Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition

In April 2022, Gilles and Nathan, two Belgians, will begin their extraordinary expedition. They take on the maddening challenge of managing a triathlon in 5 months of polar expeditions, sea kayaking and climbing in Greenland in complete autonomy.

As part of this extraordinary project, the two explorers were keen to add a scientific dimension. Thus they began a collaboration with ULB and in particular with researchers Nadine Mattielli, Sibylle Boxho and Steeve Bonneville.

©Nanok Abhiyan

I think Nathan and Giles were looking for a scientific element to their expedition. I think that’s really something we miss, having people involved in science. Nanok is a great project because it is led by two adventurers full of dynamics, and it is really a great sports but also a scientific project. Synergies are really interesting because they make it possible to reach areas that are very hard to access, which are reserved and therefore you don’t have to reach 30 on the ground. You really have to protect them. Nadine Mattielli and Steve Bonneville said.

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

What does an expedition like the Nanok project mean?

“In Greenland, we realized that there was a very dark area in terms of satellite imagery. We’ve seen it continue to expand. And we found that one of the processes that makes this region go from dark to dark is, well, algae growth. In fact, when you have a dark spot on the ice, it melts faster. This job is really huge. It is an area that is about 400 km long and about a hundred km wide. Here, we are the same size as Belgium. What interests us in the framework of Nanok is to better understand the mechanisms that drive this dark work and to see a little bit of the impact of atmospheric deposition dust. In fact, it is this dust that fuels these algae and controls their growth. Understanding the processes by which deposition affects algal growth gives us a better way to predict the evolution of these areas. » Developed by Steve Bonneville.

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

“Using the tools we’ve developed, we’ll be able to understand dust deposition processes. And dust deposition processes give us an idea of ​​atmospheric paleo-circulation. When we review the major climate changes, in fact, the study of dust particles gives us an idea of ​​where the winds and from there the climate responded to drastic climate change. ” Keep on going Steve Bonneville.

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

What are you going to achieve as part of this collaboration?

“What Nathan and Gilles are going to do is take samples of the snow that has accumulated over the years. And then we’re going to collect those samples and analyze those particles and the chemistry of those particles. In fact, we can run algorithms that allow us to determine the source of these particles. Does it come from Europe, North America or further afield? For example, we know that some of the dust from Greenland may come from the deserts of northern China and sometimes from the Sahara. » to explain Steve Bonneville

“This sampled snow, we will melt it very slowly. This will allow us to pass this melted snow over a filter and this filter is where we will collect our dust. And so, the other analysis that we will also perform on these filters is to analyze the phosphorus concentration. Phosphorus is an element that feeds algae or bacteria or other organisms in Greenland. And our goal is to know whether the nutrients are already there and whether they come through the dust. » developed Sybil Boxhoe.

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

A final word?

Today we realize that there is a greater gap between what the public understands by geology and what we actually teach or what we do there. I’m afraid that to this day, there is really a parallel between geology and the fact that it is used only to exploit mines, to search for oil. But what we actually do, in earth science, in geology, is to study and understand earth processes. And protecting it is fundamental. And this project is a really good showcase to put this more negative side of geology aside a little bit and we also understand that geology is really important and that young people have all the skills to be able to really study it. In this case and indeed enriches their ability to adapt to the environment in a more sustainable way. Nadine Mattielli concludes.

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

Nanok expedition?

The Nanok project also collaborates with the Royal Observatory of Belgium and ULg. Many scientific methods have been introduced to bring a degree of public utility to the project and, above all, to bring much-needed field experience to scientists.

For those who haven’t yet heard of this atypical project, the Nanok Expedition is a sporting achievement brought to life in Greenland. An atypical and one-of-a-kind triathlon constantly combines a crossing

600 km on skis along the Arctic Circle

Sea Kayak 1000 km

A 1km vertical climb to open a ‘big wall’ route on adventure terrain.

An ambitious, innovative and exciting project. Do you also want to participate in the campaign in some way? Individuals, companies, expert explorers or simply curious, it’s possible! For more information visit their website: https://www.nanokexpedition.be/

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

Take part in the Nanok project.

NANOK, a 5-month polar triathlon skiing, kayaking and climbing in Greenland, in service of science. Sioux Productions is preparing a documentary film that will relate the fantastic exploits. And they need you!

Movie Synopsis: Faced with desert expanses of ice sheets and icy flashes of 100 km/h winds, Gilles and Nathan, in their early thirties, became aware of the arrogance of their project. An unprecedented five-month ski, sea kayak and unaided climbing expedition through Greenland, one of the world’s most hostile corners. Throughout the trip, they collected valuable environmental data for three Belgian research centers. How did two ordinary residents of Brussels come to undertake this extraordinary project? What does it mean to be an explorer in 2022, when there are no more lands to discover but a planet to save?

Crowdfunding Link: https://fr.ulule.com/documentaire-nanok/coming-soon/

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

The Nanok project is supported by the Clyde and Bonnie Agency.

Clyde and Bonnie, aka Nicholas Hubin and Charlotte Craplet, have been helping entrepreneurs develop their projects for over 10 years. The Nanok project was another challenge that Clyde and Bonnie wanted to take on. This support takes the form of both coaching and training in digital marketing, lean methodology and growth marketing. The more effects, the better, of course…

Website: https://clydeandbonnie.be/

Instagram: @clyde.and.bonnie_adventure

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

Find all news on the Nanok campaign:

Website: https://www.nanokexpedition.be/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gillesdenisexpeditions/

https://www.instagram.com/nathan_goffart/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gillesdenisexpeditions

And follow the adventure on FreeRide DH Lace Sports+.

Website: https://www.dhnet.be/sports/omnisports/sport-extreme

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreeRideByDHLesSports

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/freeride_by_dhlessports/

Science and Adventure: ULB participates in the Nanok expedition
©Nanok Abhiyan

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