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Rooted In Design

The idea of using graphic design as a leverage point to communicate climate change has always been something I have been interested in. Whenever I had to make a presentation for a class, for whatever reason, I always tried to make it look as good as possible. Yes, obviously if someone is going to give a presentation, then they should probably make it look good. For me though, I did this with the thought that if my professors thought the presentation looked good, then they might actually think I deserved a better grade. For a student with a less than magnificent GPA, this was my way of beating the system.

Graphic design has been a passion of mine since I was 17 years old, and have been taking on more work and trying new things every year since. When it comes to the Glacier Rescue Project, everything started with the idea that if we can make glaciers seem cool and epic, then we can help eliminate the association of climate change as a negative, hopeless issue that we should all give up on. The first thing I did when visualizing the idea of the Glacier Rescue Project was to make a logo. That was all I worked on for about a month. Nonstop. (screenshot of the ridiculous logo process is pictured as the blog cover photo). Eventually we had a design theme that looked good enough, and we had something to work with.

The idea of being an environmentalist has always been something I have tried to part away from, as well as the idea of the Glacier Rescue Project being an environmental group. There are some incredible environmental heroes and groups out there that I believe are truly saving the planet. That, however, is not what the Glacier Rescue Project is here to accomplish. Our efforts started after realizing how absolutely mind-blowingly impactful glacial melt is to the world around us. The group of three of us that initially launched GRP, (Wes, Jeremy, and myself) were all in Environmental Studies courses together at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. It was then, in combination with a few trips of my own to some glacial regions including Iceland and Patagonia, that we agreed upon how climate facts and scientific data often means very little to most people– including us. What sticks with us is something we can actually see. This opened an opportunity for us: if we can effectively use design and other forms of imagery, we just might be able to tell the story of this whole “climate change” and “glacial melt” thing going on around the globe.

Looking forward, as we grow the GRP and expand our network, we are looking to spend more time at the front line of glacial melt, in the freezing ice boxes of the planet. This is the next step for us to bring more attention to these polar regions. It all starts this November, with our newest project: Re-Freeze Antarctica. I’ll be headed to the icy continent on a 12-day trip with the 2041 ClimateForce Antarctica expedition, which will be an opportunity to learn more about Antarctica as a whole and gain skills necessary to become a better advocate for cold places. Above all, it’s going to be a wild opportunity. I can’t wait to share the ridiculous journey ahead that is actually making it all the way down south, including fundraising for the trip and keeping you all updated along the way. Stoked for what’s to come.

- Gus

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