Canadian Explorers
Canadian Explorers

Canada's greatest explorers 2015

Ryan Harris

Photo credit: Parks Canada

Underwater archeologist

Expertise: Paleontology, archeology, Diving

By Calvin Dao

We all know this story: Ryan Harris and his team of Parks Canada underwater archeologists made a historic breakthrough in 2014 when they, with the help of experts ranging from ice analysts to Inuit historians, discovered the wreckage of HMS Erebus, one of Sir John Franklin’s lost ships, in the southern waters of Canada’s Arctic Archipelago. Harris likened the once-in-a-lifetime experience to winning the Stanley Cup, but the achievement had been many years in the making. He spent six summers on this project, surveying more than 1,200 square kilometres in search of the two elusive vessels from the failed 1845 expedition. Harris has been with Parks Canada since 1999, exploring waters across Canada on dives that include the discovery of the sunken HMS Investigator (sent in search of Franklin in 1850). Now he’s returning to his latest and greatest discovery to comb the wreckage for clues to its history.


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