so, help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet.
One of the things that grabbed my attention was that Geoff said that Ernest Shackelton was one of his idols. I remember reading a book about Shackleton given to me by a friends father who was an author and avid outdoor enthusiast. The book was “Endurance” which is written by Alfred Lansing. It’s an absolutely incredible true tale of Shackelton’s voyage to Antarctica. I won’t reveal to many details if anyone decides to read the book and hasn’t heard the story.
Geoff was a compelling storyteller and speaker. He really connected with his audience and wasn’t bound by his slideshow and bounced around a bit when he saw he sparked the interest of his audience. I think what most people connected with is that here was this guy who goes into the frozen arctic on these amazing adventures time after time and at the same time he was incredibly down to earth. It seemed he was more interested in educating people about issues affecting the poles than talking about how great he was for going to Antarctica 79 times. I stuck around to ask some questions about the Students on Ice organization and noticed that he took time to answer everyone’s questions and spend quite a bit of time talking after his presentation was over. He was actually shooed out by the hotel personnel and continued to talk to people outside his presentation room.
I attended another session given by Geoff which will be the subject of another post.