International Polar Year

Students on Ice Expeditions has brought together an international team of scientists, artists, educators, explorers, writers, societal leaders and social innovators. The staff team's experience and enthusiasm ensures that student participants will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Arctic. These staff work closely with student participants to ensure the expedition is 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 twenty 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 interesting 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 selected 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 Chelsea, Quebec. The program - now in its tenth year - has taken over 1,200 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 75 Antarctic expeditions and 31 Arctic expeditions.
Operations Manager, 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.

Education Program Director, Students on Ice

Tim 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.

Tim’s 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, Ontario’s 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 is currently building a passive home which will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design/LEED™ for Homes Platinum Certification.

Tim earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Lesley University, and undergraduate degrees in Outdoor and Experiential Education (Queen’s University) and Politics (Bishop’s University). He has worked full-time with Students on Ice since

Participant Coordinator, Students on Ice

Niki holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics and is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa's Bachelor of Education program. Her love for the outdoors began on paddling trips with her family in Algonquin Park. It was this passion for environmental awareness and outdoor adventures that brought Niki to Students on Ice.

As the SOI Participant Coordinator, Niki'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, Niki travels on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. This immersion helps her understand the student and staff experience and provide support to all those hoping to participate in SOI expeditions.

Professor Emeritus, Trent University

Peter has degrees in Geography / Glaciology from McGill where he was a Carnegie Arctic Scholar, member of the McGill Axel Heiberg Expeditions and Director of the McGill Sub Arctic Research Laboratory. He was founding chair of Geography at Trent where he continued to conduct research on ice (notably lake and glacier ice) across the North. He has had a lifelong interest in education, research practice and governance in polar regions. As M.P. (Peterborough), 1993 to 2006, he was Chair of the Government Caucus on Post Secondary Education and Research (member of its Arctic Caucus) and Canada’s representative to the Parliamentarians of the Arctic. He played a significant role in Canada’s signing of the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. He is a Member of the Privy Council of Canada. Samples of Peter’s polar-related publications ( some co-authored) are: Research, information systems and the North; Canada and polar science; The University of the Arctic and Canada; Canada, the Antarctic and the Madrid Protocol; Trent, McGill and the North a story of Canada’s growth a sovereign polar nation; The roles of snow, lake ice and lake water in the distribution of major ions in the cover of a lake; A small glacier as an index of regional mass balance: Baby Glacier, Axel Heiberg Island; Mass balance of small glaciers other than ice sheets and Remote sensing resources for monitoring glacier fluctuations.

Department of Health & Social Services,
Qikiqtani General Hospital

Melissa is a family physician who has worked in Nunavut for the past 5 years. She enjoys the diversity of practice, the people and the land in this region. She has lived in Iqaluit during this time and has visited all the communities in Baffin region. Before working in Nunavut she worked in Moose Factory and Sioux Lookout in Ontario and Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Melissa did her medical training at the University of Western Ontario in London and the University of Toronto. She is originally from Southern Ontario. She enjoys staying active and loves the landscape of the Arctic.

Jolly is dedicated to keeping his culture strong through artwork. Much of the strength of the print tradition thriving in his home community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut Territory, can be attributed to Jolly's talent, enthusiasm and generosity.

Jolly’s work in stencil, lino prints and etching is cherished by collectors around the globe. He has also become known for his woodcuts, silkscreens, watercolours, sculptures, jewellery and filmwork.

Jolly regularly tours the south, promoting the release of the Annual Collection of Pangnirtung prints. His work can also be found in 22 Northern Image Galleries across Canada.

In addition to interpreting original drawings from the community archives, Jolly creates his own imagery. Animals and spirit creatures are recurring motives in his work. He hopes that through his work people will learn more about Inuit culture, its traditions and the art of printmaking.

Director, APECS

Jenny has been interested in streams ever since she was a child on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Her training includes a B.S. in Water Chemistry from the University of WI - Stevens Point, M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, a Ph.D. also in Civil Engineering with an environmental emphasis from the University of Colorado, and postdoctoral training in geosciences at Princeton University. During her training, she has spent 3 summer seasons in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica and has a deep appreciation and interest in the Polar Regions. Jenny began working with the International Polar Year (IPY) in the summer of 2005. While working as an Assistant Professor in Biological Science, she became the co-chair of the IPY Tertiary Education Committee and the founding Director for the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), one of the major legacy programs of the IPY. APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, new faculty and educators with interests in the polar regions and the cryosphere. This organization allows young researchers to combine their interests in interdisciplinary polar science with interests in education and outreach and professional development activities. She began serving as the Director of APECS in 2007, when the Directorate was hosted at the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska – Fairbanks, where she is a visiting scientist. The University of Tromsø, and the Norwegian Research Council are now hosting the APECS Directorate Office, so Jenny is happy to be living in Tromsø, the “Paris of the North”. One of Jenny's personal goals is to make sure everyone she meets knows that polar bears don't eat penguins - as they live in different polar regions.

Acting Head, Polar Program, UNEP/GRID-Arendal

John's academic background is in journalism, communications and political economy. He has a Master's Degree in Northern and Native Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His love of the north began when he set up a tent one summer on the bank of the Yukon River. After finishing his undergraduate programme, he traveled and then wound up in Whitehorse working as a journalist where he met his wife, Leslie Cole. Two of his three daughters were born in the Yukon. After working with CBC Radio in the Yukon, John was Cabinet Communications Advisor to Tony Penikett's government. Now living in Ottawa, he has been a policy analyst for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, government relations manager for the Nunavut Planning Commission, and Executive Director of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC). From 2002-05 he was Executive Secretary of the Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is currently acting manager of the Polar Centre at GRID-Arendal, a Norwegian foundation which supports the work of the United Nations Environment Programme.  In the course of his work John has travelled extensively in the circumpolar world and to many countries to talk about the importance of the Arctic. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in journalism, public administration and geography at Yukon College in Whitehorse, Carleton University and the University of Trier in the beautiful Mosel Valley in Germany.

Biologist & Environmental Educator,
Biodôme de Montréal

Éducatrice scientifique au Biodôme de Montréal depuis 1992 où elle développe des présentations multimédia pour le grand public sur différents thèmes environnementaux. Coordonnatrice du Forum Jeunesse Perspectives polaires pour l'Année Polaire Internationale au Biodôme de Montréal. Participation à divers films et travaux de recherche sur les baleines dans le Saint-Laurent et à Hawaï. Auteure de deux livres documentaires jeunesse aux éditions Les 400 coups et Tundra Books : Tant qu'il y aura des baleines... et Les saisons des manchots.

Directrice d'une collection de livres documentaires jeunesse pour la maison d'édition Les 400 coups, Montréal. Accompagnatrice pour Students on Ice en Antarctique en 2003, en Arctique en 2005 et aux îles Falklands et Géorgie du sud en 2007. Divers voyages en Afrique, Asie, Amérique latine et Europe.
Migratory Birds Conservation Biologist

Garry has been working with the Canadian Wildlife Service for nineteen years in the fields of wildlife toxicology and the conservation of migratory birds. During the course of his career he has participated in field research in many parts of Canada with the majority taking place at various seabird colonies in the Arctic. Included in that work was research leading to a Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa focused on understanding population characteristics of cliff dwelling seabirds.

Currently occupying a desk-based job, Garry is responsible for managing national programs for seabirds and shorebirds as well as coordinating international conservation efforts for all migratory birds from Canada. He is on the board of directors of the international Waterbird Society as well as the community based Action Chelsea for the Respect of the Environment.

Garry has also volunteered as a science teacher at rural school in Malawi and worked for an adventure travel company guiding white water canoe trips in the Northwest Territories, hiking trips in Nunavut and currently participates in Ironman distance triathlons.

Senior Officer, Species, WWF-Canada

Pete Ewins was born in Worksop, England and completed his Doctorate in marine ornithology at University of Oxford in 1986. After working for the Shetland Islands for the UK Government's Nature Conservancy Council in 1990 he moved to Canada and worked until 1986 on the Great Lakes wildlife toxicology program for the federal government;s Canadian Wildlife Service, documenting levels and impacts of pollutants on wildlife at the top of the aquatic foodwebs. He joined WWF-Canada as Director of Canada's Endangered Species Program in 1996 and then directed WWF Arctic conservation work from 2000-2006, focusing heavily on shifting the industrial development paradigm to one that provides adequately for conservation of intact ecosystems, and ecological and cultural diversity, while the opportunity still remains.  Pete now leads WWF’s conservation work on Arctic species (such as polar bear, arctic whales, caribou and migratory birds) at this time of unprecedented change in these ecosystems.

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 has worked as a research associate at Princeton University and is currently Assistant Professor, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, McGill University.

Arctic Biologist & Historian,
Documentary Filmmaker

An arctic biologist and historian, David Gray has studied birds and mammals in Canada’s High Arctic since 1968. Formerly a research scientist with the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN), he has made over 30 research trips to the arctic islands, studying the behaviour of musk oxen, arctic hare, and red-throated loons. As an independent researcher since 1994, he has prepared reports on Peary caribou, arctic wolves, the cultural and natural resources of three northern national parks, and the historic places of Nunavut.

He has written two books on arctic subjects (The Muskoxen of Polar Bear Pass and Alert: Beyond the Inuit Lands) and completed two Virtual Museum of Canada exhibits: The Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918 and Ukaliq, the Arctic Hare. David worked on a number of arctic films and museum exhibits for CMN, and is a Research Associate at both CMC and CMN. David has travelled to several arctic communities to interview Elders in relation to his research on arctic wildlife and history. He is at present working on two films and a book on Arctic history.

Human Geographer & Writer

Originally from Montreal, Dominique currently dedicates her energy to research, teaching and writing. After completing a B.A. in Anthropology and French Literature, as well as an M.A. in Creative Writing specialized in Environmental Journalism at McGill University, she moved to England to pursue a D.Phil. in Human Geography at Oxford.  Over the past three years, her research in the Arctic region has led her to work in collaboration with wildlife biologists, elders, hunters, teachers, students and government representatives to document and discuss Inuit ecological knowledge, as well as explore its role in contemporary environmental governance in Nunavut. The goal of her doctoral work is to support northerners and Nunavummiut in developing policies and practices that meaningfully engage both Inuit and scientific traditions and perspectives in the governance of wildlife and natural resources. Dominique teaches a master’s course in biodiversity conservation and resource management at the Centre for the Environment, Oxford. She is also a dedicated journalist and fiction writer, using writing as a tool to reflect about our relationship with the natural world. An avid cross-country skier, cyclist and canoeist, she has participated in expeditions that took her paddling across Canada and skiing across the frozen tundra. Dominique is a D.Phil. Candidate in Geography & the Environment, Linacre College, University of Oxford.

Writer, Playwright & Musician

Nicholas Hune-Brown is a Toronto-based writer, playwright and musician whose work has appeared in The Walrus, Toronto Life, the Toronto Star, and other publications. His musical comedy, Just East of Broadway, recently won Patron's Pick award at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Nicholas wrote a blog about the expedition for The Walrus magazine. Click here to read it.

Elder, Hamlet of Clyde River, Nunavut

Jushua was born in an iglu near Pond Inlet and grew up on the land with his grandmother and his uncles. He has close relatives in Pond Inlet, Igloolik, Pangnirtung, and Arctic Bay, and more distant relatives in all other Nunavut communities.

As a hunter, Jushua has extensive experience studying and hunting polar bear, walrus, seals, narwhal, caribou, char, geese, and many other Arctic birds. He knows a great deal about traditional food preparation of all kinds, and how to make almost anything out of animal parts or found items on the land. Jushua has travelled extensively along the eastern Baffin coastline by dog team, snowmobile, boat, helicopter, and even by ice breaker. He has crossed the Barnes Ice Cap from Clyde River to Igloolik many times. Jushua has poked around archeological sites all along the coast from Iqaluit to Arctic Bay, and has walked inland extensively in the summer hunting for caribou. He is well known for his prowess and knowledge at the floe edge. Jushua has been a Canadian Ranger and a member of the Search and Rescue team in Clyde River for many years.

Jushua has a deep understanding of his Inuit culture and land/sea knowledge, navigation, hunting, and survival skills in an Arctic environment. Jushua is excited to share his knowledge with all expedition participants.

Traditional Inuit Athlete

Johnny Issaluk is originally from a small Arctic hamlet on the coast of Hudson’s Bay in Nunavut called Igluligaarjuk (known as Chesterfield Inlet). He presently resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut with his young family where he works for the Government of Nunavut as a Human Resources Manager. Johnny has been successfully competing in Arctic sports since the age of 16. He has won countless medals over the last decade at both the regional and the national level. When Johnny is not engaged in Arctic sports at home and abroad, he also enjoys volunteering his time coaching and training the younger generation at the local gym. In addition to his love of Arctic sports, Johnny is a devoted father and a skilled hunter with a love of the land and his traditional roots.

Instructional Leadership Consultant,
Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board

Born in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Colin received his B.Sc (Biology) from Dalhousie University in Halifax, and his Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He currently lives in Brighton, Ontario. He has taught secondary school science for 12 years, including courses in Environmental Science, Outdoor Education, Biology, Physics and Astronomy. He has worked on educational projects with the Canadian Museum of Nature and Parks Canada that involved facilitating connections between students and scientists using web and videoconferencing technology to enable students to engage in face to face discussions with scientists working in the field. In his current role as Instructional Leadership Consultant with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Colin strives to empower students and teachers to infuse environmental education in all areas of the curriculum, particularly in science and technology. He's looking forward to the expedition and is keen to learn how to help students connect their learnings with their post trip experiences. He will begin working toward a Masters in Education from UOIT in Oshawa in September. When he has spare time, Colin spends it with his family, camping, paddling, taking photographs and playing guitar.

Colin wrote a blog about the expedition. Click here to read it.
Science Educator & Program Developer,
Manitoba Museum

Surviving the frigid winters of Winnipeg with little respite, Mike is well prepared for any weather challenges his first Arctic Expedition presents! However, this is not his first foray into the Arctic; as a young teenager, Mike spent time exploring the Arctic while visiting relatives stationed in Resolute Bay, NWT and Churchill, MB. Now, he gets an opportunity to explore the Arctic again and put his background in astronomy, writing, nature and physical sciences to good use. A graduate of the University of Regina, Mike started his professional life with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, and soon developed a passion for informal science and astronomy education. For the past 14 years, Mike has been working as a science educator and program developer at nature and science museums in Winnipeg including his current “home base”, The Manitoba Museum. At The Manitoba Museum, Mike is renowned for his sense of humour and hearty laugh and is looking forward to sharing this learning adventure with all the Students on Ice participants on what promises to be the opportunity of a lifetime!

Mike wrote a blog about the expedition for the Manitoba Museum. Click here to read it.
Physical Geographer

Peter Johnson is a Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Ottawa where he has specialized in Arctic regions for 35 years. His research has focused on glaciated mountain regions, working on glacial geomorphology, glacier and mountain hydrology, and environmental change. He has promoted the importance of the field experience in geographical and environmental research through field courses in the Kluane Region of Yukon for over 30 years. Outside the university world he has worked extensively in the promotion of northern research emphasizing the need for research in the north, for the north and by northerners. Working with an association of universities with research in the north for most of his career, serving four years as president, and with the Canadian Polar Commission as Vice-Chair and Chair the promotion of polar research both nationally and internationally has been a priority. In the circum-arctic world he has represented Canada on the International Arctic Science Committee, the University of the Arctic Council, and the Northern Research Forum. His current focus is on the participation of Canada in the International Polar Year 2007 - 2008 emphasizing the "human dimension" of polar research.

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Ottawa    

Randi Kårstad is an experienced educator from Norway and is currently living in Ottawa. She holds an MA in English literature and BA in communications studies from the University of Oslo. Randi has formerly been involved in international education projects with the Teachers’ Union in Norway, where she served for two periods on their Board for International Educational Aid Projects, volunteering for Chandikaswory School in Nepal. Since 2002 she has been working at the Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa, as a Cultural Officer. The last few years she has co-planned and executed various high-profile events pertaining to the bilateral cultural activities between Norway and Canada. Her work includes promoting students and research exchanges. She became involved with Students on Ice in 2008 through her work at the Embassy. Randi enjoys the outdoors, cross-country skiing, kayaking besides having a big soft spot for the arts.

Program Assistant, Public Programs,
New Brunswick Museum

A native of Ontario, now living in New Brunswick, Tina has been trained both as a scientist (Ph.D., Queen’s University) and an educator (B.Ed. Queen’s). She has worked within local and Provincial Museums/Science Centres for over 10 years. For the past 5 years, she has been involved with Public Program development and delivery at the New Brunswick Museum, Canada’s oldest and most comprehensive provincial museum. She teaches courses in science education at the University of New Brunswick. Outside the museum, Tina is actively involved in outreach programs, science camps and education consulting. Tina and her family enjoy the outdoors, traveling and experiencing new things. A “lifelong student”, Tina shows enthusiasm and excitement for learning and sharing.

Account Manager in Public Relations, Edelman

Before joining Edelman Montréal as Account Manager  in the Consumer and Healthcare practice where she is responsible for various assignments such as media relations, research and event organization for several corporate and consumer clients, Mariane as worked as a Project Manager at a Quebec public relations firm. She also worked at the Sacré-Coeur Hospital Foundation, as a Communications Consultant for the launch of a major fundraising campaign as well as on public relations mandates for clients related to emergency preparedness, including Direction de santé publique de Montréal and Sécurité civile de Montréal. Mariane Leduc holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from the Université du Québec à Montréal and studied Germany’s history in Berlin for two months. Mariane has always loved working with the public and sharing her experiences with the people she meets. Traveling is an important part of her life and she has already visited several countries and regions including Peru, Mexico, Germany, Czeck Republic, England, France, Belgium, West of Canada, Holland, Cuba and Austria. She loves nature and outdoor and one of her best experience was her trip to Amazonia, in Peru, where she learned a lot about the wildlife, not to forget the numerous dives she did in the Carribean. In addition to being so passionate about her work and travels, Mariane enjoys scuba diving, Ultimate Frisbee, painting, photography and reading.

Business Owner

Wayne Lovstrom was introduced to Students on Ice by his daughter and participated in the Arctic 2008 expedition as a chaperone. He had such an incredible experience that he decided to chaperone once again in 2009. Wayne is from Three Hills, Alberta and enjoys photography, camping, nature and listening to music of all kinds. He has also just begun to learn fencing, the sword kind, not the post and picket kind. After the expedition Wayne plans on using the experience to help him communicate more effectively about the importance of taking care of this world, the only home we have.
Landscape Artist

Linda Mackey, Canadian landscape artist, is Art Liaison for International Polar Year IPO, Director of Arctic Quest and founder of Polar Artists Group. She first traveled to the High Arctic in 2002 with renowned artist Doris McCarthy and returned with a passion to share the Arctic with others. She led a group of artists to Pangnirtung, Baffin Island for a sketching trip in 2004, and with Kathy Haycock of Eganville, Ontario, and Bonnie Levinthal of Philadelphia, began plans for Arctic Quest and celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Northwest Passage in 2006. The Arctic Quest project is fully endorsed by IPY, project #338.

Linda’s painting “Follow Your Dreams” was presented to Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor the Honourable James Bartleman in 2006 by the TDCSB as part of their twinning initiative between Nunavut and schools in Toronto. Linda has taught thousands of school children and artists art workshops based on her Arctic travels and is Artist in Residence for the TDCSB and The Club at Bond Head. She has also been Artist in Residence and presented powerpoint presentations and workshops on the Arctic for galleries, museums, and art groups including McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Varley Art Gallery. Linda is a former board member of the Society of Canadian Artists and an elected Signature Member of the Worldwide Nature Artists Group.

The Arctic inspired Linda to simplify light and form in her paintings and she is best known for her Arctic landscapes. She has won several awards for her work, which can be found in collections across Canada, United States, and England.

Climate Change & Youth Advocate

Despite growing up in the sprawling suburban city of Mississauga, Jennie developed a strong passion for environment and nature at an early age.  During her years at the University of Guelph, Jennie put her passion to use in establishing student and administrative support for a $10 million energy conservation project at the university, including a wind power contract for a student building.  Her involvement earned her a spot on the International Youth Climate Conference in Montreal, where she became hooked on the adrenaline of the UN Climate negotiations.  Since then, Jennie has co-chaired the policy team on the Canadian Youth Delegations to Bali, Poznan, and soon in Copenhagen.  Looking for a local means of mitigating climate change, Jennie also established the Transportation Demand Management Program at the City of Guelph to facilitate more sustainable alternatives to the automobile.  Her appreciation for the role of cities in mitigating climate change has led her to pursue a Masters in Urban Planning at McGill in the fall.

Jennie brings her enthusiasm, energy and infectious passion for environmental causes to the group, and hopes to encourage students to become more active and engaged in the youth climate movement both internationally and at home.

Assistant Interpretation Coordinator,
Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

Heather holds an Honours degree in Biology from Saint Mary’s University. Her professional career has been dedicated to environmental conservation and encouraging others to get active in the outdoors. As Assistant Coordinator of Interpretation at the Nova Scotia Museum of Nature History, Heather has been able to share her interest of the natural environment with people of all ages through the education programs.
Climate Change Negotiations
& Youth Engagement Specialist

Micah has been active in international negotiations on climate change in both government and non-government roles, with a particular background in youth participation in the United Nations process. In
2006 and 2007, he was part of the Canadian Youth Delegation to the UN climate change conferences in Nairobi, Kenya and Bali, Indonesia, where he worked actively to improve opportunities for youth to get involved in the negotiation process. Micah was also a member of the Youth Roundtable on the Environment, and before that was Premier and then Speaker of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba. Micah has been trained by Al Gore to give the presentation that was the basis for the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and has applied his climate change knowledge in the Government of Canada, including presenting on behalf of Natural Resources Canada at the UN climate change conference in Montreal in 2005.

Micah is originally from a small town in Manitoba and holds degrees in civil environmental engineering and economics from Queen’s University.
New Media Innovator

Liz has a career dotted with adventures! She’s backpacked and photographed her way around many countries, built a traditional wooden boat with her husband and lived and brought her children up at sea. She’s managed large aquatics and maritime programs, teams of elite athletes, national airline catering operations, world class restaurants, and with her family manages a special events company catering for global events. Liz is an experienced and passionate educator, multimedia producer and new media innovator. She works nationally and internationally in curriculum, training, learning ICTs, policy, outreach and communications. She’s an award winning educational multimedia / web designer and publisher, internationally recognized for her innovative and creative use and integration of new media and communications. Founded in 2007, Liz’s company (LMGM: Liz Murphy Global Media) provides exciting media, communications and outreach services on-location at high level international conferences and events. LMGM also works with international organizations and programs wanting to communicate and interact globally. Liz has been delighted to contribute to International Polar Year’s shared vision and goals since 2007, a role she continues.
Adventure Photographer

Lee Narraway spent her childhood exploring the wetlands, forests and lakes of Eastern Canada with her father, an outstanding naturalist and environmentalist. This ignited a passion and curiosity for the outdoors that continues to this day.

Lee received her first camera at ten years of age and soon discovered the joy of sharing her view of the world with others. She uses natural light and her ability to communicate with people to create unique environmental portraits. Her professional career is now focused on travel and adventure photography.

In her quest for outstanding images, Lee has skied, hiked, canoed, backpacked, and traveled by dog team, horseback, snow machine, helicopter, hot air balloon and icebreaker to remote and isolated parts of the world.

When she visited Canada's High Arctic, Lee became fascinated with its diversity and haunting beauty. Now, she strives to capture its mystery and magic on film by documenting the dramatic scenery, the wildlife and the evolving lifestyle and culture of the Inuit.

Based in White Lake, Ontario, this professional adventure photographer continues to travel the world, discovering wildlife, landscapes and characters through the lens of her camera. Her popular photography workshops have been taught in such diverse areas as Australia, Canada, Chile and the Arctic.


Pascale Otis first started working in the polar regions in 2000 when she was a student at Laval University studying cold adaptations in Greater Snow Geese (that’s when she was nicknamed Mother Goose!). After graduating with a Masters in Biology, she continued her research on polar species at McMurdo station in Antarctica before coming back to Canada to study the physiological response of humans exposed to extreme environments. Pascale has always loved traveling and discovering new places. Her passion for adventure led her to spend 15 months on a sailboat that wintered on the Antarctic Peninsula (Antarctic Mission – Sedna IV). Upon returning from the Ice, she then crossed the South Pacific Ocean on a smaller sailboat where she filmed and documented the impacts of environmental changes on many tropical islands. Her goal as a biologist is to share knowledge by making science accessible to the general public.

Polar Scientist & Historian

“Scobie” Pye is a research scientist with a Master of Science degree awarded by 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 (B.A.S.), 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 B.A.S.

Polar Issues Expert & Science Advisor Emeritus

Fred 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. Fred 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 the 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.

Whale Researcher & Expert

Richard is founder and president of Mingan Island Cetacean Study, a research project dedicated to ecological studies of marine mammals. He established the first long-term studies of Blue whales both in the north Atlantic and in the northeast Pacific Oceans. He has studied Blue whales in eastern Canada, Iceland, west Greenland, the Azores, the Antarctic, and in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. In 2002 his research led to the recognition of “endangered status” for the Blue whale in Canadian waters.

Alumni Intern,
Assistant to the SOI Participant Coordinator

Ophelia Branca Snyder is from New York City and is currently a Senior at Choate Rosemary Hall .She is interested in pursuing studies in Marine Biology, Oceanography and Climatology. This will be Ophelia’s fourth Arctic expedition with Students on Ice.

Systematic Botanist

Julian Starr’s research is in Systematics, the science of biodiversity. By using traditional morphological and modern molecular techniques, his research aims to discover and circumscribe species and to understand the biogeography and evolution of higher-level groups. Most of his work is focused on sedges (family Cyperaceae), a cosmopolitan group that represents one of the most biologically diverse, ecologically significant, and economically important plant families on Earth. For Polar Regions in particular, this family is of special significance comprising >10% of the arctic flora and dominating vast tracks of tundra where it provides essential food and habitat for arctic animals.

Julian Starr holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Manitoba and a doctorate from Oxford University, England. After working as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Université de Montréal and an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi, he recently accepted a joint position as Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa and research botanist at the Canadian Museum of Nature. His current research interests are focused on the taxonomy and biogeography of bipolar sedges.

Engineer, Climate Change Specialist, Writer

John is a Professional Engineer and specialist in climate change. His mission is to provide credible information, develop shared understanding and promote action on climate change. John writes for Encyclopedia Britannica, teaches at Yukon College and works with the Northern Climate ExChange. He has been a Canadian delegate to the UN Conference on Climate Change, has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and helped design the new Girl Guide's climate change badge. John has lived and worked on five continents and four oceans, but his passion is for the circumpolar North. The Arctic is on the front-line of climate change and John has responded by throwing his thoughts and energy at the problem. He lives in a small house on the headwaters of the Yukon River with his lovely wife Susan.


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.

Kuujjuaq, Nunavik

Coming soon.
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. This led to dozens of other expeditions and soon to leading expeditions in the High Canadian Arctic. A love of the polar region’s incredible landscapes, wildlife, history and other-worldly experiences keeps him coming back to these remote locations year after year.

More than 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 to film the award-winning 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 the Canadian Arctic 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.

Assistant to the SOI Operations Manager

Mary has been working with Students on Ice since July 2008. Her 1 hour interview turned into a full day of work...

When the opportunity arose for Mary to participate as a Chaperone this summer, she jumped at the opportunity!

Mary has been involved with many projects over the years from ice racing to playing pool to being a youth group leader in Ottawa. This expedition will give Mary the opportunity to see first-hand the true north great and free and she will continue sharing her strong environmental ethic with those whom she comes in contact.

Head, Public Programming, Royal Alberta Museum

Janet comes to this expedition with a wealth of leadership experience in a variety of settings: retreat centers, wilderness camps, recreational settings, business boardrooms and museum galleries! Her life-long passions for youth and young adult programming dovetails with her keen sense of appreciation for personal learning; you will just as easily find her deep in a meaningful conversation as encouraging others to join her in a new adventure. She is an accomplished educator, facilitator and ice-dancer. Where else to combine all these loves, but on an Arctic Expedition? Janet is currently the Head of Public Programming at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Alberta. She was instrumental in the Students on Ice International Youth Polar Forum and Lecture that was held at that site last March. Her on-going work involves overseeing the staffing and public events that relate to the museums’ permanent galleries and feature exhibitions.

International Antarctic Institute

Sandra Zicus has more than 20 years experience as a science and environmental educator and communicator. She has worked with teachers, students, rural landowners, non-governmental organisations, and resource management agencies in Australia, the United States, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Mexico. She received a PhD in Geography from the University of Hawaii, with research focused on the role of environmental education and youth involvement in community-based resource management. Sandy moved to Australia in 2002 and worked with the Bright Minds science education project and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research at the University of Queensland for 3 years before moving to Tasmania. Since then, she has been involved in Antarctic research and education through the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and the International Antarctic Institute (IAI). In 2007, she participated in an international voyage to study the physics and biology of sea ice in the region of East Antarctica. Sandra has also been co-chair of the IPY Education, Outreach and Communications committee since 2006.