About ExSoc

About the Exploration Society

The Exploration Society supports teams of University of Glasgow students as they explore the world on zoological, geographical and marine expeditions. The earliest record we have of an expedition is in 1920 and over the past 90 years, hundreds of students have had the chance to undertake research in the field. In the summer of 2018, expedition teams will head out to Trinidad, Tobago, Egypt, Guyana, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Iceland and Remote Scotland. Expedition teams carry out field research for 4th-year honours and masters projects, in a pursuit of publishing papers.

Matriculated students from any subject area, in any year of study, undergraduates and postgraduates, are eligible to join for an expedition to assist the research and gain experience in experimental design, research methods, data collection and data analysis, whilst out in exotic living conditions. To utilise everyone’s strengths and so that team members can learn from each other, different roles are allocated within the expedition teams, such as leaders, secretary, treasurer, socials representative, publicity officer, fundraising coordinator and scientific coordinator.

The expeditions generally last from 6-12 weeks depending on location and are funded via personal contributions of team members, plus various fundraising events and grant applications throughout the year. A high level of commitment is expected from expedition goers throughout the year to plan, fundraise and prepare the research projects, but in return going on an expedition will grant you a wildly adventurous, unforgettable summer.

The Exploration Society helps students with all aspects of organising a scientific expedition, from initial finance and fundraising, to field work and accommodation. Throughout the year the society’s committee will be organising workshops on leading, accounting, grant applications, report writing and pursuing publication. Furthermore, there will be social events such as a Big Quiz and a Ceilidh, for students from different expeditions to get to know each other better!

A Brief History of the Exploration Society

Glasgow University Exploration Society was officially founded in 1957 to “promote exploration and scientific fieldwork by members of the University”, which includes both students and staff, by sending expeditions abroad in the summer vacation. The committee consists of a President, Honorary President, Secretary and various other committee members. Sir Hector Hetherington, the University Principal at the time, was the first Honorary President. You can download a copy of the society constitution here. The first official expedition in 1957 was to the Langjökull in Iceland, and in 1958 a party returned to Iceland to survey the Vindheimajökull for the Icelandic History Museum. Since 1958 other worldwide projects have sent members to locations such as Sweden, Austria, Corsica, Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, Peru, the Himilayas, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Gambia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Guyana, Tobago and remote parts of Scotland itself. The expeditions have involved projects such as conducting wildlife studies, especially of endangered species, conservation projects, and studying the geomorphology of glaciations in Iceland. Further details and reports can be found by clicking on the Achievements link.