July 23 –August 7, 2018.
The journey brought together 130 students and 90+ educators from 20 countries to explore the western coast of Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic.
This ship-based expedition connected participating students to pressing local, national and international Arctic issues including ocean conservation, climate change, truth and reconciliation, and sustainable development.
Immersed in the Arctic environment, the students connected to the land, ocean, communities, and to their peers while being led by a global cohort of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scientists, artists, experts, educators and visionary leaders. Daily excursions, research, workshops and events engaged and inspired the students and fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation for the changing Arctic and its peoples. This diverse group of students worked collectively and individually to create new ideas, partnerships, and initiatives addressing the many challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic and the Planet.
The expedition explored the communities, coasts and fjords of western Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait to Canada’s High Arctic and the Northwest Passage. Expedition activities included the collection of eDNA samples from the Arctic coastline to learn about the changing biodiversity of the area; exploring the land and gaining cultural and historical knowledge from Inuit Elders, scientists, archaeologists, and community members; hikes across tundra and glaciers in Sirmilik National Park; observing wildlife; working with climate scientists to understand the drastic changes being seen in the Polar regions and their impacts; and learning first-hand about important Arctic marine ecosystems such as Pikialasorsuaq (the North Water Polyna) and Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound).
“To explore the Arctic with youth and experts from around the world, enables a unique learning opportunity to bridge cultures and allow for passionate, globally-minded and solution-driven conversations and initiatives to flourish,” says Expedition Leader Geoff Green. “This expedition is the beginning of a life-long journey, and a very important step for youth to gain the inspiration, education and motivation needed to become leaders in their communities and around the world.”
The international expedition team represented students and staff from 20 countries: Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, Greenland, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Ecuador, Germany, Norway, Monaco, Russia, Singapore, France, Malaysia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Thousands of people around the world followed and shared in the expedition experience via the impressive outreach and media strategy, including daily updates, blogs, videos and more.
The expedition team included The Honourable Nellie Kusugak, Commissioner of Nunavut; Special Advisor, Foreign Affairs Department of the Government of Greenland Mira Kleist; scientists Jennifer Doubt and Glenn Poirier with the Canadian Museum of Nature; Olympic and World Champion kayaker Adam van
Koeverden; Indigenous Folk Duo Twin Flames; Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA Daniele Bianchi, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand, and author & adventurer James Raffan.
Through the generosity of partner organizations, more than 80 per cent of the youth participants were fully supported to participate in this transformational, life-changing experience. The 2018 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition was made possible through partnerships with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Parks Canada, Canada Goose, Nunavut Sivuniksavut, Makivik Corporation, Kativik Regional Government, Leacross Foundation, WWF-Canada, the Government of Canada, the U.S. Embassy Ottawa, Adventure Canada, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, The Beatrice Snyder Foundation, First Air, the official airline of Student on Ice, Sony, Vistek, and more than 30 other generous supporters.
To learn more and to follow the journey, visit studentsonice.com