Susan R. Eaton is a Calgary-based geologist, geophysicist, science journalist and extreme snorkeler. Susan has recently returned from Antarctica where she participated in the 2012 International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) led by Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South poles. Swan is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador.
The Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre (CMAGS) was one of Susan’s 2012 IAE sponsors.
The International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) 2012 was comprised of 72 people from 22 nations, and included teachers, students, journalists, engineers and industry representatives from Royal Dutch Shell, BP Wind Energy, National Instruments India, Lloyds Register, Coca-Cola, NPower and KPMG. The IAE 2012 involved the Leadership on the Edge Program, an Outward Bound-like leadership course set amidst the harsh backdrop of Antarctica. Participants studied climate change, renewable energy and global sustainability issues. Addressing these weighty global issues, participants collaborated on proactive solutions to take back to their schools, universities. communities, industry associations, companies and governments. Seventy percent of the IAE 2012 participants was female, and the group included a number of firsts: the first woman from Saudi Arabia, and the first woman from Oman, to ever visit Antarctica.
In 2010, CMAGS sponsored Susan’s participation — as a geoscientist, journalist and extreme snorkeler — in the Elysium Epic Visual Expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia. She joined 57 of the world’s most celebrated photographers, cinematographers, scientists, educators, historians, scuba divers, musicians and artists, following in Sir Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps one hundred years later. Elysium also included representatives from the National Geographic Society, the Ocean Geographic Society, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of California, Berkeley and the Australian Antarctic Division. Participants from 19 nations conducted scientific research and documented climate change and ocean change at the Bottom of the World. Susan experienced Antarctica from the unique water-air interface: while snorkeling off a gentoo penguin colony in Antarctica, she was bluff charged — not once but three times — by a 1,600-pound leopard seal, coming face-to-mask with this charismatic predator of the Southern Ocean.
During both Antarctic expeditions, Susan emphasized the key role that the disciplines of geology and geophysics play in studying climate change and ocean change in Antarctica and around the world.
On May 19, Susan will deliver a presentation entitled, “A Geoscientist in Antarctica: Following in Shackleton’s Footsteps One Hundred Years Later,” at the IMAX Theatre of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Susan R. Eaton and polar explorer Robert Swan, OBE, grace the cover of the Houston Geological Society’s May 2012 Bulletin.
You can view Susan’s 2010 and 2012 dispatches, photos and videos from Antarctica on her website
*Photo courtesy of 2041 (International Antarctic Expedition 2012)