In the springtime of 2016, a fourteen person crew from Cordell Expeditions will begin a three week stay on Heard Island, to conduct scientific research. Heard Island is very near Antarctica, at 53° south latitude, 73° east longitude. The island is close to the McDonald Islands and is part of the Australian territory (even though Heard Island and Australia are thousands of miles apart). While Heard Island is uninhabited and not regularly visited, it does have an active volcano, glaciers, and animal life such as seals, penguins and other sea birds.
HDT is providing two AirBeam® shelters and two Base-X® shelters to the team for their living quarters and storage of equipment and supplies.
Dr. Robert Schmieder, the expedition leader, provided these details regarding the goals of the expedition:
- Investigate any changes in the island’s environment that have occurred since Cordell Expeditions’ last visit to there in 1997.
- Study the island plant life, animal life, and the effects that global warming has had on them.
- Install and operate a system for communications, allowing amateur radio operators to make contact with the island.
- Create real-time internet social media accessibility to the island.
In November, Dr. Schmieder and five other expedition team members visited HDT’s Buena Vista, VA offices for training on how to erect and strike the HDT shelters they will be using during the expedition. Since the completion of the training, the shelters have been packed up and shipped to Cape Town, South Africa, the central gathering point for all of the gear before the trip to the island next year.
During the training exercise, Scott Thompson, HDT Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy remarked, “HDT is very excited to supply Dr. Schmieder and his crew with our AirBeam shelters, Base-X shelters, and shelter support equipment. They are built to withstand the harsh environmental conditions that we expect Dr. Schmieder and the team will encounter during this expedition. We appreciate the effort behind the crew’s scientific mission and we look forward to the valuable feedback we will receive on the performance of HDT shelters in the sub-Antarctic environment.”