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Jean Louis Etienne NB

Jean-Louis Etienne

Explorer, founder, Polar Pod

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

After having interned in surgery in the Midi-Pyrénées region’s hospitals, specializing in nutrition, passing a DESS specialist postgraduate diploma in Nutritional Science and Food Technology and a DESS in sports biology, he uses his medicinal skills to fulfill a dream: exploring, roaming about the world. On May 14 1986 he becomes the first man to reach the North Pole in a solo effort, pulling his own “dogsled” for 63 days.
A tireless defender of the planet, Jean-Louis Etienne lead between 1990 and 1996 several pedagogical expeditions to help discover the polar regions and understand the part they play in the Earth’s life and climate.

Member of the Academy of Technologies

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?

The Polar Pod is an inhabited ocean station dedicated to Southern Ocean study that circles Antartic. This huge ocean is still ignored, we lack of in situ measures. The Polar Pod is a vertical boat that will enables scientists to work in better conditions of comfort and security in the Furious Fifties.

LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

In polar regions.

IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?

Pushed by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and autonomous thanks to wind energy, the Polar Pod is a zero-emission boat. Building and operating costs are compatible with research budgets evolution.

Big research centers are engaged in this mission that should last three years: Ifremer, Insu, Cnrs, MIT, Caltech, ESA, Scripps, Curtin University, UPMC, Muséum National d’Histoires Naturelles, Georgia Tech….

The main fields of stud : the function of the Southern Ocean in climate balance, inventory of fauna thanks to acoustic tools and validation/calibration of satellite’s measures.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you

We do not push back our limits, we discover them.