Edinburgh student features on new British stamps

The four stamps. Mr Davies features on the top right. Picture: PA

The four stamps. Mr Davies features on the top right. Picture: PA

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A PHOTOGRAPH of a Scottish-based student working in Antarctica features in a new set of stamps.

Damon Davies, a postgraduate in geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, appears in one of four new British Antarctic Territory postage stamps.

Damon Davies. Picture: PA

Damon Davies. Picture: PA

The wintry-looking set, issued for the start of the Antarctic summer, will be on sale at British research stations in Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.

Mr Davies, 28, from London, said he was “thrilled” to feature on the 75p stamp.

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The set of four images highlights a science project known as the ice sheet stability programme, or iSTAR.

It aims to improve understanding of ice loss in the West Antarctic ice sheet, where some glaciers are losing ice at a faster rate than it is being replaced.

New knowledge about this is said to be critical for making better predictions of the response of the ocean to environmental change and about future sea levels.

Mr Davies’ photo, taken on a previous trip to the area, shows him working on a surface radar used to investigate the internal properties of ice on a glacier.

During this trip, Edinburgh researchers took part in a large-vehicle traverse over deep snow in a place where even summer temperatures can drop to -20C (-4F).

The expedition involved towing an ice-penetrating radar over 1,240 miles, capturing images of the landscape and sub-glacial material beneath ice more than one mile thick.

Mr Davies said: “I’m thrilled to be featured on one of the stamps produced for the 2014/2015 Antarctic summer.

“Being part of the iSTAR programme has been an exciting and rewarding experience for me, and it’s great that the efforts of everyone involved in this important research are being commemorated.”

He has returned to Antarctica for a second iSTAR traverse, which runs until January.

The six-year, £7.4 million programme is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

It involves researchers from Edinburgh alongside 10 other UK universities and the British Antarctic Survey.

Meanwhile, Royal Mail said it is helping its customers celebrate the forthcoming Saint Andrew’s Day by issuing a special postmark.

The postmark, saying Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, will appear on all stamped and franked mail in the UK on Saturday.

Operations director Rob Jenson said: “Saint Andrew’s Day is a global day of Scottish celebration and we’re pleased to mark the occasion in this unique way.”

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