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Canadian Explorers

Canada's greatest explorers 2015


John Pollack


Photo credit: Geoff Bell, 2010

Nautical surveyor

Expertise: Paleontology, archeology, Diving

By Sabrina Doyle

After nearly 50 years of leading expeditions in hard-to-reach places, John Pollack says he’s starting to look for easier projects. It’s unclear, however, whether his recent trip to Laos to map more of the gigantic Xe Bang Fai River cave qualifies as “easy.” As a GPS surveyor and researcher with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Pollack specializes in difficult conditions both underwater and underground. For instance, his skills are useful in the silty waters of the Yukon River, where he has helped lead a multi-year mission to find, study and map a collection of century-old sternwheelers that were abandoned after the Klondike Gold Rush. Easy? Not necessarily. Fascinating? Absolutely.


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