Expeditions

Cameron has joined and organised six expeditions, each bringing their own fundraising targets and logistical challenges. Throughout doing so, the most valuable resources have been the Geography Outdoors office at the Royal Geographical Society and the British Exploring Society.

British Exploring Himalaya Expedition 2013

 

"After leaving school, I joined an expedition to the Himalaya with the British Exploring Society. We travelled through New Delhi to the Ladakh region of the Indian Himalaya and spent five weeks in the Zara Valley area attempting mountaineering and fieldwork objectives and faced many logistical challenges along the way. Our chief leader was fantastic at bringing every expedition member into the decision-making process and, because of this, it gave me a great deal of expedition experience to take forward."

Greenland360 Expedition 2014

 

"Given this experience, when I arrived at university I had ambitions to organise my own expedition and had a growing interest in the Arctic. After meeting like-minded people at uni, we soon pulled a team together with the aim of documenting and communicating the impact of climate change in Greenland. From raising over ten thousand pounds to risk assessing and polar bear safety, it took me far out of my comfort zone. Nonetheless, we made it in the end and spent four weeks in Greenland trekking onto the ice sheet and producing a documentary film. Through this expedition, I discovered how effective the formula of merging expedition organising and environmental research with documentary filmmaking soundtrack composition was and was keen to apply this to future expeditions."

 

Glasgow University Tanzania Expedition 2015

 

"Following the success of the Greenland expedition, I was keen to put the expedition, research and filmmaking formula to use in a different environment so took on the role of co-leader on an expedition we set up through the Earth Science department at the University of Glasgow. Our aim was to travel to Tanzania and collaborate with the University of Dodoma to create a joint research team that would study the unique geological environment of the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano. We worked hard to establish good ground contacts who helped us build a logistical plan. Geological surveying work was completed around the settlement of Engare Sero and a perception study of volcano risk was conducted with local people. Also, a film was produced again along with a soundtrack strongly inspired by Tanzanian culture and music."

British Exploring Himalaya Expedition 2015

 

"With my experience in expedition leadership growing, I wanted to further develop my skills so I joined British Exploring's Trainee Leader programme. After several months of training, I went back to the Indian Himalaya with the aims of leading teams through trekking and mountaineering as well as to produce a documentary film about the expedition experience for young people. We established a basecamp at 4500m in the Zanskar region, close to the India-Pakistan border. From here we conducted fieldwork on lake sediments and led teams across the Drang Drung glacier. I also put my filmmaking experience to use and conducted a lot of filming with the young people on the expedition to capture their experiences and produce a short film that has been shown through organisations such as the Royal Geographical Society."

Ladakh Fieldwork Expedition 2016

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"For my undergraduate studies in Geogrpahy, I had to produce a dissertation based on my own research project. I really wanted to make the most of this work so planned a small scale two-person research expedition to Ladakh in the Indian Himalaya. The two objectives were to complete an interview survey about agriculture and climate change in a series of villages and to produce a short documentary film alongside it. Arriving in Ladakh, it was good to have prior knowledge of the area and I soon established contact with many organisations, NGOs and individuals in the region who could help give me the access we needed. Over four weeks we travelled around several agricultural settlements and shot several scenes of footage. Local contacts and translators made it a very successful trip and the work and film have now been released."

British Exploring Amazon Expedition 2018

 

"After spending so much time on expeditions producing films and conducting research, I wanted to gain more experience in the pastoral side of working with young people to support them in gaining all the benefits expeditions have to offer. Because of this, I joined British Exploring's 2018 expedition to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru as a Science Leader. We took over forty young people from across the UK to a remote basecamp on the edge of one of the Amazon's tributary rivers in the northeast of the country, to which we gained access by boat. There were many new challenges in the jungle environment which included spiders, humidity and the arduous task of cutting through the forest with machetes. It turned out to be an incredible experience due to the fact that the leadership team and Young Explorers were all such fantastic people."

© 2019 by Cameron James Mackay