Lecturer swops the icy shores of Antarctica for Duchy College
Published: 14th January 2021
An adventurous new lecturer has joined the teaching team at Duchy College following a chilly stint working in Antarctica.
Russ Craig, who lectures in Sport and Outdoor Education at the College’s Stoke Climsland campus, certainly has had a varied working life so far.
Russ started his career as an Outdoor Instructor, first working in the Lake District, then across the UK and finally in the United Arab Emirates. During this time, Russ also volunteered for the Armed Reserve Services as an infantry soldier and completed a tour of Iraq.
In the years that followed, Russ also worked for the RNLI in Dorset, leading the Flood Rescue training team and for Patterdale Mountain Rescue, as part of one the busiest rescue teams in the Lake District.
Russ puts his varied career down to “a philosophy to be inquisitive”, recognising he is always on the look-out for “new experiences and challenges to try.”
“I’ve never been afraid to move on from a job that appears safe but isn’t fulfilling my personal needs,” he explained.
“It’s difficult to start again but looking back I’ve been in some unique positions and worked with some amazing characters.”
One of Russ’ biggest career challenges came in 2015, with a job that married together his “spirit of adventure” with “a love for working at sea.”
“I was privileged to be selected to work for British Antarctic Survey as their Boating Officer on the island of South Georgia,” continued Russ.
“It’s a magical place and is sometimes described as the ‘Alps by the sea’. The island was formally home to many large whaling stations that are now all derelict, but is now best known for its incredible wildlife of albatross, penguins and seals. It was a wonderful experience working there.”
Russ returned from Antarctica and continued working at sea on a number of varied projects. These included developing Portsmouth Harbour to receive HMS Queen Elizabeth, surveying channels for Astute Class nuclear submarines, as well as training RAF and RN aircrew in sea survival and laying subsea power cables.
Having now returned to his Outdoor Education roots, lecturing at Duchy College Stoke Climsland, Russ is enjoying the challenge of developing the next generation of outdoor instructors.
“I’ll always remember the experience I received during my own university education and the positive experience that the tutors brought to the course,” Russ explained.
“It gave me a real foundation to build on in the outdoor industry and I’m excited to have my own opportunity to give that same experience back to the next generation of outdoor instructors.”
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