Students on Ice | Natural Heritage Building | 1740 Chemin Pink | Gatineau QC J9J 3N7 | 1-866-336-6423

Expedition Well Wishes...

I consider myself a bit of a veteran of the Arctic as I've been going there since 1968. But last year, as a staffer on SOI 2010 along with my son Will, I went through a life changing experience.

The Arctic is an amazing place and to view it alongside fascinated students from around the world as it faces the challenges of climate change was an opportunity I'll never forget.

I wish I was there with you this year, but I know Geoff and the staff will make SOI 2011 even more exciting, more informative and more rewarding than ever before. Enjoy, travel safe, and you too will be changed forever.

Peter Mansbridge
Chief Correspondent, CBC Television


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!

Founder & President, Students on Ice

Expedition Leader

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 President of Students on Ice Expeditions an award-winning educational organization based in Chelsea, Quebec. The program - now in its tenth year - has taken over 1,500 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 79 Antarctic expeditions and 35 Arctic expeditions.

To read Geoff's full biography click here. To learn more about Geoff, visit

Logistics Coordinator

Kathleen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Physical & Health Education from Queen’s University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. Kathleen feels most at home when she is in the outdoors. She loves to be active and is always looking for a new adventure! Her travels have taken her hiking in Patagonia, living and skiing on Canada’s west coast and backpacking in New Zealand.

During the winter, you will most often find Kathleen on the ski hill where she is a guide for visually impaired downhill ski racer, Brad Barker. Together they train and race as a part of the Ontario Para-Alpine Team, competing at the Provincial and National level. Kathleen is also a proud grade 3 & 4 Teacher at Alta Vista Public School in Ottawa.  

A strong believer in experiential education, she often brings her own experiences back to the classroom to share with her students. She plans to do just that following this expedition in hopes of motivating students to learn more about how they can protect our environment.

Kathleen has worked behind the scenes in the Students on Ice office for the past two summers and is very excited to be joining the team on her first expedition this summer!

Finance Manager, Students on Ice

Mary-Ellen Connolly has worked in finance since graduating from St. Lawrence College. She brings many years of financial and administrative experience to Students on Ice. SOI’s mandate and work with youth motivated her to join the team.

For the past 20 years Mary-Ellen has volunteered as a ski instructor/guide for CADS (Canadian Association Disabled Skiing). Residing in the Gatineau Park area with her family, Mary-Ellen enjoys sports such as skiing, cycling, kayaking and hiking.A past Director/Treasurer of the Ottawa Ski Hawks and the National Capital Balloon Club, Mary-Ellen has worked at hot air balloon festivals as crew or as a launch director (in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland).

Mary-Ellen also enjoys cooking, gardening and mixing international travel with volunteer work. Her most recent service adventure brought her to Reyenges, Kenya with Habitat for Humanity. In the near future she will be taking the team leader course and her next build will be in Egypt or Brazil.  Some of her more memorable travels have been to Cambodia, Vietnam and Ireland.

Special Projects and Media Coordinator, Students on Ice

Maggie Crump's adventures and studies have taken her to Denmark, Italy, Finland, Scotland, Switzerland, the Yukon, Nunavut, the Maritimes – and most recently West Africa, where she spent a year exploring, working and studying development in Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso. Joining the SOI team for a second summer, she looks forward to her daily bicycle commute through Gatineau Park to the office where she assists with expedition planning and the development of the organization's Alumni Program.

Maggie has recently graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax with an Honours BA in International Development Studies. Her thesis project explored the incorporation of indigenous knowledge and traditional farming practices into climate change adaptation policies and programmes in West Africa. In her spare time she enjoys biking, running, photography, playing or listening to music and reading and lounging in the sun.

Manager, Partnerships & Development, Students on Ice


A combined love for the outdoors, a passion for motivating youth, and the opportunity to travel to the Polar Regions brought Reina to Students on Ice. Formerly a project manager in exhibition development at two national museums, The Canadian Museum of Civilization and The Canadian War Museum, Reina started as Outreach and Participant Coordinator in 2007. She was promoted to Operations Manager in 2008, from which she transitioned to her current role as Partnership and Development Manager. 

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. After completing her coaching certification, she is now involved in youth soccer and sport development. She is also passionate about community engagement, having held positions on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nordic Society and Eco Echo - Outaouais Environmental Campus.
Reina's rich life experiences have inspired her to continue her post-secondary studies at the University of Ottawa, where she will complete a Baccalaureate in Education, focusing on health and counseling.

Any chance she gets, Reina can be found escaping to her beloved Gatineau Hills, especially in the winter on xc-skis, to explore the back-country and enjoy the serenity of the forests!

Executive Assistant & Office Manager, Students on Ice

Leah is originally from (friendly!) Winnipeg, Manitoba. She lived in Montréal for 4 years while she studied English Literature at Concordia University. Her love of books inspired her to want to explore the far-away places she read about. Prior to joining the SOI team, she was fortunate to be able to travel extensively around the globe. Her many adventures have ranged from trekking with Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, to exploring the labyrinth of crowded streets of Varanasi, to rafting (swimming!) on the Nile, to pondering ancient civilizations at the summit of Machu Picchu.

After nearly 9 years working in the adventure travel industry, Leah joined Students on Ice to share in offering young people life-changing opportunities that broaden their horizons and inspire them to learn about the global community.

In her spare time, Leah still loves to talk travel and plan her next adventures, still enjoys reading, dabbling in photography and spending time playing with her dogs, Arthur and Lola.

Communications Advisor, Students on Ice

Chris is a veteran of over 30 Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, and has been been lending his logistical and communications advice to Students on Ice since 2001.
Away from his expedition work, Chris leads a double life as an award-winning performer and busy theatre professional. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, and with a BA in Theatre, Chris earned a Masters of Fine Arts from York University in 2007.

Chris is currently a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa where he teaches undergraduate acting courses. Chris also works as a vocal and dialect coach for corporate, government and individual clients.

Check out the award-winning IMAX
feature "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure" to watch a much younger Chris Ralph rowing (literally!) for his life!

Education Program Director, Students on Ice

Tim Straka co-creates transformative learning experiences with students of all ages. Committed to environmental and civic education, he has taught at elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels across North America, in Central Europe, in the Arctic and Antarctica. In addition to his work with Students on Ice, he is currently a part-time Instructor in the College of Science and Management at the University of Northern British Columbia.
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 completing the construction of his home which will meet LEED Canada for Homes platinum certification level. It recently became Canada's first certified residential Passive House.
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 2007.

Participant Coordinator, Students on Ice

Niki Trudeau holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics and is a 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 is this passion for environmental awareness and outdoor adventures that brought Niki to Students on Ice in 2008.

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. Niki also manages SOI Outreach, delivering presentations in a variety of contexts and working with our alumni to both coordinate outreach events and support them in their own presentations and endeavours.

Niki is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario. She volunteers as a tutor at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, a college program based in Ottawa for Inuit youth preparing for educational, training, and career opportunities.

Polar Guide and Educator


Born in Kuujjuaq and raised in Kangirsuk, Jason completed primary and secondary school in Nunavik. At age 18, Jason attended CEGEP John Abbott College and went on to study psychology at McGill University. During his second year in university, he studied as an exchange student in Hong Kong, China for a year.  That year sparked an interest in combining traveling and education that has not since died. Since then he has had the opportunity to study Russian in St. Petersburg, teach English in France, and trained to become a safari guide in South Africa. After much traveling he went on to complete a masters degree in psychology at Columbia University in New York.


Among his hobbies are reading about economics, making short films, and spending time outdoors. He has welcomed many visitors to the arctic in his five years experience as an expedition guide onboard expedition ships and he loves introducing the arctic to complete newcomers through presentations, informal talks, and briefings.  


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.

Geographer & Geologist

Ingrid Bajewsky taught physical geography and geology at Nipissing University, teaching a variety of courses including general geology, natural hazards, geomorphology, and paleoclimatology and climate change.

Her research interests however, lie specifically in the area of glacial hydrology, with a particular interest in rock glaciers. She has conducted glaciological research in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the Saint Elias Mountains in Yukon Territory. Ingrid ’s commitment to helping university students attain their goals led her to teaching a course entitled University Success. She holds Bachelor and Masters degrees in Physical Geography, and a Bachelor of Education. During her career Ingrid has also held positions as an environmental consultant and a substitute teacher.

Performing Artist & Youth Advocate

Originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Sylvia now resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut with her 10 year old son.
She is a performing artist, well known for Inuit throat singing with her companyAqsarniit, as well as for her collaboration with artists around the world, including the band Think of One from Belgium; Tafelmusik, a world-renowned baroque orchestra based in Toronto, Ontario; and Montreal-based DJ Madeskimo. Sylvia has also been involved in a variety of productions. She produces music for films, documentaries, radio, and television. She has been involved with training youth in video production and produced her first television series, Inuit Piqqusingit, with Inuit Communications Systems Limited from 1999–2002. Sylvia is presently the Artistic Director of Qaggiq Theatre Company and works with youth in theatre and musical projects that encourage creative expression, address social issues, and promote Inuit culture

Expedition Guide

Ever since Jean-François Carrey was a young boy he wanted to climb Mount Everest. On May 18th, 2006, not only did he fulfill his dreams, he also became the youngest Canadian to have climbed to the top of the world at 24 years old while obtaining his Commerce degree. JF’s passion for the arctic, mountains and rivers extends back to his youth when he was a member of Scouts Canada. As a Scout, he developed some of the skills necessary to achieve his dream. These skills proved useful when, at the age of 17, JF was a apprentice guide for a wilderness adventure company, and guided one of Canada’s most extraordinary river, the Nahanni in the Northwest Territories.

All the while his job as a guide enabled him to acquire many unique experiences. He led a number of expeditions down the Mountain and Snake river in the Northwest Territories / Yukon, and also journeyed to Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut to trek and sea kayak.
JF guides leaders and youth to think like a adventurer. He inspires people from all over the world to embrace change. He speaks internationally on leadership and unveiling the perspective gained by leading expeditions in these immense and uncontrollable environments.


Senior Advisor, Polar Centre, UNEP/GRID-Arendal

John Crump works for GRID-Arendal, a Norwegian foundation that supports the work of the United Nations Environment Programme. He focuses on climate change in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States and works in a number of international settings, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Other projects involve Indigenous Peoples and the co-management of resources, new environmental governance structures, and other related issues.

John's academic background is in journalism, communications, history and political economy. He has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master's Degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His love of northern regions began when he set up a tent one summer on the bank of the Yukon River.

He has worked for CBC Radio, been Cabinet Communications Advisor in the Yukon Premier’s office, done policy and research for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and been Government Relations Manager for the Nunavut Planning Commission. He was also Executive Director of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC) and Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark.

John 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.

Author & Montreal Biodôme Educator

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 lives near the Gatineau River in Chelsea, Quebec, and works for the Canadian Wildlife Service, where he manages the national and international migratory birds program and the process for listing species at risk.

After a brief career in biotechnology, Garry began his life with wildlife when he came across an opportunity to travel to the Arctic for a month to assist on a project at the remote Coats Island seabird colony. That summer inspired many years of study, eventually earning him a Master’s degree studying the population dynamics of the Thick-billed Murre (the Arctic’s penguin), and subsequent work in the north with the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Because migratory birds go, literally, everywhere, much of Garry’s work time is currently devoted to figuring out how to achieve conservation for species that roam across Canada then fly throughout the Americas or across the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

This will be Garry’s sixth SOI expedition. He’s looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones.

Education Officer, International Polar Foundation
Isabelle works for the International Polar Foundation, where she manages educational projects related to climate change, Polar Regions, polar sciences and sustainable development. Currently she leads the project ‘Polar Quest’, which is set up as a contest and which allows a teacher to go next Antarctic season to the Belgian Princess Elisabeth research station to perform an educational and scientific program.


She holds a master’s degree in environmental and marine sciences and worked as a scientific co-worker at the Renard Centre of Marine Geology at the Ghent University (Belgium). As such she participated in several scientific cruises. During this research period she also obtained her master’s degree in education.

The combination of her scientific background and her educational skills are culminating in her current job. She strives to develop her ambition of bringing sciences to the public at large and more specific to the youth. The goal is to let the youth grasp environmental and climate mechanisms in such way to empower them by becoming part of the solution.

Writer & Economist

During 32 years living in Alaska, Katie has worked as a researcher with the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, as an agricultural development specialist, and as a consultant to First Alaskans Institute. Katie’s work has ranged from studying socioeconomic impacts of resource development to evaluating the cost of living in remote Alaska communities, and projects expanding access to scientific data, cultural information, and Alaska Native curriculum resources. The Arctic is one of her passions and most recently Katie has been writing about experience within the northern landscape and considering connections between science and poetry. During the last few summers, gaining more experience of her own, Katie volunteered on an archaeology dig, pulled dandelions in Denali National Park, and volunteered on a study of Rusty Blackbirds in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. Katie and her husband have driven from their house to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska and to Inuvik in Canada.
Katie has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Geography, a Master of Arts in Agricultural Economics, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Her writing appears in Cirque and her poems have been recognized by Palmer and Fairbanks (Alaska) arts associations. Katie has been a poetry contest judge, volunteered at youth slam poetry events, edited a poetry anthology, and taught poetry to senior citizens. She is an avid photographer, gardener, hiker, cross-country skier, and has competed in several triathlons.

Social Media Specialist, WWF-Canada

Sara Falconer is the social media specialist for WWF-Canada, working to build a vibrant online community for this global conservation organization. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.

Sara grew up in Stratford and attended the University of Western Ontario, where she received an Honours BA in Media, Information, Technoculture and Film. She then completed an MA in Media Studies at Concordia University in Montréal.

She has worked extensively in communications, from media relations to online strategy. She was the community manager for the 2011 Social Media Week held in Toronto, which attracted over 2,000 CEOs, journalists, bloggers, strategists, consultants and students. Sara is also a freelance journalist with over 15 years of experience, covering community news, environment, and human rights issues. She has a weekly column in Ottawa Xpress called "Community Garden" and is a regular contributor to

Polar Base Commander & Historian


David has spent the last 38 years in the polar regions, including 4 winters and 35 summers. He spent fifteen years with the British Antarctic Survey (B.A.S.) as a dog driver, Base Commander and Field Operations Manager.

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

Oceanographer & Earth Science Researcher,
McGill University

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.

Educator, Youth Advocate & Community Builder
Chair, Education Advisory Committee, Students on Ice


Education, youth and the environment have been the focus of Lisa Glithero’s professional and personal life. With Bachelor of Science, Education and Master of Education degrees, she has taught in Canada, Nepal and has served as the Education Program Director for Students on Ice. Through 8 Polar Expeditions, Lisa has witnessed firsthand the impacts of climate change, further igniting her passion to connect today’s youth to the planet’s global ecosystem.
Lisa’s dedication towards a ‘greener’ society led to her establishment of the EYES Project in 2004. EYES is a Canadian not-for-profit organization committed to bringing a sustainability imperative into educational pedagogy and practice. She is currently a Visiting Professor with the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and continues to serve as the Director of the EYES Project, as well as Chair of the Education Advisory Committee for Students on Ice. Lisa is also a board member of the Chelsea Foundation.
In March 2006, she was honoured with an international "Women of the Earth Award" by the Yves Rocher Foundation for her work in environmental education and in April 2008 was named by Nobel Peace Prize Nominee (2007) Sheila Watt Cloutier, as one of Chatelaine’s “Amazing Canadian Women to Watch.”

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.


Wildlife Biology, Writing & Filmmaking

Karsten, Leanne, and 6-year old Zev are an adventuring family who are very excited to be joining the Students on Ice team!

Karsten Heuer has spent much of the past decade and a half following some of North America’s most endangered wildlife on foot and skis. In 1998 and 1999 he walked and skied from Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming to Canada’s Yukon Territory to highlight a proposal for a 3,400-kilometre-long system of wildlife corridors and core reserves (the Y2Y Conservation Initiative). In 2003, he again set off on skis and foot with his wife, Leanne Allison, and, for 5 months, followed the Porcupine Caribou Herd from their Yukon winter range to endangered Alaskan calving grounds and back.  Leanne took up filmmaking that trip and directed the Gemini Award winning film Being Caribou with the National Film Board of Canada.

Heuer is the author of two bestselling books (Walking the Big Wild and Being Caribou). He is the recipient of the Wilburforce Conservation Leadership Award, the National Outdoor Book Award (2006), the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, and the Banff Mountain Book Festival’s Grand Prize.

For more information visit

Expedition Doctor

Ken completed his undergraduate training at the University of Waterloo and his medical/surgical training at McMaster University. He has worked at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa) as a staff surgeon in orthopaedic surgery. He is a specialist in sports injuries and limb reconstruction. He is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, involved in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical/surgical trainees. His research interests include medical education as well as simulation and innovation in surgical training.

When not working, Ken’s interests include construction projects, hockey, scuba diving, woodworking, and ballroom dancing. He and his wife Ginette (Lalonde-Kontio) have travelled extensively for work and pleasure.

Science Educator & Journalist

Having survived the frigid winters of Winnipeg, Canada with little difficulty, Mike took on his first Arctic expedition in 2009 thinking he was well-prepared for anything he was going to face. What he didn’t expect was how much he wanted to go BACK! On his second opportunity to go to the Arctic in 2010, he once again put his background in astronomy, writing, nature and physical sciences to good use with the SOI team.


And now, the third time is the charm, as Mike returns for Arctic 2011 with an excited eye turned towards Iceland and Greenland!


As 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 15 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 Museum, Mike is renowned for his sense of humour and hearty laugh, which he brings with him on expedition (along with many seasickness remedies!). Mike enjoys learning about the Arctic and the effects of climate change, but the most rewarding aspect is helping the students make the best of their experiences through journal writing, pod teams, educational seminars, and informal conversations.


Mike can’t wait to meet all the students and staff on this year’s expedition as we retrace the path of the Vikings across the Arctic!

National Manager,
Oceans & Great Freshwater Lakes Program,
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Sabine Jessen is the National Manager of the Oceans and Great Freshwater Lakes Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. She also serves as the Conservation Director for the British Columbia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Sabine has been involved with CPAWS since 1991 when she began four years of volunteer work, prior to becoming the first Executive Director of the BC chapter. She has worked on marine conservation issues since 1993, and also conducted research on land use planning in Canada’s Arctic. Sabine holds a Masters Degree in Geography from the University of Waterloo, specializing in coastal zone management and environmental regulation. She has served as an Advisor to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Parks, the British Columbia Commission on Resources and Environment, and the Economic Council of Canada. Sabine was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the Resource and Environmental Management Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in 2008 and is currently co-supervising a project reviewing previous experience with marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada’s Arctic.
In 2009, Sabine began her PhD studies in the Department of Geography at SFU focused on international comparative experience with MPA and MPA network establishment. Her contribution to coastal zone management in Canada was recognized in 2008 with the H.B. Nicholls award from the Coastal Zone Canada Association, and she was awarded the Stan Rowe Home Place Graduate Award by the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA), and a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions PhD fellowship.

Expedition Doctor

Ginette was a teacher prior to entering medical training at McMaster University. She completed specialty training in Family Medicine and Anaesthesia at the University of Ottawa and the University of Western Ontario. She has also completed a Master of Education and is currently pursuing a Master of Aviation Medicine degree at the University of Otago (New Zealand).

Ginette has been involved with the Canadian Armed Forces (Captain-Reserve) and participated in the humanitarian mission in Haiti, in the aftermath of the earthquake in the winter of 2010. She has also participated in various multinational training programmes in Canada and the United States.

Professionally, Ginette works as a Family Physician, specializing in Anaesthesia, with an interest in Occupational Medicine and Travel Medicine. She is also the Medical Director for the Canadian Group for Emergency Training (CGET) and is involved in medical education at the University of Ottawa.

Outside of medicine Ginette is an avid marathon runner and enjoys yoga, weight training, learning languages, scuba diving and ballroom dancing. She and her husband Ken (Kontio) have travelled extensively for work and pleasure.

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.

Geologist & Glaciologist

Chair of the Geography / Geology Department at Nipissing University, Director of the Nipissing Environmental Research Centre and an Adjunct Professor with the Cold Regions Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University, Eric has been conducting glaciological research for the past 20 years.
Most of his research has been conducted on glaciers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Saint Elias Mountains in Yukon Territory, and the Himalayan Mountain Range. Dr. Mattson's main research interest revolves around energy balance studies (small scale and large scale), and research into variations in glacier volume to determine past, present and future trends in glacier size and melt water production. Other research involvements include snowmelt modeling in North-eastern Ontario, debris flow activity in Banff National Park, and island biogeography in Massasauga Provincial Park.

Permafrost Researcher

Since she was a child Inga has been fascinated about nature and has spent as much time outside as possible exploring the natural world. Her interest in cold regions emerged while she played in and looked at snow during winter months.

After she finished grade school, Inga studied physical Geography at the University of Munich with a strong focus on environmental monitoring. In 2008, Inga started her PhD about detecting permafrost affected areas using satellite imaging and their dynamics in the context of climate change. She is still based in Munich, but works together with scientists from Canada. She has also travelled many times to the Canadian Arctic and discovered, besides her research, the beauty of Polar Regions and the fascinating culture and traditions of the indigenous people living there.

During her free time, Inga participates in many outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and skiing, but her main passion is running. As she is captivated of the heterogeneity of this planet, she travels as much as she can and participates in volunteer projects to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of different places around the world.


Ellen spends her time between the city of Vancouver and the small community of Saturna Island off the coast of British Columbia in the Salish Sea  For many years she dreamt (really) of Antarctica, and finally was able to go there in 2007. This time Ellen is delighted to be heading North (again) with Students on Ice, and hopes to find words to describe the almost indescribable. A graduate of the MFA writer’s programme at UBC, Ellen has published a book of poetry, has had her plays performed in Vancouver, and has taught Creative Writing at Langara Community College. Recently, she volunteered with Power of Hope, a non-profit organization that empowers high school students through arts based experiential learning. When she returns home in August Ellen hopes to see her new play performed in the Victoria Fringe Festival, and to continue with her piano lessons.


Norah is Ottawa Valley born and has lived in Ottawa since university days. Though retired from high school teaching a good while, Norah has remained involved in teaching English as a Second Language to adults, both here and abroad, and in a  Literacy program with students ranging from 18- 65 years of age. Norah will be heading to China this fall to teach.

A life changing experience some fifteen years ago came with the realization that there is one single community of life rather than a hierarchy of beings. This has led to interesting involvements. Currently, Norah is involved in the grassroots organization, Sustainable Living Ottawa West, committed to exploring a more environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling way of life. Recent projects have included designing a Jane’s Walk along the Ottawa River and learning how to grow a medicinal herb garden. For fun, Norah sings, gardens, and plays with her ipad; for exercise, she walks and does Tai Chi. 

From walking the Camino Trail to serving as a teacher chaperone on the 2005 SOI Arctic Expedition, Norah’s adventurous spirit has prepared her well to jump in as Diz’s wing person in caring for Fletcher and Nellie on this year’s expedition.

Inuit Youth Advocate

Jesse Unaapik Mike was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut, though her family originates from the community of Panniqtuuq. Since a young age, she has been actively involved in community programs and leadership roles within Inuit organizations. Jesse’s international work includes presenting at the Global Humanitarian Foundation’s Forum involving Kofi Annan where she also had the opportunity to speak with United Nations senior officials and other world leaders concerning the social and environmental impacts of climate change on Inuit. At home in Nunavut, Jesse is a past-President of the Embrace Life Council and a past-Board member of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) as the Canadian Youth representative. More recently, Jesse participated in the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) 2010 General Assembly as a Board member of ICC-Canada. In addition to her leadership roles within Inuit organizations, Jesse sat on the Iqaluit District Education Authority. Her passion for sports and physical health prompted her to help establish the Nunavut Star’s Hockey Camp, which she continues to help coordinate each year. Jesse’s active involvement in her community and her Territory has been widely recognized. In 2008, Mike was selected as one of the “Top Teens and Twenty-Something’s” in UpHere Magazine. She was also nominated for the Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council’s Wise Woman of the Year Award, and received a Youth Role Model award from ITK.

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.


Not everyone thinks of New York City as the place to study biodiversity, but that is where Paige lives and works on projects related to global ecosystems and the services they provide. Paige’s passion for environmental issues has taken her around the world; since participating in the 2004 SOI Antarctic expedition, she has traveled to over 40 countries and lived in diverse environments ranging from Costa Rica, Indonesia, Northern Ontario, and Switzerland. Upon completing her Master's in environmental science and policy she worked for the United Nations Environment Program in Geneva, and is currently a research associate at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

In September she will be moving to Vancouver, British Columbia to start a PhD in Ecology.


SOI Chaperone

Charlotte had a career as an elementary school teacher, having decided to retire after her 2 daughters were born. In 1985, the family moved to France when her husband was posted as science councellor for defence at the Canadian embassy in Paris. As an active member of the Association Bienvenue en France, she had the opportunity to meet people from several countries. Upon returning to Canada, the family spent one year in Kingston before moving back to Québec City.

Charlotte keeps in physical shape by practicing various sports (bicycling, trekking, swimming, cross-country skiing, gardening). During the winter session, she takes courses on history at Laval university. She enjoys reading and is interested in current issues such as the environment and climate change.

She and her husband are avid travellers, having visited together more than 50 different countries. They like to focus on the history, culture and issues of the places they visit.

Charlotte sees the SOI Arctic 2011 expedition as an opportunity to exchange views on the geopolitical problems facing the Arctic as well as on the impact of climate change in this particularly sensitive portion of our planet.

SOI Chaperone

Gabriel is a retired physicist who made a career (1974-2005) as a research scientist for the Canadian Department of National Defence. His specialty was laser technology for surveillance and countermeasures applications. In 1985, he served for 3 years as science councellor for defence at the Canadian embassy in Paris. Upon returning to Canada, he spent one year in Kingston to attend the National Defence College course on geopolitics and national security. In 1989, he returned to the Valcartier research establishment as head of active surveillance technologies. He played an active role in the science and technology cooperation program between Canada and Allied countries. He was also a member of several R&D advisory and granting committees.

He keeps in physical shape by practicing various sports (bicycling, trekking, swimming, cross-country skiing, badminton). Besides trying to follow the evolution of his area of expertise, he enjoys reading on history and on current issues such as the environment, climate change and sustainable/alternative energies. He and his wife are avid travellers, having visited together more than 50 different countries. They like to focus on the history, culture and issues of the places they visit.

Gabriel sees the SOI Arctic 2011 expedition as a unique opportunity to exchange views on the geopolitical issues facing the Arctic as well as on the impact of climate change in this particularly sensitive portion of our planet.

Biologist & Videographer

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.


Physical Oceanographer
Maria grew up in Valencia, Spain, among fields of oranges on the Mediterranean coast. She was always drawn to the mysteries of the sea, which took her to study ocean science in the Canary Islands, Barcelona, and Princeton. Her doctoral work looked at how the ocean circulation brings nutrients to fertilize the rich marine life of the northeast Atlantic, and why it can vary so much from one year to the next. She has worked on research cruises across the North and equatorial Atlantic, sampling the waters to look for signs of recent climate change. She now lives in Montreal, and is developing her appreciation for cold weather and winter sports. 


Craftmaker & Educator
I was born in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, on the southern tip of Baffin Island, and was adopted by Peter Pitseolak and Aggeok. I had 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My father was the camp leader over five families. We lived in an outpost camp called Kiaktuuq about five miles away from Cape Dorset, until I was about six or seven years old. We did not have electricity, or running water and there was no source of outside entertainment except short wave radio and a battery operated record player. We used to enjoy my mother playing the accordian. In the 1940's my father took photographs of the Inuit people. These pictures are a record of our history for the next generation.
The only transportation we had was by dog team or canoe with an outboard motor and motor boat with a sail.
I have been teaching 28 years at Elementary School. I was working at Nunavut Sivuniksavut which is affiliated with Algonquin College in Ottawa as an instructor from 2008-2009. In Arviat I was part of a team that developed grade three math assessments that were used by students across Nunavut. I have participated in the development of the Inuktitut teaching Curriculum based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Values. I have a Bachelor of Education Degree from McGill University (1996). I am currently teaching at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit.
I was brought up in a time when my mother would sew traditional clothing. I learned by observing and doing as opposed to classroom setting. I have taught young people from across Nunavut and Canada who comes to Iqaluit for Katimavik Programs how to make sealskin slippers and mitts. I have a good knowledge of our traditional culture and I believe that it is important to pass it on to young people.


Since 1979 Margo Pfeiff has been a Montréal-based freelance writer and photographer. Throughout the 1980s she worked primarily in Southeast Asia and the Australia Pacific. From 1993 until 2005 she was a Special Correspondent for Reader's Digest who first sent her north and turned her into an Arctic Junkie. Since 1992 she has made two dozen trips to Canada’s Arctic, Greenland and Iceland writing and photographing stories for Canadian Geographic, Explore, The Walrus, Imperial Oil Review, Outpost, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, National Post and Globe & Mail. She is currently a Contributing Editor at Yellowknife-based Up Here magazine.


Margo has received two Honourable Mentions at the Canadian National Magazine Awards as well as British Columbia’s 2002 Tourism Media Award for stories on BC. Since 1999 she has also won 10 Northern Lights Awards from the Canadian Tourism Commission for both photography and journalism including Canada’s Top Travel Story of 2010. She has taught travel writing at Montréal’s Concordia University and at San Francisco’s Book Passage Travel Writing Conference. Currently, she is working on a book about contemporary life in Nunavut, a project for which she received a Canada Council Grant.

Geographer, Author & Polar Historian
Over the years, Jim has written for media outlets including Canadian Geographic, National Geographic, Explore, The Globe and Mail, as well as for CBC Radio and The Discovery Channel. He is the best-selling author and editor of 14 books including Summer North of Sixty, Fire in the Bones, Bark, Skin & Cedar, Deep Waters and, most recently, Emperor of the North: Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He is Past Chair of the Arctic Institute of North America as well as a Fellow and Past Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, service for which he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Between expeditions and northern projects, Jim has had a number of real jobs. For 19 years, he was a professor of Outdoor & Experiential Education at Queen’s University Faculty of Education, where his teaching was recognized with a number of provincial and national awards. Since leaving Queen’s in 1999, he has been based at his home in the Rideau Lakes north of Kingston, Ontario, balancing dog walking and canoeing on Cranberry Lake with practise as a freelance writer and broadcaster with part-time work as the first Curator of the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.

Polar Guide

Prior to taking to a life at sea in the high latitudes, Grant Redvers worked as a scientist in New Zealand and at Scott Base in Antarctica. He has a master’s degree in environmental science, and is a qualified yacht skipper and dive master.

In the early 2000s he sailed from New Zealand to Antarctica and South Georgia Island on a 45ft yacht for mixed climbing and glaciology research expeditions. After sailing back to NZ through the Pacific Islands he then joined Tara Expeditions. Aboard Tara he completed a number of expeditions to Antarctica, South Georgia and Patagonia, supporting a diverse range of research, natural history and adventure projects, before setting a course for the Arctic.

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.

Inuit Elder

David Serkoak was in born in northern part of Nueltin Lake, southwest of Arviat, Nunavut. David has worked in many levels in education as a teacher (primary/secondary schools), vice-principal, principal, Instructor at Nunavut Arctic College, and as a curator at the British Museum of Mankind in England. David helped to develop Inuktitut teaching materials at all levels local, regional and territorial. During his free time he spends his time making Inuit drums, teaching youth about the art of drum dancing and on weekends he hunts and checks his fox traps. He is an Instructor with the Nunavut Sivuniksavut Training Program.

Systematic Botanist, Canadian Museum of Nature

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.

Polar Naturalist & Musician

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.

Polar Guide & 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.

Fisherman & Former Minister of Fisheries

Over the past twenty-five years Trevor has worked extensively in many aspects of the fishery.

Prior to the moratorium on Northern Cod in 1992 he worked as a crewmember on fishing boats involved in the cod, turbot and crab fisheries off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was an instructor in fishery related courses for the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, was a fisheries observer and has worked in international fisheries development with Oxfam in Nicaragua.

During the 1990s he served on the executive board of the fishermen’s union in Newfoundland (FFAW) and spent six years as a staff member of the FFAW.  He served six years as a member of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council and was chair of its Gear Technology Sub Committee.

From 1998 to 2000 he was captain of a 55’ fishing vessel, fishing shrimp and crab off Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2001 he was elected, for the first of three terms, as a Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. As a member of cabinet he served as Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Minister of Transportation and Works,   Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, Minister Responsible for Labrador Affairs, Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation and Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat. He also served on government’s Economic Policy Committee, Social Policy Committee, and the Planning and Priorities Committee of Cabinet.

On October 2, 2009 he stepped down from politics to assume his current position with Oceans North Canada. Oceans North Canada is a fisheries and marine conservation organization, dedicated to advancing conservation goals in Canada’s Arctic marine areas. It is led by the PEW Environment Group in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Author, Lecturer and Environmental Educator

Ari Trausti has chiefly been active as a lecturer and non-fiction writer in the fields of geology, volcanology, astronomy, environmental science and mountaineering, with over 30 published book titles. In addition, Ari Trausti has published poetry and short stories in magazines and anthologies since the 1970’s and in 2002, he received the Laxness literary prize for his collection of short stories. He also has published four collections of poems and three novels.

Educated as a geophysicist in Norway and Iceland, Ari Trausti works as a free lance consultant in the fields of geoscience and environmental issues as well as writing and hosting numerous radio and television programs and documentaries. He is also noted as a mountaineer, Arctic traveller and contributor to scientific exhibitions, visitors centres and museums in Iceland and abroad. He is an international member of the Explorers Club.

Co-host, CBC News Ottawa

Lucy van Oldenbarneveld is co-host of CBC News Ottawa.
Lucy’s work with CBC has taken her almost literally from one side of the country to the other. Before coming to Ottawa, Lucy was the host/reporter of the afternoon radio show at CBC Whitehorse. Lucy has reported on a number of significant Canadian events, including the 2002 G8 summit in Kananaskis. Lucy is involved with providing journalism training in different parts of Africa - most recently in Abuja, Nigeria. Over the past 20 years Lucy has explored many spectacular spots across the North. She has hiked in Kluane and Ivvavik National Parks, canoed the Yukon’s Wind and Big Salmon Rivers, sea kayaked British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands and has witnessed up close the migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd while rafting on the Firth River.

Director of the Canadian Arctic program, WWF-Canada

Martin von Mirbach grew up in Ottawa and received his Masters degree in Philosophy from York University, Toronto.  He lived in Newfoundland in the 1990s, becoming active as a forest conservationist and sustainable development educator, serving on the Premier’s Round Table on the Environment and Economy.  In 2000 he moved back to Ottawa to work with the Sierra Club of Canada, as Forest Director and National Conservation Director.  During this time he chaired the committee that developed the Forest Stewardship Council’s Canadian Boreal Standard, which is the world’s most successful FSC standard in terms of area certified and on-the-ground impact (26 million hectares and counting).  In 2005 he joined FSC Canada as Vice President, with primary responsibility for standards and training.

In 2008 he joined WWF-Canada to manage WWF’s collaborative agreement with the Forest Products Association of Canada, helping them meet their commitment to achieve industry-wide carbon neutrality.  In October 2010 he took up a major new challenge at WWF-Canada, as Director of the Canadian Arctic program.  He lives in Chelsea Quebec, where he bikes to work in Ottawa whenever he can, and cross-country skis in his backyard (Gatineau Park). 

Stay tuned for more bios and photos of our
Arctic 2011 Expedition Students - they are trickling in and we hope to have a complete listing soon!


Kendelle Anstey, 17 years old and living in St. John’s Newfoundland is a very ambitious go-getter within her community where she loves to learn and apply knowledge as either a leader or team player. Her interest in and passion for the environment have led to her partaking in the Canada Wide Science Fair 2011, organizing recycling drives, and becoming a committed member to her school’s science and environmental club. Kendelle, a senior cadet, also teaches classes at her local cadet corps and takes part in many of the cadet activities such as biathlon, drill team, clean –ups, and other various volunteer work.

She is excited about the Arctic Expedition because she wants to develop a new perspective and understanding of the arctic environment up close, as well as to develop ideas for more sustainable methods in the future. She hopes to present what she has learned to show her community why and how we can change. Kendelle has big dreams to change the world as a future environmental engineer and researcher she believes that the poles can affect us all and are where we need to start.


Katie Baba is an avid environmentalist in her community where she captains the high school Envirothon team and sits on the Board of Directors of the Oromocto River Watershed Association. She is the youngest of three sisters and is from Lincoln, New Brunswick. She has her Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Certificate and loves to teach music. She also enjoys painting and playing sports including basketball and cross country. Katie wants to go to the Arctic because she wants to see everything first hand and learn all that she can about one of the most unique environments in the world. In particular she wants to learn more about the effects that global warming is having on the wildlife of the Arctic. She will be doing a science degree at the University of New Brunswick in the fall where she hopes to implement an environmental club. She firmly believes that activism is contagious, and she looks forward to being an ambassador for Students on Ice upon returning home.


My name is Andrea Brazeau. My interests include playing hockey, scuba diving, meeting new people, traveling and camping. I also love to go hunting. My family and I go camping a lot. We try to go out on the land most weekends. When we’re out camping we go fishing for arctic char. I’ve been playing hockey since I was 11 years old. I play hockey as much as possible during the winter time.

The reason I like travelling is because I like meeting new people and seeing different things. One of my biggest trips was going to Guatemala, it was a school activity. Eleven students were chosen to go and I am thankful that I was one of them. We went to build a cement soccer field for children there. During our stay there we also got to learn a bit of Spanish. It was a great experience.


Jeremy Brown, 15 years old, is going to grade 10 in September 2011 at Booth Memorial High School.  He is proud to say that he lives in Buckmasters Circle, St. John’s, Newfoundland.  

Jeremy had the opportunity to do the Velocity Adventure Group (an outdoor adventure camp) with Community Youth Network.  Since doing the Velocity Group he has developed a curiosity for the outdoors.  He likes trying new things and traveling to new places. His hobbies include biking around his beautiful city, hockey, hiking, exploring and sightseeing

Isabella Maliki Bruce is also known as Izzy. She's 15 years old, and has lived in Rankin Inlet since she was 3 years old. Izzy likes to play sports and she was in competitive gymnastics for many years.

In the summershe loves to go to her uncle’s ranch to go horse back riding and help out with their camp. During the year Isabella works at a local restaurant, and as a cashier at the Northern Store.

As a past-time, Isabella likes to spend time with friends and have fun.


Max was born in Moscow, Russia. He is 18. When he was 2 years old his parents moved to Malta. He went to RBSM boarding school in Malta and successfully finished it in 2010. After school, Max went to Brno Masaryk University to study Medicine. Max has been already the intern at the Gladbeck hospital (Germany) and loved the experience.


All his life Max has been involved in sports. He is good at swimming, free diving and scuba diving, all kinds of skating. He also plays musical instruments and enjoys surprising people with magic tricks.


Max will share hiS Students on Ice experience and discoveries at RBSM school in Malta because he believes that he would be the only one from Malta who has ever yet been so far to the North. Max shall use such unique experience during his study at the university as well.


Regan Burden is a fourteen-year-old youth from a small town on the South Coast of Labrador. She’s fascinated with nature and animals for as long as she can remember. She loves the frost that winter brings and her two favorite winter activities are snowmobiling and dog sledding. Regan also loves photography and public speaking. Regan is a member of her school’s Student Council as well as the basketball team, soccer team, volleyball team, ball hockey team and cross country running team. Her favorite extracurricular however would have to be the Junior Canadian Ranger Program, she has learned so many useful skills from this program and they also strive for protecting the environment. Regan hopes the expedition will teach her how to sustain the Arctic environment and most importantly the animals that are residing in these Arctic Environments.


I am a university student at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Marine Environmental Technology program. I am from a small community of 300 called Canning's Cove on the East Coast of Newfoundland. Being in the Marine Environmental field, I have been a part of my city's recycling program since it has started last year and am always looking for new way to make my life greener. I believe that I can learn so much about the regions we are going to travel and bring that knowledge back to my community of peers. Also I will also be attending the IMPACT! Sustainability conference this September. I am very much looking forward to the expedition this summer.


Amaya was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada. For the first 8 or so years of her life she lived in an off grid house in the woods with no running water. She loves spending time outdoors, canoeing, kayaking, biking and camping and is a member of the Whitehorse Youth Rock Climbing Club.

Amaya is an active member of her community. She coaches gymnastics at the Polarettes Gymnastics Club and is an active member of her school’s Social Justice Club. She was
a so the youngest person to speak in front of the Whitehorse City Council. 

Amaya would like to participate in Students on Ice Arctic Expedition because she would like to better understand the causes and effects of climate change in the north and learn new strategies to preserve northern ecosystems.  She is excited to broaden her knowledge of the environment and make new friends, and is immensely grateful to have been given this marvellous once in a life time opportunity.


BIO in the works! Stand by!


Trevor de Zeeuw is an 18 year old who just graduated from Burnaby Central Secondary School in Burnaby British Columbia Canada. Trevor is a very busy student in and outside of school. He participated in three choirs at his school, has been an avid wrestler since grade 8, and was captain of his school’s Ski team and Senior Boy’s Rugby team. Outside of school Trevor works at a locally owned grocery store specializing in organic foods. He also plays rugby for the Burnaby Lake Rugby club as one of the premier forwards on the U-18 team. With friends he enjoys making ski and biking movies. His post secondary education will be taking place at the University of Northern British Columbia, focusing on resource management.

Trevor has always been highly motivated; both in and outside of sports and will do his best to continue this in all aspects of his life. He is looking forward to sharing his experiences with his friends and colleagues when he returns home!


Ania Olsvig Drechsel is 17 years old and is born in Nuuk, the capitol city of Greenland. She is 1st year Highschool student of Mid-Greenland Gymnasial Highschool. She lives with her mother and brother in the suburb of the city, Nuussuaq.

Already in her early ages, she understood that she whish to commit her life to work for wildlife. It started already  when she and her family spend a lot of time out on the free. Ania lives in a place where you most of other places in the world can feel the changing of the climate. Being aware of that through her own observations and hear about it daily she grew up with a natural commitment to that matter. Her favourite subjects at school and Highschool is  biology and geography. 

In her spare time Ania loves to do sport like karate, running, reading and activities with her friends outdoor and travel when possible.  Anias goal today is to take an education that has relations to studies and preservation of wildlife and nature.  Her goal is to study either geology or biology in the future.


Cassandra Elphinstone is from Nanaimo, BC, where she is involved in a number of activities. She participates in Track and Field, Cross Country running, Math Club, the Outdoors Club and the Dover Bay Eco Club. As well, she recently completed the full RAD syllabus in ballet achieving distinction several times. She is drawn to the sciences, especially Biology and Physics and enjoys reading, carving, exploring the woods, and drawing in her spare time. Cassandra has her belaying liscence for climbing and has an avid interest in hiking trips on foot and by snowshoe.

Cassandra has organized the clean up of a creek, planted native flora in Nanaimo’s parks, helped remove invasive plants, studied stream ecology with a field biologist, examined fish to discover the health of local streams, helped fundraise for turtles in Cambodia, and has given talks about the environment to elementary schools. Cassandra has organized petitions that helped establish the new Nanaimo floral emblem (Lotus Pinnatus). Her love of the outdoors is her motivation for protecting her beautiful natural surrounding.


My name is Eileen Emudluk and I live in Kangiqsualujjuaq. I like playing hockey and travelling but I have only travelled to a few places like Halifax and Newfoundland. I like to go camping with my grandparents, but I like it best when we go to one of their cabins. I am thankful for my grandparents. When I have my free period, I like hanging out with my best friends. We go to the community centre or to the arena and we usually talk and laugh a lot. I go to the church with my best friends and we have a band and we sing and play instruments. I play the keyboard and I love it.


My name is Yaneev Forman. I live in Toronto and am entering my final year of high school in September. I enjoy backpacking, exploring and hiking and have always been interested in the environment and social issues. I was a scrutineer during the last federal election and was recently recognized for an essay on arrest and detention by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Recently, I co-founded the Toronto Environmental Alliance's Youth Caucus. I have since moved on to do outreach work for them, building a network of community contacts. I have also worked with the Canadian Environmental Law Association to develop a program for youth engagement.

I have always wanted to visit the north so that I could broaden my understanding of the world by experiencing a place very different from what I know. I look forward to learning from the staff and other participants.


Michael is from Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is passionate about the climate change issue and believes that this expedition can help him learn more about the different aspects of the issues facing the Arctic, which will deepen his understanding of climate change. He looks forward to speaking and interacting with others on the expedition to get first hand knowledge about the changes our planet is under going.


Michael is an active member of his school's environmental group Friends of the Gully (F.O.G.) as well as a member of my town environmental group the Torbay Environmental Trails Committee (T.E.T.C.). Through his work in both these groups he have partaken in many clean-ups, awareness presentations and other environmental initiatives.


Michael combines his passion for the environment with his ability to connect with people to create awareness and encourage positive environmental action. Michael has just recently received the Toyota Earth Day Scholarship. This scholarship will be put towards his tuition at Memorial University where he will be studying Chemistry, Biology and Physics in the fall.


Derrick Gill is a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee and will be a senior in the fall. When school starts, he will have the position as the new battalion commander in the JROTC program.  This past school year, he served as the vice-president of the junior class. A very outgoing young man, Derrick strives hard to put forth his best effort and to be all he can be. Derrick is a very adventurous person. He is always looking for something new to do outdoors. He enjoys going fishing, hiking and camping. After graduation, Derrick plans to go to a four year college.  He would like to major in criminal justice and minor in business management. Derrick plans to start his own security company to protect communities and keep them safe.  He is looking forward to an awesome time on this expedition and looks forward to learning lots of things. He is so grateful for this once in a life time opportunity.



Bridget Graham is an 18 year old, grade 12 student from C.S.C. Jeanne-Lajoie in Pembroke, Ontario. Her love of the environment began at a very young age, sparked by her love for polar bears, which she used to call sea bears. Bridget and is currently the facilitator of Eco Pulse, the environmental youth group in Renfrew County. She is a past Queen of the Furrow, and current member and junior leader of 4H Canada as well as being a member of Junior Farmers. She loves playing sports and is a member of the soccer and hockey teams at her school, as well as a member and former assistant coach in both wheelchair-basketball and sledge hockey. She is currently planning the humanitarian trip at her school to the Dominican Republic, which also happens to be her coop placement.

She will be going east come September, to study at Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental law. She cannot wait to explore and engage in new friendship all while learning about the world around her. 


I am fourteen years old and will be attending Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts in September. I have always been interested in science and since the summer of third grade, I have taken summer courses in science: including marine biology of the Chesapeake Bay, forensic science, astrobiology, biogenetics, and ornithology. I belong to a very athletic family and have been involved in many different sports and competitions. I have run a full marathon and competed in ultra marathons. I recently was part of a team of six that ran 126 miles from Baton Rouge to New Orleans in Louisiana. We ran on the levee and followed the Mississippi River. I experienced first hand wild weather conditions and saw sugarcane fields, swamps, old farms, and plantations along the way. I’ve been all throughout France and the United States; I’ve travelled through the jungles of Costa Rica, and skied in Canada. Through all of my adventures, I’ve made lasting friends and memories and I hope that I will soon have more adventures to tell.


My name is Naiomi Itulu, I am originally from Kimmirut, Nunavut but I moved to Iqaluit in January 2011 and I love it here.  It’s awesome to be in Iqaluit, to stay with my family and friends. Being helpful is part of who I am. I always help my family and friends.


I may have a shy personality, but I love making new friends. I like to play sports such as volley-ball and soccer as a goalie. I also like to walk around town, go to the theatre, and hang out with friends. I was a Junior Canadian Ranger. As a Ranger we did physical activity, air rifle shooting competitions, learn how to use a Coleman stove, and operate a GPS. In my spare time, I love to draw. Some of my favourite things to draw are camping scenes, hearts, stars and animals: mostly geese.


I am interested in learning new things about the ocean and the land. I have a passion for nature and wildlife as my grandparent taught me the Inuit traditional ways. During this trip, I am looking forward to learning new things, have fun with new people and take lots of pictures.


Bo Yeon is a 11th grader living in the eternally busy Ho Chi Minh City. She has a long-lasting love for camping, hiking, and generally isolating herself from human areas for at least a little while at a time. Reading, cooking, and playing violin are other hobbies that she enjoys. Bo Yeon hopes to find out not only about the physical environment and ecology of the Arctic, but also the technological know-how and the tools to bring the message through to make a greater difference in the world as well as finally figuring out where she, and humans in general, belong in this Earth.

 A dual citizen of South Korea and the United States, Bo Yeon has lived in both countries for 7 years. She currently can speak Korean and English fluently, and is attempting to learn Vietnamese so that she can reach out to the community at large and approach the issue of conservation in a holistic manner, showing that environment, economy, and society go hand in hand together.


My name is Cassie Jones. I live in the heart of downtown Montréal where the city is rich with culture and there is always a lot to do and see. I love going to concerts and listening to live music. I am passionate about issues around the environment and social activism. I am apart of a youth activist group, I enjoy watching documentary films from around the globe and often attend Cinema Politica at Concordia University. I love to travel and experience new things. I am an editor of both my student newspaper and yearbook because I love writing and being apart of that process. I am deeply interest in art and culture therefore I am hoping to pursue a career as a digital anthropologist and journalist. It has been a dream of mine to travel to the Arctic and be immersed in its vast natural beauty. I am very excited that I am taking this trip of a lifetime and I am looking forward to meeting everyone!

Angie Jo pic.jpg


Angie is 17 year old Canadian currently living in South Korea (accordingly, she speaks Korean, English, and French). She loves cross country running, horseback riding, reading, art, filmmaking, and travelling. In the past two years she has run races in Guam, built homes with Habitat for Humanity in India, been a part of the press team for MUN in China, photographed musical theatre in Italy, worked backstage at a concert in Singapore, played basketball in Japan, and stayed with a family in France. She is beyond excited, over the moon really, to be able to spend a part of her summer in the beauty of the Arctic. She is preparing to make a full-length film documenting the experience.


Emerald was born and raised in the Yukon.  Growing up in a small town she has always been eager to travel.  The travel bug has taken her to Japan, France, England, and different exchanges including Encounters with Canada. These opportunities provided her with new friends, experiences and memories.  She recently graduated from Vanier Catholic Secondary and plans on attending the local college, then to a larger university outside of the Yukon.  Emerald enjoys drawing and playing the guitar.

Emerald first became interested in the environment in grade 10.  Instead of a regular gym class, she took Outdoor Education which included many camping trips, canoe trips, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing.  Emerald’s knack for adventure, passion for learning and sense of humor will be a strong addition to the Arctic Expedition.


I am currently in Grade 11 at Attagoyuk Ilisavik in Pangnirtung, Nunavut and I am sixteen years old. I have lived in Pangnirtung all my life. My friends describe me as being a good person and a good student. I am not scared to try new things although I am a little shy when I first meet new people.

I am interested in the environment and how it is changing. Living in a polar region I see first hand the changes in the ice caused by the weather. I enjoy going out on the land with the Junior Canadian Rangers and learning how to survive in a harsh climate. I also enjoy sewing traditional Inuit clothing like Kamiks, mitts, and hats and I am going to try and make a traditional parka next year.


I am 14 years old and just started grade nine this past year at Lisgar Collegiate in Ottawa. I love to read and learn about other places and watch Harry Potter movies. I’m more interested in art and music than gym but I still like to do lots of running, bicycling, hiking, skiing and swimming with my friends and family. I like to learn about other cultures and visit other exciting places. I love animals (even though I’m allergic) and care about the environment.


My name is Paul Kleist, I am from Kuujjuaq, Quebec.  I am 17 years old, currently attending Jaanimmarik High School. I enjoy playing hockey. I have been part of the Nunavik Hockey Team in different levels, representing Nunavik since I was 9 years old; and am currently on the Midget Team. I also enjoy being outdoors, hunting, going out on the land, and riding my snowmobile.

My father is a helicopter pilot, so I have had the opportunity to fly with him on many occasions, seeing different parts of the Nunavik region, seeing how diverse our region is.  I've also gotten hands on experience working with wildlife, when flying wildlife technicians working out on the field.

I am excited that this expedition will allow me to see different parts of the Arctic region, wildlife, people, and as well as to experience sailing.I will also be touching on my own personal heritage; Greenland on my Mother's side (my Grandfather is originally from Greenland), and Akpatok Island on my Father's side (Family history originally from Kangirsuk - Akpatok area).



Kristín is a sixteen year old girl who has lived most of her life in a small university community of 200 people in Skagafjörður, Iceland. She lived in Canada for seven months when she was eight so she can‘t wait to go back there! For the past two years she has been studying in a secondary school in Akureyri. Kristín loves writing and reading and is particularly interested in anything connected to sociology and history, so she is excited interact with different cultures and learn about what it‘s like to live in the Arctic and how global warming will affect the lives of local people. She is also very interested in experiencing nature in the Arctic. She plans on sharing her experience with as many people as possible because she thinks it is important that young people in Iceland are more aware of the Arctic community that they are part of.


I am from Pond Inlet, Nunavut. I have loads of brothers and sisters. I’m very friendly. I help other people. I think I’m outgoing, and I like doing hip hop - that’s my THANG. I love to listen to music A LOT. I work hard at school and I love to have fun. I love to laugh. I love to dance. When I graduate from high school I want to go to Nunavut Sivuniksavut in Ottawa. After that I want to travel around the world to places like Hollywood, New York, Tokyo and Brazil. I want to be a role model and an actress and singer when I grow up and meet celebrities. That would be my dream. I am excited for SOI because it sounds fun. I want to learn about the cultures of Greenland and Iceland. When I get back after the trip I want to hang out with my friends and tell them all the stories about Students on Ice.


I was born in Iqaluit but live in Hall Beach. I went camping a lot with my family and my mom taught me how to take care of the environment. She told me to respect the land because what we believe is you could have a short life when you don't respect it.
Other than camping we used to go Arctic Bay -- it’s a three day trip. While we where going there, there where so many beautiful mountains everywhere. I just fell in love with the outdoors and I want to see more of it.
When I was little up my mom went to college so we lived in Iqaluit. I was only five so everything was new to me. When I was only eight we moved back to Hall Beach.  It was great being a kid here. Now I'm growing up, and I’m really interested in travelling. I’m thinking of going to Africa one day.


Joey Loi is an active 17 year old from Markham, Ontario.  He believes in making meaningful change and is certain that the Students on Ice program will help him develop the skills and relationships he needs to do just that.


Joey’s passion for the environment comes through in his work as a director on the Youth Environmental Network of York Region.  He was instrumental in presenting the Ecological Action Conference which attracted 300 youth delegates and featured a dozen different workshops and speakers Dave Williams and Dev Aujla.  YENYR is currently working to create a zero waste campaign for a local night festival which annually attracts 60,000 visitors.


His involvement in the community extends beyond environmental initiatives.  Joey is the co-chair of the Mayor’s Youth Task Force, the youth branch of Markham town council.  Joey combined his passions for entrepreneurship and education to found Turn the Page, a youth led non-profit organization that connects local youth to opportunities to support education in impoverished communities.


Joey believes that young people must be active in shaping the world they live in. He looks forward to immersing himself in the Arctic environment and the culture of its people to learn about what he can do to bring about positive change in his community.  Joey intends to share his passion for environmental advocacy with others to spark local change that has a global impact.


My name is Samantha Lyall, and I am 18 years of age. I have taken a transfer year at the College of the North Atlantic last year in Happy-Valley Goose Bay, and will be going into Environmental Studies at Saint Mary's University this September in Halifax.

When I finish school, my goal is to some day work with Parks Canada, hopefully in the Torngat Mountains. I really enjoy exploring the land and taking on new adventures. I love going hunting with my dad and learning new things from him. Some of my other interests include: math, meeting new people, ski-dooing, and swimming. I hope to learn a lot about climate change from the scientists and elders on the expedition.  I am also excited to experience different ways of culture with so many different people on the trip. This expedition will be good for me to gain knowledge about the arctic environment for the program I am going in to.


Liv Inuk O.Lynge is a native Greenlander.  She was born in Narsaq, a small town in South West Greenland, where she has spent her life so far, except for three years of boarding school in Denmark.

This coming fall, she will move with her family to the South Greenland main town Qaqortoq, where her mother will be a teacher at the local trade school and where she and her sister Dina will begin high school.After high school, Liv plans to go to the capital Nuuk to study at the Greenlandic University Ilisimatusarfik.

Liv is very excited and most grateful to be part of the SOI 2011 Arctic Expedition.  She is looking forward to the experiences that she will have and the opportunity to meet other young people concerned with the environment and their common future.


Amanda is a 17 year old from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. She is very passionate about travel, exploring, and the well-being of people and animals around the world. She is a gifted writer, and an honour science student, who cares greatly about the planet and conservation. Following a trip to the Canadian Arctic in 2008, Amanda helped organize a youth festival in her community joining the youth of the north and the south. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys going for hikes with her family and 1.5 year old Boxweiler, and spending time with her friends in the local fair-trade coffee shop.


I am 17 years old and I am Italian. I was born in Turin and I moved to Monaco at the age of four because of my father’s job. My grand-parents and my family still live there so we try to go back as often as possible. I have two sisters; an older one who is 20 years old and studies law in Paris, and a younger sister who is 15 years old.

I go to the Lycée Albert 1st  in Monaco and I am in the literary section in the English International option. This means that apart from six hours of French and five hours of Spanish and Italian, I have six hours of English per week and two hours of American history. One of the things I love the most is travelling but I also like wildlife and animals, this is one of the reasons why my favourite sport is horse riding. 

My mother is a biologist and my father is a quality and environment engineer, which means I have been brought up informed of environmental issues and with a certain respect for the environment. I really want to make a significant difference and I hope this expedition will help me in this direction.


My name is Ilona Morel and I am 16 years old. My mother is a Spanish teacher and my father works at Orange, a factory that makes phones. I also have a little brother. I come from Monaco, even if it’s a small country it’s still a beautiful one. I’m in high school and I’ve chosen a scientific section so I have more math, physics and life & earth sciences.
I practice beach volleyball twice a week and on my free time. I like listening to music, taking pictures, hanging out with friends and shopping. Moreover I really like travelling and at the moment my favorite country is Spain because I like the mood out there, the food and the weather.

I am from Pond Inlet, Nunavut. I am a young female and I’m from Pond Inlet Nunavut. I love art more than anything. Art art art art! I love art because it’s awesome and I love the motion of the hand when I paint. When my hand goes ‘swish’ and paints. I love that so much. I think SOI looks great because it will be my first time on AND in a boat. I want to be an artist in my life and be a rapper. I like to dance in hip-hop and I love Inuktitut dancing because of the music. I love both dances - break dancing and Inuktitut dancing. I want to learn about the Greenland culture. Is it always winter in Greenland? When I get back I want to tell everyone about Students on Ice – what we did, what we saw, how we do things, all that.


I have a fascination in everything to do with science and with the earth. Chemistry, biology, even physics, I love it all. I love to study the earth itself, the processes behind its formation and the human and science effects on its future. Ever since my Grade 9 science teacher made a ball of flame in class, I have wanted to be a high school science and geography teacher. From the very first time I explored the earth, via satellite, through Google Earth, I have wanted to visit the Arctic. This trip to the arctic is going to be amazing.

Outside of school, I am involved in an archery program, where I spend time both developing my skills as an archer, as well as coaching beginner archers to help them develop their skills. I have competed provincially in the Ontario high school tournament, as well as the qualifier for the Ontario summer games (a mini Olympics).I also enjoy reading, listening to music, kneeboarding, travelling with my family, and of course going on Google Earth in my spare time (when I manage to get some).


My name is Thomas Nashak and I am 16 years old. I have lived in the Arctic all my life. I grew up in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik and I love it, so I plan on staying here forever. I always have and always will like hanging and spending time on the land. More recently I’ve been sharing my camping and hunting experience with my friends. I am also involved in sports. My favourite sport is hockey and I have been part of the NHYPD hockey program.

I have also been a part of Junior Rangers and Cadets, where we spend a lot of time learning how to survive in the wild with nothing. This has got me interested in how the environment is changing my home. I want to participate in this program because I love the land and want to know how it is changing. I also want to learn what I can do or how I can prepare for the Arctic’s future.


Katharine is a 15 year old student residing in Grand-Falls Windsor, Newfoundland.  She is avidly involved in her province’s equestrian community and was chosen as a youth representative for the sport.  She is also an active member in her community’s theatre program, giving up a lot of her time to teach and help young children develop their skill and talent for the arts. Her other interests include show jumping, piano, musical theatre, writing and Irish dance.

Katharine feels a very strong connection to the environment and believes that everyone has a part to play in its sustainability. Growing up in Labrador, Katharine has always had a love for the arctic environment and its people.   She is very excited to be a part of the SOI expedition and wants to take away a better knowledge of the arctic and an even stronger connection with the environment from this once in a lifetime experience.


I am 17 years old and I have lived in all 3 regions of Nunavut; the Qiqitani, Kivalliq and Kitikmeot Regions.  Cambridge Bay, in the Kitikmeot Region, has always been my home. I enjoy the outdoors, especially boating in the summer and skidooing in the winter. I am a good student and enjoy school. My favourite subjects are Math and Science! Although I am not bilingual, I enjoy French and have a working understanding of the language.  I love to travel.


Otera Ortega is 16 year old sophomore at Exeter-West Greenwich high school in Rhode Island. She was born and raised in Northern New Mexico. Her parents stressed the importance of staying connected to the earth by gardening and exploring surrounding mountains. Otera moved to Rhode Island in 2010 to live with her grandparents. She discovered some summer classes for Environmental and Food justice. She became passionately involved in project’s including The Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Otera helped co-found a youth-led organization, ECO-Youth, standing for Environmental Community Organizers. They are working on Green D(ri)ve, where they are converting a bus to run on veggie oil, in order to help travel to conferences and present their workshops to people of all ages.

Otera hopes to use what she learns from the expedition to create workshops. Also, she hopes to make art from the experience. Otera enjoys gardening, reading and cooking healthy meals.


Becky is known for her passion for her culture and hunger for knowledge. She enjoys the outdoors. Becky goes out on the land as much as she can, going fishing, berry picking, and going on trips to the cabin with family and friends. Becky became very passionate for her culture when she joined a choir in 2007. She practiced throat singing as much as she could with her sister and sung traditional songs. Becky has travelled to various places to perform. She has been to Yellowknife, N.W.T. as a cultural delegate at the 2008 Arctic Winter Games, Kamloops, B.C. on a youth exchange trip, and St. John’s NFLD for an International Choir gathering. After graduating high school in 2009, Becky attended the 8 month Nunavut Sivuniksavut program in Ottawa where she learned more about Inuit History, Contemporary Issues of the Aboriginal people in Canada and the new government of Nunavut led by the Inuit. After graduating from the program, Becky has more confidence and pride in herself as an Inuk and feels she now has a stronger voice as an individual. Gaining more knowledge of herself identity as an Inuk has made her want to connect more with the environment on which her ancestors struggled and survived. The Arctic has changed over the century and this has Becky eager to find out why this is happening. She is confident that the expedition will help her better understand why and how she can help to change it for the future generations.

Mary is a 17 year old student from Ottawa, Ontario. Mary has climbed mountains in the Adirondacks, swam with manatees, and canoed with freshwater jellyfish. She hopes to continue to travel and explore throughout her whole life. Mary likes soccer, cross-country skiing, hiking, gardening, reading and making art. She has recently developed an interest for film and photography; she hopes to get some great footage in the Arctic with her brand new camera. She can't wait to be inspired by all of the amazing Arctic landscapes, plants and animals. She is thrilled to meet all of the interesting people on the expedition and soak in this amazing experience.

I have been brought up in a traditional Chinese family but I’ve had an American education. Therefore, I am very open to different cultures and had a broad view of world issues. I am extremely interested in scuba diving and marine life. I dove with sharks for a month last summer while doing research and have explored many different dive sites and even obtained a masters scuba diving license. This summer, I hope to learn more about our natural world bye experiencing the most natural, most untouched part of our planet. I want to be able begin my senior year confident of the path I want to take into college and full of ideas of how I can change the attitudes and behavior of people in my community, so that people more aware about the global environmental issues everyone has to face.


I am Qayaqjuaq Qamaniq, age 16. I am in grade 10 and going into grade 11 next year. I live in Iglooik, Nunavut. I am an outgoing girl with lots of great energy. I am interested in learning about the environment and climate change. I want to learn about animals and how the world has changed. I want to participate in Students on Ice because I want to learn how to be a leader. And I want to meet new people and I like to see what other lands look like. I want to go exploring.


Nausheen Rajan is 17 years old, and currently lives in Orlando, Florida. She strongly believes in the quote "Be the Change you Want to See in the World," and it is what keeps inspiring her to take initiative and become a 'global ambassador.' She continually challenges herself not only with a rigorous academic schedule, but balances herself by being active in organizations such as Peace Jam, Key Club, Give Kids the World, and Partnership Walk.

Dancing is one of her passions, alongside with community service, photography, and creative/journalistic writing as she is an editor of her school newspaper. An avid reader and hard-worker- she puts her 110% into everything she does. Knowledge is a power that must be taken advantage of, so she is super-excited to be part of the SOI Expedition to broaden her knowledge


My name is George Sallerina from Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.  I like to play soccer, badminton, basketball and volleyball.  I love to go camping and I collect pins.  I have the best dog in the world - her name is Candy.  This year I am in grade 11 at Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik.  I enjoy travelling and meeting new people.  I like to be moving all the time; I have all my swimming levels and am waiting until I turn 16 so I can go for my lifeguarding.  Every 2 years I travel with my family to Florida where we go to camps and explore.  The past 2 years I have travelled across Canada to the CWS (Canada Wide Science Fair) to represent the Kitikmeot and Nunavut. After I graduate I want to go to NS (Nunavut Sivuniksivut) as well as train to be a pilot.  I have already begun my pilot's career and have a log book with logged flight time.  I have an Auntie who lives in Whitehorse and someday I would like to go to college and live near her.

I am looking forward to going on this trip because I would like to meet new friends, see new cultures and learn how to preserve the Arctic.  I am looking forward to see how other Arctic people speak and dress.  I also excited about being on a ship and trying to see animals.



Sherilyn Sewoee is an Inuit teenager who lives in Arviat, Nunavut. She is 16 years old and is going into grade 11. Her favorite subject is Science and Aulajaatut (Northern Studies). She loves to do things like going on the land, walking around town, working at her part-time job and helping or training people. Sherilyn is part of the Cosmetology Skills Canada Club and Drama Club at her high school. Sherilyn works at the local Quickstop as a cashier and a cook and feels good about the responsibilities she has taken on. She really appreciative of her foster family in Arviat. Sherilyn is interested in “Students On Ice” because she wants to learn more about the environment, global warming, volcanoes in Iceland, different cultures and traditional languages and wants to find out how the climate is changing. She is excited about meeting new people so she can make a connection between her life and their life.

Yashvi Shah, a recent high school graduate, lives in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She is anxiously looking forward to meeting the rest of the Students on Ice expedition team in the Arctic this August!

Yashvi enjoys indulging in a variety of activities including outdoor pursuits, cultural festivals, dancing, swimming and writing. As a former Ms. Niagara Hindu Samaj, she enjoys taking time out of her schedule to learn about what makes our Canadian multicultural mosaic so beautiful: the traditions and cultures that we all bring to this magnificent country.

Her passion for the environment comes through her extensive involvement with the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee which has introduced two by-laws that prohibit the sale of all plastic beverage bottles within all municipality buildings and discourage the use of plastic bags in all retail facilities. Yashvi is a founding member of inflo, a technology based start-up founded during Shad Valley UNB 2010. She is also a co-founder of Effect magazine which she hopes to use to provide students from all scholastic backgrounds with opportunities equal to those who excel academically; in addition, she will use Effect to encourage students to get involved with something that they are truly passionate about. 

Yashvi is fluent in three languages and hopes to make that four during her time studying Biomedical Sciences at McGill University in the fall.

Yashvi hopes that through the SOI program, she is able to build a network of like-minded and passionate youth who will together make everlasting impact on our planet.


My name is Gordon, and I love exploring, travelling, learning new things, and helping with anything if needed. I love sports, music, hanging out with friends and volunteering. I have volunteered for a Inuit games competition and on the first of July, I will be volunteering for a pancake house. I’m also interested in becoming a wildlife officer, a police officer, and also in joining the military. Music is my passion and poetry is my favourite thing to do to pass time.

My goal for 2011 is to become a better person, a better student, to reach my goals sooner, and also to contribute in helping with the environment. I would be devastated if we lost all the natural things that help the north stay the way it is now. I grew up hunting and camping on the beautiful land, and I’m already starting to see changes: the ice is melting faster, summer is becoming longer, and storms are becoming stronger. I want to help with the environment in anyway I can, and this expedition is a great way to start.


SIMMI´s full name is Sigmundur Árni Sigurgeirsson.  He is a teenager in the town of Hafnarfjörður (Harbour Bay), Iceland. He is going to 9th grade this fall.  Simmi is a huge fan of winter sports; he is doing downhill skiing in wintertime in Iceland and has also been skiing in Austria and Italy.  Simmi has noticed that the climate in Iceland is changing.  It is getting difficult to go skiing in the southern part of Iceland due to lack of snow.

Simmi is training track and field with his club "FH" in his hometown. This summer he is working as an assistant trainer for young children on sport courses.  Simmi´s family has an old farm in the Snaefellsnes peninsula.  The land’s name is Hamraendar.  Simmi loves the nature at Snæfellsnes.  He often swims in the ocean there and river rafts in the river at Hamraendar.  Simmi has been planting and watering trees there for the past years. He likes fishing trout and the whole family fishes in various rivers and lakes.

In the summer of 2007 Simmi found a drift bottle on our beach at Hamraendar, only a few steps away from the bonfire.  This drift bottle was from the SOI expedition of 2005 and was dropped in the ocean 100 Nm east from Baffin Island. Now Simmi is getting the opportunity to drop a drift bottle at the same spot to close the circle!  Simmi hopes that this expedition will make him understand the nature in the Northern area better and how each and all of us can help in the battle against harmful climate change.



My name is Saladie Snowball and I am fifteen years old. I like to play hockey and stay out. My goal is to finish high school and after go to CEGEP but I don’t want to leave my family. I love to meet new friends and keep in touch with them. As time goes by, it is fun to unexpectedly see them again! I am excited about visiting Labrador during this expedition


Kayleigh Spencer is 15 years old and comes from the Cree Nation of Mistissini, Quebec. Her mother is First Nations Cree and her father is non-Aboriginal.  Kayleigh has three brothers Zach, Landen and new baby Bryce born on June 28th.  She is a fun, outgoing young person who is always ready to learn.  Her aspirations are science and law which would fit in perfectly in the world of environmental studies.

Kayleigh speaks Cree, English and French fluently and takes pride that it has been said that she speaks Cree like an elder, English like her father and French like a Quebecois. She also loves to spend time in the bush enjoying the cultural activities of her Cree ancestors and family where her Gookum (grandmother) has taught her the value of our land and traditional activities.

Kayleigh wants to experience firsthand the importance of the Arctic region and its effect on the climate and the world we live in.  She wants to meet other future leaders from around the world and work together to see the earth as one team learning what our generation needs to do to improve our way of life and sustain the planet for generations to come.This amazing educational adventure will be the beginning of a great journey in life.


My name is Shaquille Zaccheaus Starks.  I am sixteen years of age. I was born in a small town, Greenwood Mississippi, but grew up in Memphis, TN where I currently reside. 

Growing up an only child sometimes made it hard for me to make friends. All that changed in middle school when I began to find making friends fun and exciting. I now attend Booker Washington High School where I just completed the tenth grade. I am an active member of the football team, FBLA and the Men of Distinction. Booker Washington has been quite a challenge but rewarding.  Being apart of the Warrior family has afforded many, many opportunities. For example, Booker Washington won the Race to the Top Commencement competition whereby I had the grand opportunity to see President Obama up close and personal. My hobbies are sports, shoe shopping, hanging out with family and friends, dining out and going to the movies. I also enjoy traveling and learning new information about different states and other part of the country.

Being selected to participate in this expedition is very well appreciated and anticipated.  I look forward to learning about their way of life, school, and much more.  I am really looking forward to this expedition and all that it has to offer educationally.


Maven Torres is a junior at The Met High school in Rhode Island. He is 17 years old. He likes to play soccer and is currently on the high school soccer team. He also plays rugby and paintball with his friends and he is currently working on his archery skills. Maven is a very adventures person. He is involved in a program called the 14th RI Heavy Artillery. It’s a civil war re-enactment group. The regiment re-enacts battles of the civil war of the United States of America that took place in the 1800’s.

Maven’s passions are wildlife and nature; he prefers to be outside enjoying the cold weather instead of been inside nice and warm. He interned with Save the Bay, a non-profit organization that helps to keep the Rhode Island bay clean, for a year. Maven hopes to learn more and see more of the animals that are living in the Arctic while on expedition. When he comes back, Maven will gather a group of kids with the same interest as he and will talk to them about his experience and time in the Arctic. Maven wants to write a children’s book about his adventures at the Arctic.


Amelia Whiteley Tukkiapik is a 17 year old Inuk who grew up in Kuujjuaq, Quebec with her younger brother and sister.

In September 2010, she started studying in Montreal. She speaks French, English and Inuktitut.

Her favourite hobbies are exercising, camping and sewing Inuit clothing. Amelia loves to play sports as well. Her favourite sports are hockey, volleyball and badminton. In February 2010, she was the captain of the Nunavik Junior Girls Hockey team who participated in a tournament in Quebec City. She also went to the Arctic Winter Games 2010 in Grand Prairie, Alberta as a table tennis athlete with the Nunavik-Quebec Team. Amelia has represented her community in other ways. She was part of a local dance troupe that competed in Florida at an international dance competition. In 2008, Amelia was part of the cultural contingent representing Nunavik at the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Amelia is very connected to traditional activities with her family. They go camping and hunting throughout the year. Every May they go to Kangirsuk to go ice fishing. Being outside is what Amelia loves most.

Amelia is looking forward to the opportunity of Students on Ice because it will bring new experiences and understanding of the arctic. It will provide a learning environment about climate change and the effects it has on the arctic and wildlife.


Victoria is a recent high school graduate from the greater Vancouver region of British Columbia. Victoria enjoys playing the clarinet and piano and together with her two brothers, she forms the impromptu “Wee Three” jam band.

From an early age, Victoria was drawn to the environment and reveled in time spent camping and skiing. During her years in the I.B. program, Victoria discovered a love of combining the environmental sciences and physics, and plans to join them in her future studies. One of her highlights so far was being the youth reporter for the Canadian Environmental Network’s Civil Consultation in preparation for Earth Summit 2012. Victoria is currently working on establishing a district online green newsletter and is helping to develop the district’s environmental policy.

Because the upcoming year is such an exciting year for environmental engagement and advancement, particularly with the UN Earth Summit in June 2012, Victoria has decided to take a gap year to take an active role in Canada’s build-up to the Summit, working with organizations such as We Canada and Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots. She is looking forward to meeting everyone on the Arctic Expedition!


My names Kendall Melissa White and I am a 16 year old girl from Lake Temagami, Ontario. I grew up on an island for twelve years of my life so I have a deep connection with the environment. I am extremely involved in my community. I work with a Green Team, Youth Project, Aboriginal Links, Drumming Group, and am a youth representative on the Temagami Community Foundation. I want to move to the Arctic when I am older and get involved with the Ministry of Natural Resources by becoming a conservation officer and protecting our animals. I am extremely excited to be going on this trip to learn more about the world, geography and myself. I can't wait to meet everyone!


Alice Wilson is a 17 year old who has just graduated from Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ontario. In the fall, she will be studying Environmental Studies at Carleton University. While in high school, Alice was the captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team as well as a member of the swim team and water polo team for four years. In addition to being a member of the school’s Environment Club, Alice is a volunteer with the Greenbelt Coalition where she has performed a number of species studies in an effort to protect regional wetlands from development. Alice gained media recognition when she petitioned the City of Ottawa to limit the use of landfills and find alternate waste disposal methods. In a recent trip to Ecuador, Alice volunteered at the San Vicente de Paul Orphanage, and while at the Jatun Sacha Research Station in the Galapagos Islands, she helped rescue a sea lion trapped under tsunami debris. In the Galapagos Islands she fulfilled a dream when she swam with sharks and sting rays. When time permits, Alice enjoys skate skiing, hiking, and exploring shorelines with her kayak. She is a part time lifeguard and swim instructor for the City of Ottawa. Upon return from the Arctic, Alice looks forward to sharing her experience with others. She hopes to gain hands-on experience of the environment and cultures of the places she visits, and be able to apply skills learned on this expedition to her future endeavors.


Beatrice is a teenager who is passionate about a wide range of things. The arts have always been an interest to her, and from a young age, she has been a dancer, musician as well as an actress. She also has a deep passion for public speaking, and has gained recognition in all the activities she partakes in. In addition to that, Beatrice is a writer and has written a wide range of articles, from Op-eds to research-based articles, which have continuously been published in both local and global publications. As a multilingual and multicultural teenager, Beatrice is also interested in the exploration and learning of languages and cultures, and is currently learning French. Climate change is an issue that Beatrice is deeply concerned about and has a passion for. As a climate activist, she is and has been very involved in the climate community. She is also full of curiosity and loves to discover new things. Beatrice views the Arctic as the fundamental basis of our planet, and strongly believes that changes that are taking place in the Arctic as a result of global warming means immediate effects and ramifications on our planet. Beatrice believes that the Arctic Expedition will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her to personally witness the already existent effects of climate change, as the Arctic is a harbinger of climate change and its effects. She also believes that the expedition will open her eyes to a whole new different world, and inspire her in such a profound way that will lead her to inspire other people and make a change in her community, her country and her world.

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