Students On Ice Antarctic Expedition 2005/06

Teaching, Mentoring, Learning

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STUDENTS ON ICE | Natural Heritage Building 1740 chemin Pink, Gatineau, QC CANADA  J9J 3N7 | 866-336-6423








Environmental education is at the core of what we do. Students on Ice Expeditions has brought together an international team of scientists, historians, artists, authors, educators and polar experts, whose experience and enthusiasm ensures that our students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the polar regions and the planet. Our staff team helps to make all SOI programs an unforgettable adventure!
Expedition Leader,
Founder & Executive Director, Students on Ice

Canadian adventurer, environmentalist and educator Geoff Green has been leading expeditions and adventures from pole to pole for the past fifteen years. Many notable organizations such as the Discovery Channel, World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian Institution enlist Geoff to lead their groups into the world’s most remote and exciting regions.

In 2005, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. Congress for his work with youth and the environment. He was also voted one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” – an annual national prize event saluting Canada’s top young leaders. In 2004, Outpost Magazine chose Geoff as one of the “Top 5 Canadian Explorers” to watch.

Geoff is the founder and Executive Director of Students on Ice Expeditions, an award-winning educational organization based in Gatineau, Québec. The program – now in its eighth year – has taken over 700 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. The goal of this unique project is to give the world’s youth a heightened understanding and respect for the planet’s global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it.

As expedition leader, Geoff is a veteran of 72 Antarctic expeditions and 27 Arctic expeditions.
Environmental Policy Advisor & Activist

A passion for politics and polar science has taken David Brock to both the most northerly and most southerly permanently inhabited communities on earth. David lives in Ottawa where he operates his business Circumpolar Consulting, which advises on public policy and intergovernmental relations. He currently is a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Western Ontario. His research examines how scientific knowledge about climate change affects government decision making in the Canadian north. This program of study is part of a larger research project with ArcticNet, one of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence. He holds degrees from Dalhousie University and the University of Saskatchewan, and has held an Action Canada Public Policy Fellowship and the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Fellowship. From 2004-2006 he served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Political Science Association. His political commentary has appeared in the Toronto Star, The Walrus, and Muskoka Today.
B.A.S. Base Commander & Polar Historian

David has spent the last 37 years in the polar regions, including 4 winters and 34 summers. He spent fifteen years with the British Antarctic Survey (B.A.S.) as a dog driver, Base Commander and Field Operations Manager.

David is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and was awarded the prestigious Polar Medal. He has also received the Fuchs medal from the British Antarctic Survey. David has participated on several Students on Ice expeditions as a polar educator.
Oceanographer & Earth Science Researcher

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eric worked as a geologist in South America and the Canadian Arctic before becoming an oceanographer. His research looks at how global ocean circulation interacts with the rest of the climate system, what this means for marine life, and how the ocean will respond to future climate change. He has lectured aboard cruises throughout the North Atlantic, and in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. He is currently a research associate at Princeton University.
Participant & Outreach Coordinator,
Students on Ice

Reina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from Carleton University where she led the women's soccer team as an award-winning varsity athlete. She has done acquisition and contract work for various high-profile exhibitions at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum and currently sits on the executive of the Canadian Nordic Society. Her combined love for the poles, passion for being outdoors, and drive to engage young people has brought her to Students on Ice.

As the SOI Outreach and Participant Coordinator, Reina's ability to smoothly coordinate trip logistics and be the primary participant liaison is instrumental in making SOI expeditions successful. She manages the day-to-day operations of our field programs and provides support for expedition staff, educators, chaperones and student participants. As part of her work, Reina travels on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. This immersion helps her understand the student and staff experience and provide support all those hoping to participate in SOI expeditions. Before and after work Reina can be found skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, running, biking or swimming in the Gatineau hills.

Glaciologist & Explorer

Recipient of two Polar Medals for his work in both Antarctica and the Arctic, Fritz is an emeritus scientist at the National Glaciology Program of the Geological Survey of Canada.

In 1968-69, Fritz was a member of the remarkable British Trans-Arctic Expedition. A four-party group that crossed Arctic Ocean sea ice from Barrow, Alaska to Svalbard, Spitsbergen via the North Pole – known as one of the greatest polar expeditions of all time.
Polar Scientist & Historian

“Scobie” Pye is a research scientist with a Masters of Science degree from the University of Tasmania, Australia. Over the past 30 years much of his life has been spent in southern latitudes working with the British Antarctic Survey, and the Australian Antarctic Division and the University of Tasmania. He has spent four winters and seven summers on the island of South Georgia, two summers on the floating ice shelf station of Halley Bay in the Weddell Sea and two winters and nine summers on Australia’s Macquarie Island. Scobie’s main scientific interests are focused on the conservation and management of Polar Regions. He has worked and traveled extensively in the northern latitudes. In 1978, Scobie was awarded the Fuchs Medal for outstanding service to the British Antarctic Survey.
Polar Issues Expert & Science Advisor Emeritus

Dr. Roots is Science Advisor Emeritus to Environment Canada. He graduated in geological engineering at the University of British Columbia, and received his PhD in geology from Princeton University. He was senior geologist in the first international scientific study of Antarctica, the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition, 1949-52: co-leader of Operation Franklin, the major study that established the petroleum potential of the Canadian arctic Islands in 1955; and leader of Operation Stikine 1956 and 1958, the first integrated geological study of the Canadian northern Cordillera. In 1958 he organized the Polar Continental Shelf Project and served as its coordinator until 1971. From 1968 he became involved in discussions of the environmental responsibilities of the Canadian government, which led to the organization of the Department of the Environment. In 1971 he was appointed Advisor, Environmental and Northern Programmes, Department of the Energy Mines and Resources, and in 1973 he became Science Advisor to the Department of the Environment, and served in that capacity until becoming Science Advisor Emeritus in 1989.

Dr. Roots has been active in a number of international and non-governmental scientific and environmental activities and researchers. He was a member of the Polar Research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences 1970-83 and subsequently on several of its technical committees. From 1979 to 1983 he was President of the International Commission on Snow and ice, served on the Science Advisory Board of the Geophysical Institute University of Alaska 1976-88 (Chairman 1980-84). He was a founder of the International Arctic Science Committee and served as its first President (1991-94) and since 1983 has been chairman of the Northern Sciences Network of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. He is author of over 250 scientific papers and published reports on Polar, environmental and global change subjects. Dr. Roots has a mountain range in Antarctic named after him. His many awards include the Gold medal from the Royal Geographical Society.
Polar Educator

New Zealander Belinda Sawyer has extensive experience planning, organizing and leading expeditions to the world’s far-flung outposts. Belinda is a certified ship’s master, dive master, and has led many expeditions to the Antarctic continent and to extreme depth sites such as the RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck. She is one of world’s deepest diving females having completed a dive to 16,500 ft. in 2005.

Belinda has spent 11 seasons in Antarctica in a wide range of capacities including guide, naturalist, lecturer, environmental officer, logistics & safety specialist. She also promotes exploration and sustainable management of the world oceans through various education institutes.
Senior Project Manager, Students on Ice

Tim Straka co-creates transformative learning experiences with students of all ages. Committed to environmental and civic education, he has taught at elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels across North America, in Central Europe, in the Arctic and Antarctica.

Timís interests range widely from philosophy, to ecopsychology, to bioregionalism, and youth empowerment. He has worked with Outward Bound Canada, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, the Kawartha Outdoor Education Centre, Ontarioís Ministry of Education and several Canadian Parliamentarians. Tim is a member of the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication, the Ontario College of Teachers and the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario.

Tim lives an active lifestyle. He enjoys skiing, paddling, swimming, biking, hucking frisbees and back-country travel. Tim earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Lesley University, and undergraduate degrees in Outdoor and Experiential Education (Queenís University) and Politics (Bishopís University).

Ian Tamblyn is a musician, playwright, producer and expedition guide. For the past several years Ian has managed to juggle these varied passions, though sometimes at the cost of some serenity in his life! Though he sees himself primarily as a songwriter, good fortune and serendipity have lead him to other fields of creative endeavour, and to far flung places on the planet including many trips to the Arctic and Antarctic. Firmly convinced that everything ties in with everything, Tamblyn’s songs reflect the places he has seen, people he has met; the places feed the music and the plays. His production skills reflect his musical experience over the course of his career. Creative diversity and interdisciplinary connections have been central to his work.

Currently Ian is producing a compilation CD of Bill Hawkins work, as well as writing a play Whaddup! for Green Thumb Theatre, Vancouver. In June of 2007 Tamblyn released Superior: Spirit and Light, the first of four CDs - the Four Coast project. Ian Tamblyn lives in Old Chelsea, Québec.
Polar Educator

Alex Taylor’s Antarctic career kicked off in 1992 when he was hired by the British Antarctic Survey as a polar guide for a glaciology project in the shadow of Mt. Vinson. A love of the continent’s incredible landscapes, wildlife, history and other-worldly experiences was born and he has been working on the continent regularly ever since.

More then 10 seasons south in Antarctica have afforded Alex the privilege of visiting many parts of the continent working in support of science projects for the British Antarctic Survey and the United States Antarctic Program. He has also provided technical and safety support for television and films down south. Most notable were the two ship-based expeditions in 1999 and 2000 to film the IMAX feature “Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure”.

Alex has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary, specializing in Outdoor Pursuits and Geography. He has climbed and traveled all over the world but the Canadian Rockies and Antarctica remain his favourite places on the planet.

Alex’s home base is in Canmore, Alberta. He has been working in the Rocky Mountain National Parks for over 23 years. His eclectic work life has always been focused on the wild outdoors and has included jobs as a wildland fire fighter, wildlife technician, weather station specialist, still photographer and videographer, to name a few. When not in Antarctica, Alex works as a backcountry project manager for Parks Canada in Lake Louise.
International Polar Year Project Assistant
& Youth Coordinator, Students on Ice

Jesse is Inuit and hails from Nunavut Territory. He is a lifelong traveler and a lover of the outdoors. The son of a Wildlife Conservation Officer and a senior government bureaucrat, he was exposed to wildlife management issues and northern governance at a young age and remains passionate about both issues to this day.

Over the years he has worked with Canadian Wildlife Service scientists in the lab and in the field, tracked the magnetic north pole, serviced and maintained medical equipment for the Baffin Regional Hospital, volunteered with the Canadian Coast Guard, served as registrar of historic sites for the Government of Nunavut and represented Canadian Inuit youth through Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the National Inuit Youth Council.

Jesse is an alumnus of the Students on Ice program and was the first Canadian Inuit to reach the Antarctic continent. His passion for preserving Inuit culture and desire to immerse himself in the most remote and wild places in the world has led to his involvement with the Arctic Council and has drawn him to such wonders as Easter Island in the South Pacific to the vast steppes of northern Mongolia. He also loves Kayaking and is learning how to build traditional Greenlandic and Baffin Island Kayaks.

Mikhail graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1984 with a degree in engineering and a specialization in creating mathematical models related to mechanical flight. He is currently doing graduate work in this field of research.

After graduating from the Aviation Institute, Mikhail began working at the Energia corporation as an engineer. The main subjects of his job have been dynamics, ballistics, and software development. His personal scientific research is connected with the psychological aspects of cosmonauts’ training for the manual control of spacecraft motion. In 1993 he was selected to begin cosmonaut training, and in 1998 he started training as a flight engineer for the Expedition-3 crew. He also served as a backup crew member for the first ISS mission. Mikhail lived and worked aboard the International Space Station as part of the Expedition 3 crew. The crew spent approximately 4 months aboard the station. They returned to Earth on the Shuttle flight delivering the Expedition 4 crew.

Mikhail was Commander of Soyuz TMA 9. He spent 215 days aboard the International Space Station I Soyuz TMA-9 as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 14. He is also the first person to drive a golf ball from space, as part of a publicity stunt for a Canadian golf company!

Marine Biologist & Whale Researcher

Dr. Ingrid Visser was born in 1966 in Wellington to Dutch immigrant parents. The family lived on a farm in Pohangina Valley, near Palmerston North, and Ingrid attended boarding school in Masterton, before they moved to the far north, where the family has lived ever since. Ingrid’s love affair with the sea began very early - the family sailed around the world on a 57 foot yacht (steel ketch), and lived on the boat for four and half years, covering 52 thousand nautical miles.

Arriving back to New Zealand, Ingrid trained at Massey University as a vet before transferring departments and completed her first degree in Zoology. She started her Masters at Massey, and then transferred to Auckland to complete the degree in Marine Biology. She then did 8 years for her PhD on Orcas (also known as killer whales) in New Zealand.

She is totally obsessed with Orcas, and has worked with the New Zealand Orcas for over ten years. The Orcas Project was founded by Ingrid in 1992, the first research project dedicated to Orcas in the South Pacific. Originally, research was carried out only in New Zealand waters, however the project is working in association with other researchers to expand into other areas. Adopt an Orca was founded in 1998 by Ingrid, the first whale or dolphin adoption program in Australasia. It was set up to facilitate educating the public about these amazing animals and to help raise funds to promote Orca research. Shortly after she founded the Antarctic Killer Whale Identification Catalogue (AKWIC). AKWIC is the first collaborative photo identification project for Orcas in Antarctic waters.

Although she won’t admit it, Dr. Visser has a variety of interests besides Orcas. She is a surf lifesaver, a dive instructor and has her captain’s ticket for working on ships. She has worked in both the Arctic and the Antarctic and most places in between.

In 2007, Ingrid’s semi-autobiographical book, “Swimming with Orca” came out to excellent reviews around the world. Although Swimming with Orca is her first book intended for a general audience, Ingrid has also helped produce a video for The Discovery Channel titled “Orca - Killers I have Known,” has written several books for the children’s market, and has published articles in scientific journals.



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