Mawson was born a Yorkshire-man; he died an Australian. He became a geologist. At the age of 21, he made an official visit to the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) located in the southwest Pacific. He published a report, The Geology of the New Hebrides which was to bring him international recognition.
Mawson was a member of Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition (1907-09). His accomplishments during the course of this expedition included being the first to climb the summit of Mount Erebus and to trek to the South Magnetic Pole (at the time it was over the land, now its off shore over the Antarctic Ocean).
Though invited, Mawson was not with Scott during the Terra Nova Expedition (1907–09). Rather, Mawson led his own expedition, The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (1911-14), to an area of the Antarctic just south of Australia. He was part of an three-man, overland research party, "The Far Eastern Party." It got itself into considerable difficulty. Two of the men died and Mawson barely made it back alive. He travelled alone over 100 miles to the Main Base. In his book, Home of the Blizzard, Mawson described his amazing experiences.
After serving during World One, Mawson returned to his academic studies in Australia. In 1929, he again went off to the Antarctic, in a joint British, Australian and New Zealand expedition which lasted to 1931. On his return he continued to teach at the University of Adelaide, retiring in 1952.
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