ACTIV CIRCUMPOLAR EXPEDITION

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1 ACTIV CIRCUMPOLAR EXPEDITION Mankind and Environment in the Arctic A Introduction to an epic expedition uncovering the story of mankind in the arctic Past, Present & Future Summary of a landmark expedition Draft V Att.: Expedition Participant Copenhagen

2 Table of contents. LEG I The Northeast Passage: Page 3. Primary project: Mankind and Environment in the Arctic. Page 4. Secondary project: Mammoths and Past Ecosystems in Siberia. Page 5. Secondary project: Circumpolar Permafrost Monitoring System. Page 6. Subprojects: a.) Monitoring the Air Content of Water Vapor Isotopes. b.) Oceanographic Observations of the Siberian Shelf. c.) Food culture of indigenous peoples of the Arctic. Page 7. The ship, a well proven historical logistics solution. Leg II The Northwest Passage Page 8. Primary project: Mankind and Environment in the Arctic. Secondary project: Circumpolar Permafrost Monitoring System. Subprojects: a.) Monitoring the Air Content of Water Vapor Isotopes. c.) Food culture of indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The development of the environment that facilitated life on earth. Page 9. Art in the Arctic. An expedition initiated by Dr. Frederik Paulsen. Page 11. A brief account of current financing and sponsorships. Page 13. Participants and cooperating Universities. Page 14. The narrative story -Media and communications. Page 16. A rough outline of route. 2

3 Mankind and environment in the Arctic The Activ Circumpolar Expedition is first Arctic expedition in history that is primarily dedicated to uncover the story of mankind and his environment in a circumpolar context. The expedition is addressing the basic questions of; When did mankind first inhabit the Siberian Arctic, Where did we come from and when did we first migrate to the American continent, Was there more then one migration wave, What is the origin of the circumpolar indigenous people of today, What was the climate and biodiversity like, What was the food sources and witch animals occupied the circumpolar region, What did we look like, Where did we succeed and where did we fail? The interdisciplinary project of Mankind and Environment in the northern hemisphere involves the world s first circumpolar expedition combining some the worlds leading experts in the fields of; Geogenetics, Archaeology, Palaeontology, Zoology, Biology, Geochemistry, Geology, Anthropology and Quaternary Geology. This is in every way unique, not only because of the vast interdisciplinary dimension but also because science in the recent years has brought forth new methods of accessing and analyzing data that has never been available before. There has never in history been an international expedition with an interdisciplinary attempt of such magnitude with the primary aim of uncovering the story of mankind and environment of the Arctic. The consequence of the scientific synergies related to uncovering this tale of the past and present, extends to the natural consequence of exploring our future. For more then years environment has shaped man. Now man is shaping the environment, leaving the obvious question Where will we go from here! The narrative story is clearly defined. By making the first full genome sequencing of anthropological remains that dates back 28000, 14000, 8000 and 1000 years we will answer more questions of our past then has ever been possible before. By sampling DNA from indigenous population in a circumpolar contest we will find out how indigenous people relate to their ancestors and each other. By lake coring and extracting pollen and soil DNA in a circumpolar context we will map the climate and biodiversity to a degree that has never been done before, and by our circumpolar zoology study we will uncover the past world of fauna as has 3

4 never been done before. This will enable a whole new understanding of our past history. Giants of the Arctic The Mammoth. The largest mammals on earth coexisting with mankind. The mammoth has spurred our imagination since the first encounters with shamanistic cultures more then years ago. Today many of the mysteries of the mammoth remains unanswered or at least much debated. A new development in science has revealed that much information can be extracted from the mammoth tusks. The tusks add something that is essentially unique, or at least not offered to a comparable extent by any other kind of fossil material they contain a record of conditions of life that is unparalleled in the diversity of information preserved, its temporal extent and resolution, and its relevance to understanding past ecosystems. As such the mammoth tusks not only gives us an insight into the mammoths environment but also into that of mankind. Until now, more than 99% of mammoth tusks have been lost to science because they are exported to countries where ivory is considered a luxury commodity, channeled into specialized guilds of artisans who transform it into prestige items appreciated only for their aesthetic qualities. This is a tremendous loss for scientists today, but also for future generations of researchers, because this ivory-resource is finite and exhaustible. It is the profound aim of the expedition to support the safeguarding and facilitate studies of as many fossils as possible in order to secure irreplaceable data regarding our common history as well as the history of the mammoth itself. 4

5 Permafrost, the unknown factor Approximately 25% of the landmass in the northern hemisphere lies in what is today considered the permafrost zone. Recent studies show that there is currently an ongoing de-frosting in these areas. The permafrost encapsulates an enormous amount of biological material, and as a result, a large-scale melting of the permafrost will result in vast emissions of carbon dioxide and methane gasses. On the large scale, such emissions have a potential for making a significant impact on climate and the global environment. At present, most climate data from the Arctic region are obtained from satellites, with inherent uncertainties related to this remote source. This project aims to establish a Circum-Polar Permafrost Monitoring System. Sites along the route of Activ will be chosen for installation of 50 small climate stations to measure future climate and energy balance in the region. The data-loggers will transmit via satellite for a 6-8 year period. The project will collect cores of permafrost, 3-4 m long, at regular intervals (50 sites in total, i.e. ca. 25 sites along the Northeast Passage and ca. 25 sites along the Northwest Passage) and will subsequently install temperature sensors in the uppermost part of the permafrost and simple ground-based meteorological stations to monitor temperature changes in the permafrost linked to climate changes over the following at least five years. Furthermore, samples of the uppermost part of the frozen soil will be used to evaluate potential for release of greenhouse gasses during potential thaw in the near future. Thawing of permafrost in northern Russia is considered a major issue, both because of its impact on the world s climate but also because it might be of economic 5

6 benefit to Russia due to the resulting increase in potential land for agriculture. The project has already established an agreement with leading Russian scientists through the Center of Excellence in Permafrost at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. This project has the potential to change all exiting climate models. Together with other climate oriented projects undertaken during the expedition this will significantly add to the knowledge needed to foresee the development of the Arctic climate and environment, thus the future conditions for life in the Arctic. Subprojects taking place during the expedition a.) Monitoring the Air Content of Water Vapor Isotopes A world-wide network for monitoring water vapor isotopes is being established using the state-of-the-art PICARRO laser. The aim of this network is to understand the transport of water vapor as it relates to general interpretation of climate systems, input into models, and interpretation of observations on water isotopes in the Greenland ice cores. The planned route for Activ is very unique, and the ship is well-suited for this kind measurement. b.) Oceanographic Observations of the Siberian Shelf. Watermass properties of the Arctic ocean determine poleward heat transport in the Atlantic, and economic reasons, because the anticipated melting of Arctic sea ice could open up new shipping lanes. The Siberian shelf is one of the key regions to understand and predict the behaviour of the Arctic ocean, because of the large freshwater contribution of Russian rivers and the associated strong stratification, which inhibits heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere. Unfortunately there is little data available to help us understand the dynamics over the Siberian shelf. This project could make a major contribution to the understanding of Arctic climate by simply collecting ocean temperature and salinity data throughout the expedition. Both project a & b relates directly to the understanding of past present and future environment of the Arctic. c.) Food culture of indigenous peoples of the Arctic 6

7 Until now, no one has looked carefully into food ingredients and cooking in the circumpolar context. 28,000 years of habitation of the region must have resulted in practices which help to maintain good health under extreme conditions. Food ingredients, cooking, fermentation and preservation techniques that are unique to the region, this project will try to identify some of these. The aim of the project is to gain a holistic understanding of indigenous peoples food-ways. It will collect a herbarium of edible plants and fungi to enable scientific identification as well as careful records of available fauna which could or do form part of human diet. It will identify cultural keystone species, which form a particularly important part of diets and identities for diverse populations. An Epic Expedition With A Historic Vessel Activ was originally build in 1951 as a sail and motor driven ice-class cargo vessel. Chartered by the Royal Greenland Trading Company she was working on the Greenland East-coast, as well as moving cargo between Greenland and Denmark. Activ was bought by her present owner Volkwin Marg in 1978, he re-rigged her as a topgallant schooner with accommodation for 11 passengers and 5 permanent crew. The ship is prepared and maintained for sailing in ice conditions. It is fitted with modern safety and communications equipment. For the current expedition, the ship will further be equipped with different kinds of scientific equipment for different scientific 7

8 purposes including oceanography, marine geology and marine biology. The ship will also bring several small fast boats and a small aircraft for reconnaissance purposes and for supporting land-based operations. The permanent crew will consist of five people including the captain and a chef. In 2008 and 2011 Activ and the present captain conducted substantial Arctic expeditions involving extended pack ice navigation, most of the crew of Activ has extended Arctic experience sailing in ice filled waters. Technicial Data: LOA 42m, LOD 29,6m, Beam 7,6m, 111GT, Draught 3,3m, 250hp pitch prop., Fuel capacity: ltr., equipped and prepared for the purpose of the expedition. Leg II The Northwest Passage Mankind and Enviornment in the Arctic. The primary project of Mankind and Environment in the Arctic is during leg II is largely based on continuously sampling DNA from indigenous population as well as continuously coring lakes for pollen and soil DNA to incorporate the climate and biodiversity of the past. There will be less emphasis on the archeological work as this has been explored in more detail in this region. Past findings in this region will be implemented for a full description of the primary project. Circumpolar Permafrost Monitoring System. The project continues throughout the Northwest Passage as described on page 5. Monitoring the Air Content of Water Vapor Isotopes. The project continues throughout the Northwest Passage as described on page 6. Food culture of indigenous peoples of the Arctic. The project continues throughout the Northwest Passage as described on page 6. The development that facilitated life on earth. In the region that comprises both the Northwest Passage and adjacent Greenland one finds the oldest rocks on earth as well as pre-cambium. The studies of these with emphasis on geochemistry and isotope-chemistry gives us an insight to the first life on 8

9 earth as well as the environmental changes that enabled life as we know it to unfold. This is the story of what preceded mankind, as we follow the migration routes of mankind we end with the remains of the ultimate beginning and take a peak view into what was before the era of man. Art in the Arctic A trio of artists consisting of Tal R., Daniel Richter and Peter Doig will join Activ when undertaking the Northwest Passage. As on the historic expeditions of the past the company of artists will describe the world that lies before them. Yet, as opposed to the historic expeditions of the past the artists will not be limited to the figurative descriptions that was the result of times before development of the camera. Like the scientists the artists chooses their interpretation of their findings, although less tied to standardized methods. An expedition initiated by Dr. Frederik Paulsen Mamont Foundation Several discussions had taken place concerning the possibilities of a scientific Arctic expedition with Activ, this with a focus on the possibilities of discoveries in the less explored Siberian region. As a result of this Frederik Paulsen initiated a meeting on the 29th of July 2012 in Copenhagen where Eske Willerslev, Morten Rasch and Jonas Bergsøe was summoned. At the meeting it was made clear by Frederik Paulsen that his engagement in the proposed expedition would depend on the possibilities of conducting Ground- breaking research. Emphasis was laid on the fact that the substance must be of unquestionable quality, and with as much guarantee as possible of an outcome that would ensure an international impact. -In short, a historic expedition with the potential to become a reference point in the future. It was a very exiting meeting and hence the framework for the project of Mankind and Environment came into existence. Securing a strong teamwork with Professor Vladimir Pitulko and his team as well as the later additions of Professor K. 9

10 Kjær, Professor M. Meldgaard and others enabled a visionary project of unparalleled potential. Along with this Permafrost, Mammoth and Environment projects developed with grand potential of their own, and the ability to provide a formidable synergy effect with the primary project. The participants are in a league of their own, the projects are well defined and carries with them the clear narrative story of mankind in the northern hemisphere. As opposed to many modern expeditions the substance is not fragmented efforts pointing in various directions, nor is it a piece in a puzzle but rather the redoing of the puzzle itself. It is in essence, rewriting the history of mankind. As chairman of the expedition committee, Frederik Paulsen is personally engaged with the development of the expedition as well as participating at various stages. 10

11 The Expedition will make use of Activ for the circumnavigation. Originally build as a sail and motor driven cargo-vessel for Royal Greenland Trading Company, Activ is today the last historic ice-class build sailing ship still conducting voyages in the polar seas. 11

12 A brief account of confirmed sponsorship and co financing Some of the scientific financing is estimated and may vary with regards to current applications and sampling results Sponsorship of: Marmont Explorer Foundation Ships cost price for circumpolar navigation all included for 2.5 years ,- Support for archeological work in Siberia ensuring needed material ,- Flight tickets, helicopter charter and feasibility study ,- Volkwin Marg has sponsored the use of his vessel for a 2.5 year period, with the condition that the running costs are covered (see above). If the vessel was chartered under normal conditions there would have been an added 80% to cover risks and profit. Value: ,- Scientific Co-financing: DNA Project. University of Copenhagen & Other. Fossil DNA Sampling and present DNA Sampling Salary , ,- Lake coring and soil DNA circumpolar unknown Zoology circumpolar unknown Mammoth and past ecosystems unknown Food culture of indigenous peoples of the Arctic unknown Permafrost circumpolar. CenPerm University of Copenhagen & Other. Met stations & equipment ,- Salary & PhD project ,- Monitoring the Air Content of Water Vapor Isotopes Equipment ,- Salary ,- 12

13 Oceanographic Observations of the Siberian Shelf Equipment (Mainly XBT/XCTD) ,- Salary ,- Film production Unknown Other sponsorships: Unknown Budget overview Main sponsor Mamont Foundation /Frederik Paulsen: Co-sponsor Volkwin Marg , ,- Combined scientific co-financing ,- Total budget as reported at this stage: ,- 13

14 Present cooperating universities, institutions and participants Russian Academy of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, University of Michigan, University of Stockholm, Alfred Wegener Institute, University of Fairbanks, Queens University Canada, Swiss Federal Research Institute, Aarhus University, Svalbard University, Niels Bohr Institute, Institute of Zoology St. Petersburg, Center of Ocean and Ice DK, Nordic Food Lab, Center of Permafrost DK, Centre of Geogenetics DK and Düsseldorf Art Academy, Participants: Director and Professor Eske Willerslev, Professor Vladimir Pitulko, Director and Professor Bo Elberling, Director and Professor Daniel Fisher, Director and Professor Minik Rosing, Director and Professor Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Director and Professor Morten Meldgaard, Professor Elena Pavlova, Professor Pavel Nikolsky, Professor Alexander Basilyan, Dr. Frederik Paulsen, Professor Vyatcheslav Chasnyk, Director and Professor Alexei Tikhonov, Head of Culinary Reasearch and Development at Nordic Food Lab. Benedict Reade, Assistant Professor Jacob L. Høyer, Professor Markus Jochum, Professor Vladimir Ivanov, Professor and Artist Tal R., Professor and Artist Daniel Ricther, Professor and Artist Peter Doig, 14

15 The narrative story -Media and communications The fabled Northeast & Northwest passages have been the most sought after targets in Arctic history of exploration. The numerous expeditions set forth was primarily driven by the believe that the conquering of such a passage would lead to the dominance and control of the spice trade. In 1878 the Swedish explorer Nordenskiold was the first to sail through the Northeast-passage and in 1906 Roald Aamundsen was the first to sail through the Northwest-passage. More people and ships where lost to the ice in the search for the mythical routes to the riches of the East then in any other search of route carried out by sailing ships. Activ will be the first historic ship (classic wooden tall-ship) to circumnavigate the globe by way of the Northeast and Northwest-passage. This fits neatly with the ambition to write history by retracing the history of mankind to an extend that has never been done before. We have secured the strongest scientific team for such a purpose that has ever been assembled. We have secured access to material, sites and studies of a caliber that is unparalleled, in a great many ways this is an epic expedition that will write itself into history. The narrative story is that of mankind. The past is explored by high-tech DNA, archeology and other means. In present time we visit some of the most isolated people on the earth, the Siberian shamanistic cultures that may be the last living relatives of the first people to set foot on the American continent. With climate and environmental studies we take a peek into the future. It may seem a paradox that we go smaller (the choice of ship as a logistics platform) in a time where everything goes bigger (most ship driven expeditions in the area use icebreakers with helipads). However there are sound reasons for this; the size of the scientific teams will fit on this size of vessel, our research is slow-going we do not need to move at the speeds of the ice breaker, we can due to our comparatively shallow draft work much closer to the coast and anchor much closer to the areas of interest, we can operate at a fraction of the cost of the icebreaker Where a normal expedition will spend 80-90% of the budget on logistics we can spend 80-90% of the budget on science. It is a most welcome side effect that the historic sailing ship, a smaller team of field researchers and a clear narrative story presents better communicating possibilities. It is very possible that the environment of a small slow going esthetical ship with a few expert scientists navigating their way through the ice the old fashioned way, will produce different results then that of the brute force icebreaker with an armada of scientists and 15

16 onboard laboratories. At least we are less remote from the people that we are studying and more at the mercy of the elements, as are they. The meeting with indigenous people will be much different then that of a helicopter hovering over a village prior to landing a team of orange jumpsuit clad and armed personnel. Both by ways of conduct, feel and visual display the expedition is entirely different to the vast majorities of modern expeditions. This may add to the possibilities of different results. We are also aware of the need to work with local and regional representations of indigenous peoples of the Arctic, at most times having a representative onboard and paying heed to the issues that are of importance to them. The choice of director and producer is currently under negotiations. The company that can convince the expedition committee that they will undertake the best production by; their understanding of the project, investment of human resources and financial investment will get the rights for film production. At this time joint ventures between companies with multiple products is also under consideration. Internet driven communication during the entire voyage with; Website, Facebook, regular blogs, updates, pictures and stream. Interlinked with universities, sponsors and institutions of interest. Publications will be made before, during and after the expedition. Emphasis on Science and Nature articles, but also general press, news broadcast, specialized publications and more. A grand 3volume publication, the most comprehensive story to date of Mankind and Environment in the Arctic is being planned. Exhibitions and lectures held at the conclusion of the expedition. 16

17 A Rough outline of route 17

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