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International Polar Year

EXPEDITIONERS IN THE NEWS

Here are some of the many news items related to the expedition!



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August 14, 2009

Elise Jackson Travels to the Arctic with with Students on Ice

By Sally Gray, The Packet

Elise Jackson of Metcalfe, Ontario has tramped through the outback in Australia, climbed mountains in British Columbia hiked New Zealand and paddled through parts of Ontario and Newfoundland. But the trip she has just returned from with Students on Ice in the Canadian Arctic was her trip of a lifetime.

For more than two intense weeks Elise, and sixty other high school students from Canada and all over the world, cruised through the Canadian Arctic aboard a small icebreaker. 

Thirty enthusiastic educators soaked the students with their specialized knowledge of the Arctic, awakening them to the consequences of climate change. The trip has left Elise reeling.

“I just didn’t realize how serious it is for all of us,” she said. And nor did I think of the arctic as a homeland for people who are right now being affected by climate change.”

Elise described the inspiring talks given by educator John Streicker about scientists’ work on ice cores. By studying long cores of ice drilled out of the Arctic glaciers Streicker showed the students how they could measure the level of hydrocarbons, the bad guys of greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere over time.

For thousands of years, Streicker explained, hydrocarbons in the atmosphere remained between 180 and 280 parts per million. Then the industrial revolution happened. From that point in history to now the level of hydrocarbons has increased to 385 parts per million – too high a number to maintain a stable environment. And so we have warming temperatures, melting glaciers and disturbed wildlife. Life on planet earth is changing quickly and it appears to be related primarily to hydrocarbon emissions from our power plants, airplanes and vehicles.

Elise was one of four Ottawa area students on the trip: the others were Sophie Crump, Jennie Day and Lilianne Johanis-Bell. Elise says she has come home from the arctic inspired to live a greener lifestyle and to persuade others to make changes as well. The grade twelve Colonel By student may even switch her career plans from medicine to something related to climate change.

As they cruised into northern communities the students met open and friendly Inuit. Elise was impressed at how their life and culture are intertwined with hunting and fishing. She also saw the vastness of the land and marveled at its untouched, pristine nature, so different from our society in the south.

“The Inuit have such an affinity with the land. They are connected with nature in a way we are not. Climate change is affecting them right now.”

Two Inuit hunters were part of the Students on Ice educating team, the elder Jushua Illauq and the Arctic Games athlete Johnny Issaluk. From these men the students learned about Inuit hunting, food and games. Other educators included Canadian musician Ian Tamblyn, a geologist, glaciologist, whale biologist, historian, animal behaviourist and a Canadian artist.

The two-week, $9000 trip was punctuated with an overland hike across the Arctic Circle, a meeting with the Commissioner of Nunavut, lectures aboard ship and on site, and hands-on scientific investigations on land and in the ship’s lab.

But when there was a wildlife sighting, everything else stopped as the students stampeded to the ship’s rail to view a polar bear eating a seal on the sea ice, walrus pods, bowhead whales or spectacular icebergs. Sightings would be followed up with groups of students piling into small zodiac boats to cruise into shore have a closer look.

This is the 10th year that Students n Ice has taken students on arctic trips in summer and Antarctic trips in winter. Though the trip is costly there are many scholarships available to help meet the expenses. Check the Students on Ice website (studentsonice.com) to get information and to see videos taken on this and other trips. 

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“Life-changing” trip opens teen’s eyes to climate change


Nicole Labine, a Grade 11 PWK high school student and participant on the Students on Ice - International Polar Year Arctic Youth Expedition 2009.



by Samantha Stokell, SRJ Reporter

Slave River Journal (September 1, 2009) -- Scientists and educators are hoping to inspire youth to act on climate change with trips to areas currently affected.

Students on Ice takes groups of students on expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. By showing them areas already affected by climate change, the organizers aim to inspire hope and understanding. With 60 youth participating from every province and territory in Canada, and from around the world, the program brings a global perspective to the problem, said Nicole Labine, a Grade 11 PWK high school student.

“I got to see other people who are passionate and care about (climate change) and gain support,” Labine said. “Half the world population is under 30 and we’re going to see the extremes in our lifetime. It’s important that youth have a voice. We should have input in policies.”

Labine participated in a trip from July 28 - Aug. 13, living on a Russian icebreaker with 60 other youth and 45 scientists. To encourage discussion, the ship had no access to the Internet, television, newspapers or iPods. Being removed from technology made the experience better, she said.

“We were completely removed from society,” Labine said. “They wanted us to experience everything and talk to other people. There were kids from all over the world.”

The ship took them from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, through Auyuittuq National Park and finished in Iqaluit. Lecturers included botanists, ecologists, geologists and local Inuit. The scientists provided information backing up climate change, while the Inuit painted a picture of how their territory has changed.

“We had all points of view. Both the scientists and Inuit are saying climate change is here and happening now,” Labine said. “We need to change and work together. It’s affecting the Inuit right now, but it will affect everyone.”

Hearing the numbers on climate change overwhelmed Labine, as both shocking and depressing. For example, for the past two million years, levels of CO2 have not risen above 300 parts per million. Current measurements come in at 385 parts per million. Also, if everyone stopped using fossil fuels, it would still take 100 years for the Earth’s temperature to stop rising.

“It’s heartbreaking. You can’t stop it because it’s already started and it has to run its course,” Labine said. “This trip is really a once-in-a-lifetime trip because this area is changing and no one will have the same trip as I had.”

The students also learned how to effect change in a community, and on territorial, national and international levels. With the United Nations Climate Change conference happening in Copenhagen this December, youth who participated as Students on Ice have a chance to visit the conference and make a difference on an international scale.

In Fort Smith, Labine is thinking of starting an environmental club at school, promoting recycling and green activities such as walking or biking to school. She also plans to make a trip to the Antarctic to gain a global perspective on what’s happening with the planet.

“The same group [Students on Ice] does both poles because it is a global issue,” Labine said. “I’ll see it from both perspectives and it will help give me a true representation of what’s happening.”

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The group from the Students on Ice 2009 Arctic expedition, which lasted three weeks in late July through to early August. Former Peterborough MP Peter Adams, who volunteered with the expedition to help teach the 60 high school students about Arctic governance and global warming, is seen at the back of the group. (Photo Credit: Lee Narraway, Students on Ice)

Click here to watch Peter Adams interview with Elizabeth Bower, Peterborough Examiner Staff Writer



High School in High Arctic
Program 'fires kids up' about Arctic

by Elizabeth Bower

The Peterborough Examiner (September 1, 2009) -- He got close enough to a polar bear to see the blood on its face from eating a seal.

While on a Russian freighter, surrounded by bowhead whales, he also gave lectures and conducted workshops about climate change and Arctic governance.

And he watched in amazement earlier this summer as a group of 60 high school students, from every province and territory in the country, learned more about protecting the Arctic and expressed this passion through artwork and music.

Peter Adams, a former Peterborough MP who has been a longtime supporter of protecting the Arctic and Antarctic, explains he just returned from a three-week expedition to the North as a volunteer for Students On Ice.

Students On Ice is a Canadian organization that has operated for almost a decade and has 1,200 alumni from about 40 countries. It aims to offer students unique educational experiences to foster a deeper respect for the planet, according to its website.

“The idea behind Students On Ice is to fire these kids up so they’ll be lifelong ambassadors for the polar regions,” Adams says.

Adams says he first learned about Students On Ice after becoming MP in 1993, when Peterborough students approached him to tell him about their plans to join.

The students often fundraised, or got scholarships, to pay the roughly $9,000 cost for a three-week expedition.

They would then return and give presentations to community groups and schools about issues such as the melting of Arctic ice, which affects global warming, wildlife, people of the North and the opening up of Arctic sea routes.

Students On Ice participants also approached the then-MP to push for Canada to sign a protocol on the Antarctic Treaty.

The Madrid Protocol was to make this country responsible for any environmental damage caused in Antarctica by Canadians.

Adams says he helped the students draft petitions and then presented the petitions in the House of Commons, prompting the government to adopt the protocol in 2003.

So when Adams got a call this year to volunteer for the group, he says he didn’t hesitate.

“When concern about the Arctic is at an all-time high, we are fortunate to have a group that is carefully preparing young Canadians for their future responsibilities in the North,” he says.

In late July, the group flew to Nunavik to board a Russian freighter and then set sail across the Hudson Strait to Baffin Island, Nunavut.

Workshops were held on land, on floating ice and at sea, he says. There were hikes, lectures and entertainment.

Participants touched icebergs and watched wildlife including herds of walrus.

One group hiked eight hours to the Arctic Circle.

When visiting communities, students joined local elders with traditional singing, eating seal meat and Inuit sports.

“As you can imagine, this is an extraordinary way to gain experience of and learn about the Arctic,” Adams says.

He says the students returned home excited, passionate and well-informed.

“In terms of global warming and sovereignty, the key thing is for ordinary Canadians to be informed about the North and passionate about it…. And Students On Ice, across the country, is creating pockets of very well-informed future citizens.”

NOTES: There are several Peterborough connections to Students On Ice. Founder Geoff Green’s father, Stan, is a retired principal from the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. The group’s education program director is Tim Straka, a Crestwood Secondary School graduate whose mother is Peterborough’s Dawn Straka. Both Mary Simon, former chancellor of Trent, and James Raffan, curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum, have worked for Students On Ice.

What: Students On Ice — an organization that runs polar expeditions for high school students, and most recently university students, to learn more about climate change and protecting the environment in the Arctic and Antarctic.

When: The next expedition is slated for the Antarctic in January.

Cost: About $9,000. Many students fundraise or get scholarships.

Info: Visit www.studentsonice.com to apply for the program as well as to apply for scholarships, grants or bursaries.

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Student Taylor Verrall has the experience of a lifetime this summer, when he went on an Arctic expedition. While there, he saw ice floes, polar bears, breathtaking fjords, and experienced Northern culture.


What I did this summer: tough story to top

by Taylor Verrall


North Shore News (August 30, 2009) -- Most people my age lazed away the days of summer on Facebook or tanning at the beach.

I might have done the same but that's not my style.

I decided I wanted to push myself for the eight weeks I had at my disposal. At the beginning of the summer I decided that I would start by doing the Grouse Grind once a week. This was satisfying for me -- it gave me an adrenaline rush and I got some exercise.

But then, a few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from an organization called Students on Ice that would change my whole perspective.

Their program brings high school and first-year university students to the Arctic. Earlier in the year I had applied for a full expedition scholarship which required me to submit a lengthy application and an essay explaining my involvement with environmental campaigns. Although I didn't get the scholarship, they liked my essay and offered me a bursary to go on an 18-day expedition to Canada's Arctic.

The only catch: I had to be packed and ready to go in three days. Before I knew it I was on a plane to Ottawa for a few days of pre-Arctic briefing.

I flew to Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (the Arctic region of Quebec) and boarded a ship along with 60 other students from Canada, the U.S. and Monaco.

While there we saw ice floes, polar bears, breathtaking fjords, and had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience Northern culture.

The people on the trip were some of the most amazing folks you'll ever meet: environmentalists, professors, scientists, artists, videographers, Inuit elders, politicians (of different parties), climate change negotiators and, of course, polar explorers.

As a result of this expedition I will be attending an International Youth Conference on Climate Change (called Power Shift) in Ottawa this October. If I'm lucky I may also get the opportunity to go to COP15, the conference where countries will negotiate the successor to the Kyoto Accord.

Needless to say, I've had the best summer of my life! I can't imagine anyone having a better one -- it would be pretty hard to top.

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Seal meat: Like Surf ‘n’ turf, all within a single delicious animal

by Nicholas Hune-Brown in Arctic Adventure


The Walrus Online (August 13, 2009) -- We visited Kimmirut yesterday, a tiny community on southern Baffin Island, where we were given a warm welcome by what seemed like every one of the hamlet’s 400-odd residents. We were the first large vessel to visit this year. Kids mobbed us as we entered the harbour. An elder shared a seal that was caught that day, carving it up and dividing it in front of us. My verdict? The same as the Governor General’s: seal’s pretty great, a tender red meat with a subtle seafoody flavour. Like surf ‘n’ turf, but all within a single delicious animal. You could make a killing selling it as “Inuit Sashimi” at trendy Manhattan restaurants.

While in town I also picked up a copy of the August 7 issue of Nunatsiaq News. For the past 12 days, while aboard the Lyubov Orlova, I’ve been completely cut off from all media. I send my dispatches out into the ether via satellite and just hope for the best. As an internet junkie, it’s been kind of refreshing to get away. As a blogger – a gig that generally demands up-to-the-second comment and reaction – it’s been a little stressful. And now the Nunatsiaq News tells me that while I’ve been up in the north I’ve been missing some big news from down south? A northern junket by Stephen Harper and the entire Conservative cabinet? New info on Operation Nanook, the Canadian military exercise taking place this month in Nunavut? I had no idea. And what is this all about?

“Brig. Gen. David Millar, commander of Joint Task Force North, confirmed July 31 that one of the Operation Nanook exercises will simulate the destruction of Iqaluit’s tank farm and fuel boom by environmental activists.”

Now this is probably old news down south, and hopefully the plan’s already been adequately mocked, but, um, seriously? This is some amazingly misguided stuff! Of all the serious issues that northern communities face, Harper’s decided focus on flexing a little Canadian military muscle with exercise against tree-hugging terrorists? It would laughable if it weren’t so depressing.

Read the rest of Nick's blogs about the expedition here!

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Secretary-General, in message for international youth day, hails young people for having proven key partners in sustainable development

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on International Youth Day, to be observed on 12 August:

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day – “Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future” – is a global call to action for young men and women. Our world faces multiple interconnected crises with severe and far-reaching impacts that fall disproportionately on the young.

In 2007, for example, youth comprised 25 per cent of the world’s working age population yet accounted for 40 per cent of the unemployed.  The global economic downturn means that, in the near term, youth unemployment will continue to climb.  Unemployment rates tell only part of the story, especially for the vast majority of youth who live in developing countries.  For them, informal, insecure and low-wage employment is the norm, not the exception.

Climate change, meanwhile, continues to compromise economies and threaten tremendous upheaval, saddling young people everywhere with an unjust “ecological debt”.  This is a potentially crushing burden.  At the same time, I am encouraged by the contributions that young people have made to the debate on climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Their views and proposals can help build the momentum necessary to “seal the deal” in Copenhagen later this year.

Indeed, young people have proven themselves to be key partners in sustainable development.  They have got involved in international forums such as the Commission on Sustainable Development, and have helped their Governments and communities to formulate poverty reduction strategies, entrepreneurial schemes and many other policies and initiatives.

Young people often lead by example: practising green and healthy lifestyles, or promoting innovative uses of new technologies, such as mobile devices and online social networks.  They deserve our full commitment -- full access to education, adequate health care, employment opportunities, financial services and full participation in public life. On International Youth Day, let us renew our pledge to support young people in their development. Sustainability is the most promising path forward, and youth can lead the way.

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Les oiseaux de l'Arctique

par Students on Ice

09 août 2009, 11:37

La brume dense qui entourait les Zodiacs créait une ambiance un peu surnaturelle et mystérieuse. Au départ du navire ancré près de l’Île de Hantzsch, seul le bruit des vagues et du moteur contrastait avec la quiétude créée par l’épais brouillard.

Après quelques minutes de navigation par instruments, nous avons aperçu quelques oiseaux nous survolant. Puis, au fur et à mesure que nous continuions notre chemin, des cris d’oiseaux très aigus, au départ lointains, se sont intensifiés jusqu’à devenir très puissants. Une paroi rocheuse de l’Île à l’apparence spectrale s’est tranquillement dessinée dans la brume, nous permettant, plus nous approchions, d’observer des milliers d’oiseaux nichés sur ses reliefs, criant et virevoltant dans tous les sens. Plusieurs centaines de mouettes tridactyles et guillemots de Brünnich animaient ce mur grandiose, volaient, nageaient et plongeaient à quelques mètres seulement du zodiac.

L’Île de Hantzsch, près de l’Île de Baffin, abrite une colonie d’oiseaux de l’Arctique composée d’environ 120 000 guillemots de Brünnich et 12 000 mouettes tridactyles. On peut aussi y observer quelques macareux moines, bien que beaucoup plus rares. Ces trois sortes d’oiseaux migrateurs ne passent du temps sur l’île que pour y faire leurs nids et se reproduire. Ils passent en effet le reste de leur vie sur la mer. L’Île de Hantzsch étant située dans une région maritime où les courants marins contribuent au dynamisme de la chaîne alimentaire, ces eaux leur permettent d’avoir une diète très riche.

Les guillemots de Brünnich, mouettes tridactyles et macareux moines peuvent coexister au sein de la colonie puisque leur diète et leur façon de se nourrir sont différentes : alors que les mouettes tridactyles se nourrissent plus en surface, les guillemots de Brünnich peuvent plonger jusqu’à 200 mètres de profondeur dans les eaux glaciales de l’Arctique afin d’y trouver leur nourriture.

Read the rest of the blogs here!

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Un petit mot de Gabrielle Alix en direct de l'Arctique

Journal de bord de Gabrielle (7 août 2009)

Quelle journée aujourd’hui! Ce matin, le bateau naviguait dans des eaux très agitées. Encore une fois, les coeurs sensibles, incluant moi-même, ont dû s’étendre à attendre que les eaux se calment. En fin de matinée, les eaux se sont calmées et le bateau a dû ralentir car nous entrions dans une partie de mer englacée. Grâce à ces glaces, j’ai enfin vu mon premier ours polaire! J’étais tellement excitée de voir cet ours. L’expédition n’aurait pas été la même sans avoir vu un ours polaire. J’ai pu voir ce magnifique animal dans son habitat naturel, c’est-à-dire sur la glace de mer. Nous n’aurions pas pu souhaiter mieux que de voir un ours polaire se déplaçant sur les glaces à une centaine de mètres du bateau. J’ai même réussi à avoir de belles photos (juste pour toi, Alexandre) car j’ai eu la chance de l’observer pendant une quinzaine de minutes! De plus, ce soir, nous sommes entrés dans une baie inconnue. Nous avons passé la soirée sur la côte à faire des ateliers très intéressants, à explorer les alentours et à marcher sur des petits glaciers bordant une rivière. C’est toujours très excitant de visiter de nouveaux endroits comme cette baie; nous avons l’impression d’être les premiers à découvrir ces paysages sublimes. Tout ce que nous vivons ici depuis plus d’une semaine nous dépasse. Nous sommes tous très privilégiés d’être ici. Je crois que chaque individu devrait avoir la chance de vivre l’immensité de l’Arctique dans sa vie, car c’est une expérience qui change toute notre vision des choses. De plus, j`aimerais prendre le temps de remercier tout ceux qui m’ont aidée à réaliser mon rêve d’être ici. Merci à la ville de Baie-Comeau, au Jardin des Glaciers et la Caisse populaire Desjardins de Baie-Comeau pour leur soutient financier. Merci du fond du coeur à toute ma famille et à mes amis de m’avoir supportée depuis le début, car je ne pourrais pas être dans cet endroit extraordinaire sans eux.

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Canadian youth explore the Arctic - Unique expedition aims to inspire future leaders and ambassadors for the planet

CNW Telbec (August 4, 2009) Ottawa -- While school is out for the summer, dozens of Canadian and international youth between the ages of 14 and 17 are planning the "class-trip" of a lifetime. Starting July 31, 2009, sixty exceptional students from every Canadian province and territory - including twenty northern indigenous students - will travel through the Canadian Arctic on board the Polar Ambassador, a specially designed icebreaker as part of a unique 13-day educational adventure. The goal is for youth to gain a new perspective on Canada, its wonders, its present and future challenges and to become advocates for polar protection.

The expedition is led by Geoff Green, founder and Executive Director of the award-winning Students on Ice program. Participants will explore southern Baffin Island, Nunavut and the northern reaches of Nunavik. Joining the students on board the ship are thirty polar scientists, educators, musicians and artists.

Having access to a 'lab' provided by Mother Nature herself presents an extraordinary learning opportunity for these students. Getting on the ground training and being surrounded by experts will enable students to witness first-hand the impacts of climate change on the Arctic region and its people. They will visit remote Inuit villages to participate in cultural exchanges as well.

"This will be an opportunity for some exceptional students to explore a part of the planet that very few ever get to experience - a place that is widely recognized as the planet's early-warning system for climate change", says Geoff Green, a Canadian adventurer, environmentalist and founder of the award-winning organization. "Instilling environmental ethics and making the issues real and personal is a big part of what we hope will inspire and motivate these young leaders."

EXPEDITION DETAILS:

    - The expedition ship is fully equipped with the latest technologies enabling 'on ship' audio and video interviews with students for the duration of the expedition.

    - The students will blog daily about the expedition on a special expedition website. Photos, video and student journals will be posted daily at www.studentsonice.com/arctic2009 and are available to the media via a special FTP site.

    - A detailed itinerary of the expedition can be viewed at www.studentsonice.com/arctic2009  About Students on Ice and the Expedition

Students on Ice is an award winning non-profit organization that provides youth with ship-based educational adventures to the Arctic and Antarctica. The Students on Ice program explores how youth can be effective agents of change. The expedition represents an incredible opportunity for youth to expand their knowledge about the circumpolar world, and to gain a new global perspective of our planet, its wonders, and our sustainability challenges - present and future.

Interview Opportunities:

- Geoff Green - Expedition Leader, SOI Founder & Executive Director

- Students from every Canadian province and territory

- International Scientists and polar experts - to see the list of team members and their profiles, visit www.studentsonice.com/arctic2009/team.html

For further information: or to schedule an interview:

Chris Ralph, Students on Ice Expeditions, 1-866-336-6423, chris@studentsonice.com;

Chantal Morin, Edelman, (514) 844-6665 x 237, chantal.morin@edelman.com

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Radio Briefs

okradio (August 6, 2009) -- Students on Ice has an Aboriginal youth from Labrador traveling to the Arctic on an expedition as part of International Polar Year.

Seventeen year old Rebecca Watts from the Upper Lake Melville area was the lucky applicant to go on this expedition.

Participants are traveling around Baffin Island and Nunavut right to northern Nunavik.

75 International Students and 35 world-renowned scientists and educators will be traveling with the expedition.

Watts left for the trip on July 29th and should be back home on August 13th.

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Students on Ice depart from Kuujjuaq

More than 20 northern youth benefit from educational cruiseJonathan Epoo, president of Nunavik's Saputiit youth association, grilled up hamburgers and hotdogs for participants in the Students on Ice cruise in Kuujjuaq on July 31 before they set out on a 12-day voyage up the coast of Baffin Island. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BOB MESHER)

Jonathan Epoo, president of Nunavik's Saputiit youth association, grilled up hamburgers and hotdogs for participants in the Students on Ice cruise in Kuujjuaq on July 31 before they set out on a 12-day voyage up the coast of Baffin Island. (Photo Credit: Bob Mesher)

NUNATSIAQ NEWS (August 1, 2009) -- More than 60 youth, members of the annual Students-on-Ice cruise to the Arctic, descended on Kuujjuaq July 31 before beginning their two-week trip along the coast of Baffin Island.

Students on Ice is an organization that offers educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic.

In Kuujjuaq, the students walked around the community, with local youth as guides.

Then they returned to the Kaittitavik town hall for a BBQ of hamburgers and hotdogs, served up by Jonathan Epoo, the recently-elected president of Nunavik’s Saputiit youth association.

After introducing other local members of Saputiit to the audience, Epoo talked to them about the importance of the climate change for northern residents.

Kuujjuaq Mayor Larry Watt, Barrie Ford of the Nunavik Research Center, and Michael Gordon, Makivik Corp.’s vice-president, also welcomed the students to to Kuujjuaq and wished them well on their journey north.

Along for the trip are 65 students, aged 14 to 19, as well as a team of 45 scientists, polar experts, educators, artists, leaders, writers, innovators and environmentalists.

The team includes more than 20 northern youth, as well as student participants from Monaco, the United States and every Canadian province and territory.

The mandate of Students on Ice is to provide students, educators and scientists “with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the Earth and, in doing so, help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet.”

The group is expected to disembark at Iqaluit in mid-August following their trip along the Baffin coast.

To follow the trip, go to www.studentsonice.com/arctic2009/index.html

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R.I. teens bound for a troubled Arctic

by Donita Naylor

http://www.projo.com/photos/20090730/RI0730_arctic_kids_07-30-09_GHF7LTI.jpg









Jennifer Castro, 17, left, and Shane McNamara, 18, both of Narragansett, and Rachel Sullivan-Lord, 17, of South Kingstown, left Tuesday for a 15-day scientific expedition to the Arctic Circle, sponsored by Students on Ice.


Providence Journal
(July 30, 2009) -- If the global warnings come true and the polar ice caps melt and the ocean swallows coastal Rhode Island, the houses in Narragansett where Jennifer Castro, 17, and Shane McNamara, 18, grew up are likely to disappear.

They and Rachel Sullivan-Lord, 17, of Wakefield are three of only five students from the United States selected to join Students On Ice, an international polar expedition to the Arctic Circle.

Jennifer and Shane know each other from the Envirothon Club at Narragansett High School. They believe in recycling, composting and reducing their carbon footprint, so they carpooled to meet Rachel in South Kingstown on Tuesday evening, hours before they left.

Despite Tuesday’s heat, the three posed in some of their winter gear, then ate watermelon and talked about how their applications were due three days after they learned of the opportunity, in the last week of school.

Thanks to an anonymous donor who paid the $8,900 tuition for each, Jennifer, Shane and Rachel are part of the Canada-based program that is affiliated with an environmental group called International Polar Year.

By launching expeditions to the Arctic Circle in July-August and to Antarctica in February, Students On Ice organizers hope to build future environmental leaders and build respect for Earth.

The 2009 expedition assembling in Ottawa on Wednesday and getting oriented on Thursday consists of 65 students and 45 educators, not only scientists and environmentalists but also artists and journalists. They take a charter flight Friday to extreme northern Quebec for boarding their expedition ship, the Polar Ambassador. They will explore fjords by Zodiac inflatable, hike on ice, visit villages on Baffin Island, collect plankton, hear “throat singing” and interview Inuit elders about the effects of climate change on their way of life.

Along the way, they’ll see whaling stations, nesting areas for “penguins of the north,” a former Hudson Bay Company trading post and an area that alumni of previous expeditions are working to protect as a bowhead whale sanctuary.

They will experience daylight lasting 22½ hours, see walrus, polar bears, whales and migratory birds, collect data, and interpret their experience through music, photography, poetry, sketching, videography and journaling.

Entries from their journals will be posted daily at www.studentsonice.com/arctic2009/

On board are two other Americans, both from New York, about 60 Canadians, including 23 teens from aboriginal villages across northern Canada, and one student from Monaco.

“We selected the most keen and most passionate students,” said Niki Trudeau, Students On Ice participant coordinator. “The power of the place that we’re visiting … it’s transformative. What we strive to do is give them the tools and time to process their experience, to make sense of that.” Besides taking photos and posting entries on the expedition blog, most students will return to give presentations in their schools, organize initiatives, petition for changes and exhibit their creative works.

“We light the fire,” Trudeau said. “And then hopefully they run with it and share with others.”

Shane, who plans to study environmental engineering next year at the University of Connecticut, said on Tuesday that he wants to see first-hand what everybody is talking about.

“The poles are one of the biggest indicators of global warming,” he said.

Jennifer said she looked forward to meeting the other students, learning from the assembled experts, and “taking that into the global community.”

Rachel, who has loved orca whales all her life and hopes to see some in the wild and learn how to protect them, saw her role in the expedition as this:

“People have to know about something to want to fix it.”

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Montreal Biodôme Educator Evelyne Daigle Accompanying 75 Students on Expedition to Canadas Arctic

by Nadine Fortin

http://www.zandavisitor.com/dailynews/Image/0907/1902/R200_1aaa%20bio%20eve.JPGMontréal (July 29, 2009) -- Biodôme educator Evelyne Daigle, is getting her sea legs ready for the excursion of a lifetime as she prepares to set sail with 75 students on the Students on Ice 2009 expedition to Canada’s Arctic.

The Montréal Biodôme is one of the 16 member institutions of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC). During the International Polar Year, the ANHMC partnered with Students on Ice to present the highly successful national Polar Perspectives 2008 Speakers Series and Youth Forums.

Educators from four other members of the ANHMC – the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax and the New Brunswick Museum in Saint-John – will also be part of the expedition this year.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for five educators from our member museums," says Pauline Rafferty, ANHMC President. "These educators will be able to work on the team to engage youth in a unique, Canadian environment and bring this experience home to share with their own communities."

“This kind of immersive experience changes our perspective on nature. It’s an incredible opportunity for the educators who have taken on the mission of sharing their knowledge and passion for nature,” says Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Director of Montréal’s Nature Museums.

Prior to departure, the entire team of about 100 youth and adults will convene for the official expedition launch on July 30 at the Canadian Museum of Nature’s research and collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec.

Departing on July 31, from Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec aboard the vessel Polar Ambassador, the 2009 team will explore the northern reaches of Nunavik and southern Baffin Island, Nunavut for close to two weeks. They will return to Ottawa on August 12.

http://www.zandavisitor.com/dailynews/Image/0907/1902/R200_1aaa%20bio%20monkey.JPG“Seventy-five Canadian and international youth will have the chance to explore a part of the planet that very few ever get to experience – a place that is widely recognized as the planet’s early-warning system for climate change,” said Geoff Green, founder of Students on Ice. This award-winning organization has been taking students on educational, ship-based expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic since 2000.

The group will also include 30 world-renowned scientists, environmentalists and polar educators. Joining them for a second year in a row as a scientific advisor is Dr. Julian Starr, botanist with the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) in Ottawa.

“Once again, the Canadian Museum of Nature is pleased to contribute scientific expertise to the Students on Ice expedition to help educate and inspire youth about the Arctic,” says Joanne DiCosimo, CMN President and CEO. “Dr. Starr will help them explore the science and beauty of the Canadian North.”

To view Montreal Biodome's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to: http://www.zandavisitor.com/forumtopicdetail-717-Montréal_Biodôme

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Students on Ice

An Overview of Students on Ice

What is Students on Ice?

Students selected by Youth Science Canada as part of the Youth Polar Excursion Program will participate in a Students on Ice excursion to the Canadian Arctic.

The Students on Ice program provides youth from across Canada and around the world with ship-based educational adventures to the Arctic and Antarctica. Our mandate is to educate and inspire the next generation of polar scientists, researchers, and environmental leaders – and in doing so, help to provide them with a greater understanding and respect for the planet. We believe that the Polar Regions are the world’s greatest classrooms. They are the cornerstones of the global ecosystem and a tremendous platform for education.

Since 2000 - nearly 1,000 high school and university students from thirty countries have visited the Polar Regions with this award-winning program.

About Geoff Green – Executive Director of Students on Ice

Geoff Green is one of North America’s most passionate and inspiring speakers on the topics of Education, Environment, the Polar Regions and Adventure.

Geoff is the founder and executive director of the Canadian-based organization Students on Ice Expeditions, an award-winning educational program that has taken over 1000 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. The goal of the pioneering project is to give the world’s youth a heightened understanding and respect for our planet’s global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it.

A Canadian adventurer and educator, Geoff has been leading expeditions from pole to pole for the past decade. As an expedition leader, he is a veteran of 74 Antarctic expeditions and 30 Arctic expeditions. 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.

International Polar Year and Students on Ice

Endorsed by the IPY Joint Committee, the Students on Ice Arctic IPY Youth Expedition Series 2007-2009 represents one of the largest IPY Education and Outreach initiatives in Canada. In fact, it is one of the most ambitious Arctic expeditions for youth - ever! Our expedition goal is to raise global awareness about the impacts of climate change and other environmental issues facing the Arctic Regions today. We encourage participants to think about real and immediate concerns - about the impact their own actions are having on the world - and how they can make a difference. This is all part of leaving an International Polar Year legacy.

About the Students on Ice - IPY Arctic Youth Expedition 2009

The expedition represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for youth to expand their knowledge about the circumpolar world, and to gain a new global perspective of our planet, its wonders, and its present and future challenges. The selection of activities strive to combine opportunities to experience extraordinary wildlife encounters, visits to remote Inuit communities, archeological sites, as well as the opportunity to acquire first-hand knowledge and insight into the dynamics of climate change.
The program incorporates lectures, workshops, naturalist seminars, and small group discussion. Participants will encounter Arctic wildlife, including whales, walrus, polar bears, musk-oxen, and seabirds.

Education and Environmental Leadership

Our approach to education weaves together elements of experiential and problem-based learning. Starting with a very 'hands-on' approach, active participation and critical thinking are important elements in the SOI learning process. During the expedition, several different learning formats are used, including lectures, workshops, small-group discussions, and hands-on activities. Our education team consists of polar scientists, researchers and university professors.

Environmental Leadership

Our program explores how youth can be effective agents of change - and how their efforts contribute to positive action. Youth have an opportunity to establish sustainable livelihoods and make informed ecological-based choices early in their lives. In developing the leadership component of our programming, we facilitate ongoing group discussions on ways to get involved in youth-based environmental initiatives upon returning home.

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Teacher on Arctic climate-change trip

by Andrea Houston


Peterborough Examiner (July 27, 2009) -- A teacher with the local public school board is venturing to the Arctic to see first hand the effects of climate change during an expedition this summer.

On July 29, Colin Jagoe, 38, will connect with a group of students in Ottawa before spending two weeks touring the coasts of Baffin Island.

"I'm just thrilled. Every time I think about it, I can't believe I got picked for this," said Jagoe, who spoke toThe Examiner from his cottage in New Brunswick. "I'm very excited and can't wait to get started."

Jagoe, a teacher at East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton for about 11 years, is now the science, technology and outdoor education consultant for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board.

He was contacted about two weeks ago saying he was selected as a teacher.

Organized by the Canadian organization Students On Ice, the expedition will involve 75 international students, aged 14 to 19. The students will travel together with a team of 30 scientists, environmentalists and polar educators.

Of the students, 13 are Canadian, one from each province and territory, he said.

None of the students are from the Peterborough area.

"It's a really neat cross section of people that go on these expeditions," he said. "There are daily excursions ashore, hikes into glacier country and tours looking at wildlife."

The ship-based journey will explore southern Baffin Island, Nunavut and the northern reaches of Nunavik, learning about the science, history, geography, culture, global warming trends and the wildlife, Jagoe said.

"It's basically a cruise ship converted from a cargo ship that has been retrofitted with cabins, conference rooms, classrooms and labs," he said. "So it's an educational, floating science laboratory motel. It's pretty cool."

The Students On Ice expeditions go twice a year for two-week expeditions to the Arctic or the Antarctic.

An educational focus of this trip will be on the role of the Arctic as a cornerstone of the planet's ecosystem, he said.

"It's also about raising awareness about polar issues in general, specifically climate change because the Arctic is where the impact is the greatest," Jagoe said.

"We will also be stopping in a lot of the communities along the coast in Baffin Island to talk to the Inuit people about their experiences and how they see things changing."

Youth Science Canada, the organization organizing the Canada Wide Science Fair in 2010, is sponsoring him, covering the entire $8,500 cost of the trip.

As a fundraiser for the Canada Wide Science Fair, Jagoe said he plans to present a slideshow of his Arctic adventure in the fall, so he's packing a couple of different cameras to take along.

NOTE:Along with his cameras, Colin Jagoeis packing warm rain gear, rubber boots, hiking boots, fleece clothes to layer and a warm winter coat.

- - -

Follow the journey:

* Follow Colin Jago's journey on his blog at http://badeducation.wordpress.com/ *

NOTES: There are several Peterborough connections to Students On Ice. Founder Geoff Green’s father, Stan, is a retired principal from the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. The group’s education program director is Tim Straka, a Crestwood Secondary School graduate whose mother is Peterborough’s Dawn Straka. Both Mary Simon, former chancellor of Trent, and James Raffan, curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum, have worked for Students On Ice.

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KPR Teacher Selected For Students On Ice Expedition

Northumberland Today (July 23, 2009) -- Kawartha Pine Ridge teacher Colin Jagoe will be appreciating nature’s wonders and seeing first hand the effects of climate change during an Arctic expedition this summer with the Canadian organization Students on Ice. Beginning July 29 in Ottawa, Jagoe will spend two weeks with a group of students touring the coasts of Baffin Island.

Jagoe is currently the school board’s instructional leadership consultant for outdoor education, science and technology. He partnered with the Canadian Museum of Nature this year to create lessons and projects about the effects of climate change on the Canadian Arctic and its ecosystem using videoconferencing and web technologies. He was selected to participate in this trip, sponsored by Youth Science Canada, after applying this spring.

“I’m humbled that I was selected to participate. I will be joining amazing students who are activists, authors and artists,” says Jagoe. “This is going to be the best field trip ever!”

“We continue to be proud of the innovation and creativity displayed by our staff members. We look forward to learning more about climate change through Colin’s experiences,” says Sylvia Terpstra, Director of Education.

Jagoe has created a personal blog - http://badeducation.wordpress.com to record the experiences from his journey.

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Canadian Students and Museum Educators Arctic-Bound

Canadian Museum of Nature (July 23, 2009) Ottawa -- Five museum educators are getting their sea legs ready for the excursion of a lifetime when they set sail for the Arctic with 75 youths this summer on an expedition led by Students on Ice (SOI).

These new members of the team are museum staff who plan school programmes in five of the 16 member institutions of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC). The ANHMC and SOI offered the highly successful, national Polar Perspectives 2008 Speakers Series and Youth Forums on northern issues during the International Polar Year.

"This is a very exciting opportunity for five educators from our member museums," says Pauline Rafferty, ANHMC President. "These educators will be able to work on the team to engage youth in a unique, Canadian environment and bring this experience home to share with their own communities."

The successful applicants hail from the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Biodôme in Montreal, Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax, and New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.

A circle of people around an inukshuk that marks the Arctic Circle.

Prior to departure, the entire team of about 100 youths and adults will convene for the official expedition launch on July 30 at the Canadian Museum of Nature's research and collections building in Gatineau, Quebec.

Departing on July 31 from Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec aboard the vessel Polar Ambassador, the 2009 team will explore the northern reaches of Nunavik and southern Baffin Island, Nunavut, for close to two weeks. They will return to Ottawa on August 12.

"Seventy-five Canadian and international youths will have the chance to explore a part of the planet that very few ever get to experience—a place that is widely recognized as the planet's early-warning system for climate change," said Geoff Green, founder of Students on Ice. This award-winning organization has been taking students on educational, ship-based expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica since 2000.

The group will also include 30 world-renowned scientists, environmentalists and polar educators. Joining them for a second year in a row as a scientific advisor is Dr. Julian Starr, botanist with the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

"Once again, the Canadian Museum of Nature is pleased to contribute scientific expertise to the Students on Ice expedition help educate and inspire youth about the Arctic," says Joanne DiCosimo, museum President and CEO. "Dr. Starr will help them explore the science and beauty of the Canadian North."

For itinerary details and to follow the expedition blog, visit ww.studentsonice.com.

For more information about the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, visit www.naturalhistorymuseums.ca.

Students on Ice is an award-winning organization that provides students from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at both ends of our Earth and in doing so, helps them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's natural history and natural science museum. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through permanent and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, active scientific research, the maintenance of a 10-million-specimen collection and a comprehensive web site.

The Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada comprises 16 member institutions that include natural history museums, a zoo and an aquarium. Members share resources, expertise and experience about collections, research and educational programming.

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Student on ice

by Francis Baker

Fergus-Elora News Express (July 21, 2009) -- This time next week, Sarah Hennekens will be on her way to the Arctic.

The Centre Wellington DHS student is taking part in Students on Ice, as one of three winners of a $10,000 Brita FilterForGood Eco-Challenge Student Grant.

"It really hasn't sunk in yet that I'm going," Hennekens said last Friday. She has started doing some research - going through a reading list that includes Pierre Berton's epic history of the Northwest Passage, The Arctic Grail, and others.
And she hadn't started packing.

"I'll have to get a bit of stuff," she said - including a warm coat to deal with landings made by Zodiac from the expedition's research ship. Temperatures range between -10 and 15 C, she's been told.

When she originally applied directly to the Students on Ice program earlier this year, she missed out - only 10 students were picked.

She found out May 30, which was originally too late to enter the Brita grant program. But then she learned the deadline had been extended.

"I had one day to make a video," she said. She used short clips of herself to showcase her passion for the environment, and talk about why she wanted to go on the expedition.

The video she sent in just before the deadline got her a top-3 placing and a followup phone interview with a six-person panel that included the executive director of Students on Ice Geoff Green, and she was picked as one of three student grant winners.

"Yeah, I was nervous," she said of the interview. "But it was an honour to speak to all those people."

She'd prepared some material, but found many of the interview questions were broader in scope, like one that asked how she would get the general public to care about the Arctic.

A leader of the high school’s environmental and amnesty clubs and co-prime minister of the student council, Hennekens has run environmental fairs, spoken on sustainability and the environment, and lobbied township council for a local ban on plastic bags.

A NeighbourWoods tree steward and a member of Greenlands Centre Wellington, she's described in the grant release as a passionate eco-activist and strong environmentalist.

The expedition gets underway July 29. After a couple of days in Ottawa meeting the group of international students who’ll go on the trip, Hennekens will fly to Kuujjuaq, Nunavik to spend about two weeks on a polar research ship exploring waters around Baffin Island, including an island in Frobisher Bay, the island's east and south coastline, and north of the Arctic Circle. The expedition flies back to Ottawa Aug. 13.

Lectures, research, and shore explorations to study wildflife and Inuit culture are all part of the trip, which is intended to let students experience nature "in ways they've only dreamed of," states the Brita release.

Students will learn about climate change and environmental degradation in one of the areas environmentalists consider the "barometers" of the planet, Hennekens said.

People think the Arctic is barren, she said, but it's not. She's particularly looking forward to seeing the animal life.

"I love animal observation - I love to see different kinds of animals," she said. Many of the expedition's stops include areas known for specific wildlife, including Monumental Island off Baffin Island's west coast that's home to hundreds of walrus and polar bears.

Hennekens hopes to share her experiences with presentations at the high school and to community groups when she gets back.

And getting to see for herself what's happening to the Arctic because of climate change is another plus. "It will be a different point of view - I'll be seeing with my own eyes," she said.

She hopes the trip will generate many ideas she can continue to use to encourage local people to be more environmentally aware.

Whether global warming and climate change happens now or in the future, it's important that people start to live a sustainable lifestyle, she said.

Whether environmental damage happens now or in the next century, people should start living sustainably, she said.

"If the business economy and the environment were linked together, we would have sustainable infrastructure," she said.

People interested in following the Arctic expedition can find a blog and information on www.studentsonice.com and www.filterforgood.ca.


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July 20, 2009 -- Colin Jagoe, Youth Science Canada Chaperone from Brighton, Ontario, has been busily blogging about the upcoming expedition!

Check out the daily updates on his great
Education blog!


Students on Ice – Arctic 2009: Part 1

July 14, 2009 -- It’s been a week since I found out that I’d been selected to go on an expedition with Students On Ice this summer. There are so many things to think about and write about, but first, a little background is in order. This blog post and the ones that will follow it will be used as journal entries to document my trip.

Students on Ice is a Canadian organization that was founded by Geoff Green. They take students on educational expeditions to polar regions of the planet. The first time I really heard about SOI was about 5 years ago when Geoff came to East Northumberland Secondary School where I taught to give a presentation about the organization. There was a student from ENSS who was fund raising to attend that seasons Antarctic expedition. Geoff talked about the trips and the strength in raising awareness one student at a time by actually taking them to these spectacular corners of our planet.

Turned out that Geoff had been from the Brighton area, and was friends with a number of people that I also knew, so we ended up talking about SOI after the presentation at a local restaurant. In the intervening years I’ve attended presentations by Geoff and his partner at a few Ontario conferences such as STAO. Every time, I thought how amazing it would be to go on one of the expeditions with SOI, and I’d seriously considered applying to the program a number of times. The trips are not cheap, as one would expect from such a voyage. So I’ve always managed to talk myself out of it.

This year, as part of my new position of Instructional Leadership Consultant for our school board, I was privileged to work on a project with the Canadian Museum of Nature that consisted of creating lessons and projects that would leverage videoconferencing and web technology. The focus of this lesson was to be the effects of climate change on ice algae in the Canadian Arctic and its effects on the Arctic ecosystem. Our team did a wonderful job and the lessons will be on the MoN website in the coming months. One day in June, as we were working on finishing up the project, I received an email from another contact from the Peterborough Regional Science Fair committee that I sit on, that Youth Science Canada had extended the deadline for applying to go on this years SOI Arctic 2009 Expedition. In one of life’s wonderful twists, this opportunity arrived as we were working and thinking about the Arctic environment and the effects of climate change on the north. Turns out the YSC was sponsoring a trip for a teacher/chaperon and for 12 students from across Canada to attend the SOI trip. So I applied.

The end of the first week of my vacation, I checked my messages and there was a message from Reni Barlow the director of Youth Science Canada. I called him back and, to my astonishment, he told me that they would like me to go on this years Students On Ice expedition. After considering the offer for a heartbeat, I happily accepted!

So for the last week, I’ve been receiving and sending forms and info to the SOI office in preparation for the trip. I will need to cut short my Maritime visit for this summer to return to Ontario and be in Ottawa on July 28th for trip preparation. We fly north on the 31st (I think…) Then we board the SOI vessel for a two-week tour of the coast of Baffin Island.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting pre-trip thoughts and ideas on what the journey will mean to me as an educator and individual. Of course, post trip, there will be lots to share!

Stay tuned...

Read the rest of the blog entries at http://badeducation.wordpress.com/

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Bathurst youth to study climate change in the Arctic

by James Mallory

Click to EnlargeStudents are shown on the arctic waters during a recent expedition.

Northern Light (July 14, 2009) -- A Bathurst youth is going on an arctic expedition to learn more about climate change.

Travis Payne, 18, has been selected for an all expenses paid trip to participate in a expedition to the Arctic. The program, called Students On Ice (SOI), involves 60 students and roughly 30 chaperones from Canada, the United States, South America, Oceania, Asia and Europe, who will spend four weeks in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik sailing the Arctic waters.

"I've never seen the arctic and very few people get to go up there," said the son of Darrell and Dana Payne of Bathurst. "It's just to get to see the area, learn about it and meet people from all over the world."

The expedition, being held July 29 to Aug. 13, will explore the northern reaches of Nunavik, and the southern and eastern parts Baffin Island, Nunavut. The purpose of the trip is to provide students, educators and scientists from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities to help foster a new understanding and respect for the planet.

"We're living on a boat for two weeks, a big ice breaker, oil tanker type of boat," explained Mr. Payne, a 2009 Bathurst High School graduate. "We do day excursions using small zodiac boats and then we go onto the land and collect samples and learn about the rocks, wildlife of the region and the culture. We'll met up with some local people, the Inuit, that live there.

"Then the boat has a laboratory so there will be research done on the boat and sessions done with 30 scientists. We'll be in classes and so forth."

BHS vice-principal Shawn MacDonald recommended the SOI program to Mr. Payne. Mr. Payne applied and based on his academic standing and volunteering record, he was selected for the program on a scholarship.

"I applied through the Youth Science Foundation of Canada and I was selected. They select one per province on a scholarship for the expedition and I won the scholarship," he said noting that the trip costs roughly $9,000.

This expedition focuses on the arctic because of recent arctic warming and the consequences this has on the world. According to the SOI website, the hope of this program is to raise awareness globally about the impacts of climate change and other environmental issues facing the Arctic Regions.

"Never has there been a more critical need to expose the youth of world to what is happening in the Arctic, the "canary in the coal mine" and cornerstone of our global environment, and to inspire them to be future leaders and stewards for our planet. Inspiring our youth, empowering their voice as a vehicle for change, and helping create a needed paradigm shift in our environmental ethos is just part of what we hope to achieve," reads a statement from the SOI website.

Mr. Payne said he's been aware of climate change for a number of years and he's thrilled to be able to learn more through this trip.

"I'd like to obviously learn about the Arctic and how we're affecting it. That's the main goal of the trip to show global warming and so forth. It's one of the goals to show us how here in Canada and all over the world how global warming is affecting the people up there and the environment.

"I never imaged I would be going until I was accepted. I never thought I would get this opportunity to go this far north," he added.

Following this trip, Mr. Payne will be attending the University of New Brunswick this fall to study mechanical engineering.

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July 22, 2009

Expedition Participant Nicole Labine from Fort Smith, NWT, Canada was interviewed on CKLB Yellowknife. Click here to hear the full interview!

Stay tuned for more updates!

 
   

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