Thursday, July 24, 2014
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
This morning began with a Welcome Home event at the Canadian Museum of Nature. A long time partner and supporter of Students on Ice, the CMN has graciously hosted a welcome home event for Students on Ice expeditioners for the past few years. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and staff to showcase their journey through photos, videos and presentations.
This year, the event opened with throat singing by Inuit educators Genevieve Killulark and Becky Mearns. The CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature, Meg Beckel then delivered opening remarks and introduced the Founder, Executive Director and Expedition Leader of Students on Ice Geoff Green who spoke to the life changing journey.
What followed was a morning full of incredible imagery, music by award winning singer/songwriters Ian Tamblyn and Kathleen Edwards and presentations by Parks Canada's CEO Alan Latourelle who spoke to their partnership with SOI and scientists from the Canadian Museum of Nature. But one of the most moving parts of the event came at the end with speeches from five of the student expeditioners who reflected on their Arctic journey and what it has meant to them. All 86 students on the 2014 Arctic Expedition are returning home feeling inspired and with a new global perspective on the planet and with incredible friendships and mentors they made along the way. This is just the beginning of many great things to come and SOI is thrilled to have so many amazing youth join the alumni family.
After the event students began their farewells as they began their return journey home.
Meg Beckel, CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature - Photo (c) Lee Narraway
Noel Alfonso, Ichthyologist, Canadian Museum of Nature - Photo (c) Lee Narraway
Alan Latourelle, CEO, Parks Canada - Photo (c) Martin Lipman
Student Journals - July 24, 2014
The final day of the 2014 SOI Arctic Expedition has finally come and it is inevitable that both feelings of sadness and joy now surround the SOI team in our last few moments together, before everyone once again becomes assimilated into the security of daily routine.
The last few days of the expedition were spent well. The day following our departure from Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, we got the chance to explore the Fiord of Eternity, where Garry Donaldson, the dedicated expedition ornithologist gave us a mini-lecture on Kittiwakes and Thick-Billed Murres. After viewing the bird cliff, we continued to an enormous glacier which extended from the Greenland Ice Cap, where a huge slab of ice came cascading into the water right before our eyes. The Students On Ice also spent some time discussing the Burning Questions we created at the inception of the expedition, following which I went to take photographs in the mud; unfortunately I got stuck. In the end however, everything turned out well and we continued towards Kangerlussuaq, crossing the Arctic Circle along the way. The night before our flight to Ottawa was spent in festivity and laughter and it is my personal belief that the term SOI family ultimately came to fruition...