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World record breaking polar explorer Ann Daniels is an inspiration to those who hear her speak. She has led expeditions in the most hostile environments on earth, literally to the very top and bottom of the world, where strong leadership and teamwork are essential to achieve results. Described by Prince Charles as “A wonderful example of determination and true British grit”, she is one of the world’s leading female polar explorers.
In the year 2000, she walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and in 2002 walked from Canada to the geographic North Pole. In doing so she was part of the first all women’s team in the world to manhaul to both the North and South poles.
Ann first set her sights on the Polar Regions in 1995 when she was selected from over 200 applicants to participate in the 1997 McVities Penguin Polar Relay. As a mother of triplets with a banking background and no previous outdoor experience her grit, determination and positivity convinced the selectors not only to choose Ann for the team but to select her for the first and most arduous part of the journey. Team Alpha doubled the target mileage set for them and gave the expedition a fantastic start. On 27 May 1997 team Echo stepped onto the North Pole to celebrate success.
In 2001 Ann became the first British female North Pole guide. She leads groups from varying backgrounds the last degree to the North and South Poles.
Setting out in February 2009, the Catlin Arctic Survey expedition undertook a 100 day, 1000km crossing of the ice cap in temperatures as low as minus 50ºC. The team departed from Alaska, walking, skiing and, on occasions, swimming stretches of open water to reach the geographic North Pole in June. The survey captured for the first time, detailed information of the ice thickness and its snow layers, vital information for the scientific world to determine just how long the permanent ice cap will last.
The Catlin Arctic Survey 2010 was focused on the ‘other’ carbon problem of ocean change, studying the impact of increased carbon dioxide absorption by our seas. Ann’s role in the expedition was team leader of the Explorer Team who travelled 400km (not including negative drift) across the floating sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, gathering previous water samples as they travelled.
Ann tailors every speech to her audience and illustrates the importance of strong leadership, teamwork, the correct attitude, setting goals, managing change, overcoming the odds and the importance of persistence.
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