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UC Commerce student chosen as Blake Antarctic Ambassador

University of Canterbury Commerce student Harry Seagar is heading to Antarctica this summer after being awarded a Blake Antarctic Ambassadorship by the Sir Peter Blake Trust and Antarctica New Zealand.

The UC undergraduate heads to Antarctica on 4 February 2019 to live and work on the ice for two weeks. Harry, 21, says he feels incredibly humbled to represent the Trust and is excited to visit Antarctica. The Blake Antarctic Ambassador role will see him produce an ambitious environmental media project showcasing the scientific work carried out in the region and to give insight into day-to-day life in Antarctica.

“I can’t wait to get down there. My passion for pushing the boundaries while promoting the importance of our beautiful planet is what has driven me to pursue environmental projects like this one.”

Harry, whose BCom major is Strategy and Entrepreneurship, was selected from more than 100 applicants as part of an experiential learning programme led by Antarctica New Zealand.

Harry says promoting the unique environment is critical to gaining an understanding of how the world works and the impact humans have on it.

“Antarctica is the largest and most unique natural laboratory in the world for scientists. My project aims to promote not only this fact, but also the continent’s important past, present and future.

“Due to its connection with the rest of the planet via oceanic and atmospheric circulations, the Antarctic has a profound effect on the Earth’s climate and its future. The continent’s global significance really cannot be overstated.”

The uncertain future of Antarctica’s ice poses a serious threat to Earth if global temperatures continue to increase. In the new IPCC report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

“The importance of Antarctica is by no means limited to the pressing issue of climate change,” Harry says.

“Antarctica has a rich history, a diverse global governance model and an array of people associated with this great continent, while having a unique and challenging physical climate. I plan to explore and discuss this in my project.”

Harry describes his time at the University of Canterbury as life-changing.

“The versatility of my Commerce degree has given me a broad skillset to pursue numerous creative projects in production, creative media, environmental and social change, business and entrepreneurship. Plus, I was determined to study at a university that allowed me to remain close to the mountains.”

As part of his degree, Harry created a limited edition wine label, Pride by Cliff Edge Wines, a venture that doubled as an experiment to test social entrepreneurship theories. Harry partnered the label with two environmental charities. He also played an integral role in Team Kea’s Bird of the Year campaign victory in 2017, as well as encouraging UC campus food outlets to become more sustainable, with the introduction of takeaway wooden cutlery last year.

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