• Alex Cowan

About DR Alex Cowan, Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader

Alex has long held a fascination with the natural world and with polar regions, studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. His graduate research included work on laboratory modelling of volcanoes as well as carbon sequestration techniques for the purposes of mitigating climate change.

He has worked as a polar guide since 2011, and in addition to leading ship-based expeditions has worked in the field with the Government of South Georgia on guideline reviews. He is passionate about safe and professional guiding and sits on the board of directors of the Polar Tourism Guides Association. He is certified as a Senior Polar Guide.

Alex Cowan

Alex is interested in realising the research and data collection potential of the diverse fleet of polar tourism vessels, and is a co-founder of the Polar Citizen Science Collective, an organisation devoted to this. As part of this work, for the last five years he has spent several weeks each boreal summer collecting sea ice data in the Arctic Ocean from a nuclear-powered icebreaker, surveying the summer melt of the pack from helicopters and via direct measurements on the ice. He has visited the Geographic North Pole 12 times in the course of this work.

Alex worked for several years as a yacht master and instructor, and he is also an experienced mountaineer, having skied and climbed throughout several parts of Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Greenland and Africa; when not on a ship he can usually be found with skis or sticky rubber on his feet. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and of The Explorers Club.

Bird, Svalbard


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