As popular travel destinations go, Antarctica isn’t exactly high on the list. But for Dr. Johannes Koch, who has been there more than 25 times in the past decade, it’s at the top.
“While Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are far away, or probably because they are far away, they are normally overlooked and most people don't know their beauty, their diversity of wildlife and their history,” says Koch, who teaches geography at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).
Koch is sharing his experiences in Antarctica and the Subantarctic islands during a special talk at KPU March 22. “A Decade of Personal Discoveries at the Bottom of the World” will feature stories of Koch’s travels to Antarctica, illustrated by breathtaking photos from his trips there over the last 10 years.
The event is a mix of education and travelogue highlighted by Koch’s obvious passion and enthusiasm for nature, photography and the wild Earth.
Koch has seen and photographed Antarctica in all its splendor, from the seals, orcas, penguins and albatross that inhabit it, to the sunsets, sunrises and icebergs that give it its surreal sense of vastness.
While time limitations won’t allow Koch to convey all he feels for this magical region of the globe, he does expect being able to convey his ideas about nature and the environment, peppered with some takeaways relative to our own natural environment here in Coastal B.C.
“I come to everything in my life from an environmental aspect,” confides Koch. “I expect my talk will be educational but also deeply personal.”
Koch identifies as an ambassador for Antarctica, which is a fairly common assessment for anyone who has had the privilege of visiting. “It’s a grandiose place that makes me feel small, but in a good way. It puts us into our place. Again, in a good way.”
“A Decade of Personal Discoveries at the Bottom of the World” takes place on Wednesday, March 22 from 4 to 5 p.m. at KPU Surrey, 12666-72nd Ave., in the Conference Centre. The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome.