Bob Headland is a Senior Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. His principal interests involve historical geography and associated studies. Specifically, his work concerns human effects on Polar Regions - especially the smaller islands and archipelagos. The archival details and other historical records from earliest expeditions to recent events have allowed him to provide data for studies of long periods of climatic variation, glaciological and biological changes in Polar Regions.
Bob is an advisor to several expeditionary organizations, departments of government, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a member of the Institute for Historical Research of the University of London where he delivers lectures for several courses.
In 1984, he was decorated with the Polar Medal and is a member of both the Arctic Club and Antarctic Club. Bob has spent many years with Quark Expeditions, educating travelers on the history of polar exploration aboard Icebreakers in the Arctic and Antarctic. During this time he has been associated with the conservation of the historical huts and related sites in both Polar Regions.
Bob has joined these expeditions:
When did you first work in the polar regions?
"I went to Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey in 1977. I was a biologist on South Georgia. My first job in the Arctic was in 1984 with the Scott Polar Research Institute. I was a glaciological surveyor in Svalbard."
When did you join Quark's Expedition Team?
"I was a lecturer and guide on Quark's first voyage to the North Pole in 1991."
As a polar historian, if you could time travel, which expedition would you like to join, and why?
"In the Arctic, Adolf Nordenskjold's Swedish expedition aboard the ship Vega, from 1878 to 1880. That was a careful exploration of the Northeast Passage. In the Antarctic, Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-13) for exploration of much coastal areas and the introduction of radio."
Bob's Advice to Polar Travelers
"Consider where you will be on the Earth and what it was like when the earliest discoverers reached this place. What it was - and now what it is with enormous advances in technology. The theme of ancient and modern is relatively brief in either polar region. The theory one reads about - the practice one may begin to know by experience."