Antarctic Explorer visits FSM

The children in Nursery and Reception at Forres Sandle Manor School, Fordingbridge, were very excited to welcome Dr Jonathan Copley to talk about his exploration in the Antarctic.

Dr Copley is Associate Professor in Ocean Exploration & Public Engagement within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.  His  research explores colonies of animals on the ocean floor, to understand patterns of life in the deep sea that covers most of our world.  By studying marine life in “island-like” habitats such as hydrothermal vents, his work examines interactions between ecology (“who does what”), biogeography (“who lives where”), and evolution (“who is related to whom”) in the ocean depths.  In June 2013 he became the first British person to dive more than 5 km deep in the ocean, taking part in the first dive by a human-occupied vehicle to the world’s deepest known hydrothermal vents. Even more excitingly, for the children at FSM at least, he also took part in the first dives by human-occupied vehicles to 1 km deep in the Antarctic, during filming of the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 series.

He talked to the children about the animals that live in the Antarctic and how, as we learn more about them, we can help to look after them.  The children also learned how to wrap up warm for life in the Antarctic by helping to dress up Penny, the explorer bunny, in an array of layers to keep out the cold as well as having a look at the special over trousers and jacket that Dr Copley himself wore whilst in the Antarctic.

Mark Hartley, Headmaster at Forres Sandle Manor said, “I am always excited to welcome explorers into school to talk to the children and Dr Copley is certainly no exception, especially knowing how popular the Blue Planet series has been.  I look forward to welcoming him to school again soon as I know more of our children are keen to learn more from him.”