The Team

Lisa Strom (Sweden) – Guide

Lisa Strom (age: 35?) grew up in Sweden and currently lives in Longyearbyen, Norway. We first worked with Lisa in 2006 when she joined our expedition staff as North Pole guide. Along with her impressive set of skills and endless energy she brought four teams of Greenland huskies and managed to keep them all in line, an impressive feat! She has a long history of guiding people in the Arctic including crisscrossing Svalbard on various expeditions during the polar night and polar spring. In the warm months she is a naturalist aboard sailing vessels exploring the Arctic. In addition to Arctic guiding she acts as a field safety and logistics coordinator for various productions and documentaries, most frequently shooting polar bear footage (she was responsible for keeping David Attenburg safe during one of his recent visits to shoot a documentary). She has also guided in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic peninsula. In her spare time she prefers to go on personal expeditions, including a recent attempt to dogsled the entire Northwest Passage, which she had to abort a grueling three months into the expedition after sea ice conditions deteriorated.  Lisa has traveled outside the polar regions, including an expedition in Mongolia by horseback and a trip to Kilimanjaro (yes, she reached the top). She has also guided winter camping trips in the USA. Lisa is friendly, personable and fun to be around. She is very humble and sincere. She has a sense of humor and sparkle in her eye that will make long days pass a little easier.

Oskar Strom (Sweden) – Guide

Growing up on the west coast of Sweden Oskar started sailing and kayaking during the summer at an early age. The winters he spent skiing in the Swedish and Norwegian mountains. After visiting Svalbard in 2002 he decided to move to Longyearbyen, where he has been living and working since 2004. Oskar is a wonderful guide with years of experience guiding ski expeditions, as well as dogsledding, snow mobile and hiking expeditions. Apart from guiding he has worked with film/photo projects around Svalbard, South Georgia and Canada. Oskar is an avid naturalist and has worked with expedition cruise companies in this capacity in Svalbard and Greenland. When he is not working in the field, Oskar shares his enthusiasm and expertise for outdoor gear with customers as an associate at an outdoor store in Longyearbyen. During his time off Oskar enjoys his own private expeditions, both on Svalbard and abroad. Among his favorites expeditions are 35 days on 750 kilometer ski expedition over the Lake Baikal in Siberia, 75 days bicycling and kayaking 6000 kilometers from Sweden to the Black Sea and  30 days on a ski and kite trip on Svalbard . Oskar is often found sea kayaking, skiing or paragliding. He loves being in the outdoors and always brings his camera.

Bryony Balen (UK)

Bryony Balen is a 20 year old Geography student from Newcastle and Derby in England. She has been mountaineering for several years including summiting Mt Elbrus and Mont Blanc. She generally loves being outdoors and planning the next crazy thing. She will turn 21 on this expedition and, on reaching the South Pole, will have set a new British record as the youngest Brit to ski from the Hercules Inlet to the South Pole.

Dennis Woods (UK)

Following a very enjoyable bottle or two of red wine Dennis agreed to trek to The North Pole with another good friend Alan Bussey. Dennis and Alan joined with PolarExplorers in March 2008 and with the help and guidance of Annie Aggins and Rick Sweitzer spent 17 days trekking to the North Pole covering over 150 statute miles and enjoying the experience of a lifetime. Dennis is now in serious training and preparation for this South Pole trek in November 2011. He is keen to arrive at the South Pole in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scott arriving in January 1912. Once again he is looking forward to working with PolarExplorers to achieve this aim.

Robert Douglass (USA)

Bob Douglass grew up in Kentucky, attended college at Princeton University, and graduate school at the University of Wisconsin where he started cross-country skiing (what else are you going to do there in the winter if you can’t afford a snowmobile?). After a short postdoc at University College, University of London, he worked as a professor at the University of Virginia, followed by a stint at a government lab in New Mexico. Since then, Bob has worked for several hi-tech companies developing robots, sensors, and software. He currently serves as a vice president of SAIC and the director of product development for one of the divisions. An avid amateur paleontologist, he has volunteered with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a quarter century and helped find or recover the most complete Stegosaur, the most southerly T-Rex, the largest Dimetrodon, and the oldest dinosaur and grasshopper in Colorado.  In 2006 Bob joined a Polar Explorers expedition to ski across 135 miles of broken ice to reach the North Pole. He works principally in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado. He resides in Utah with his wife, Cyndi, and two wolfhounds across from the Loan Peak Wilderness.

Ronny Diz (USA)

Born in New York City, Ronny (left in picture) attended public schools and college in Queens and later attended Graduate school at City University of New York located in Manhattan. Ronny enlisted in the US Army serving in the Texas, Germany and Alaska Infantries. He’s received Federal Commission as 2nd Lieutenant of the US Army Reserves and his present rank is Lieutenant Colonel. In his 20th year of service, Ronny is a Detective with the New York City Police Department. He’s served in Manhattan and Brooklyn and has six years as Post Commander of American Legion New York Police Post 460. Ronny has traveled extensively to harsh environments during vacations and with official duties in overseas deployments to Bosnia and twice to Iraq. He has cold weather and mountain climbing experience from his travels to Norway, Spain, Alaska, Canada, Ecuador and a South Georgia Island Expedition in November 2004.

All information and photographs courtesy of Polar Explorers

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