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University of Alberta

Austin Mardon web

Austin Mardon is assistant adjunct professor and the founder and director of the Antarctic Institute of Canada. He is also an author, community leader, and advocate for mental health. He graduated with a major in geography from the University of Lethbridge in 1985. The following year, at age 24, he was investigating meteorite impacts 170 km from the South Pole as a junior field member on an Antarctic meteorite recovery expedition sponsored by NASA and the National Science Federation. However, the extreme hardships of the expedition affected him mentally and physically. While he went on to earn master’s degrees in science (South Dakota State University) and education (Texas A&M University) and published a number of articles and books, his health issues persisted. At the age of 30, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, compromising his abilities. Despite this, Austin went on to earn a PhD in geography from Greenwich University, continued his remarkable publication record, including articles in both Science and Nature, was elected an International Fellow and Corresponding Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, inducted into the International Academy of Astronautics, elected into the Royal Society of Canada, and received numerous national distinctions, notably the Order of Canada.

Research projects / interests:

  • Cultural geography
  • Antarctic meteorites
  • Historical astronomy
  • Mental health

For publications visit:  Austin's Academia page

To get in touch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Areas of interest: 

  • Polar Governance
  • Tourism
  • Humanities
  • Literature
  • Antarctic Treaty System
  • History
  • Environmental Management
  • Polar Policy
  • Geopolitics
  • Human Geography
  • Music
  • Architecture
  • Anthropology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Environment
  • Values
  • Mental Health

Keywords: Antarctic meteorites, expeditions, space geography, polar science, historical geography, remote sensing technology, South Pole, exploration, historical astronomy, cultural geography, mental health, space medicine