On March 26, 2019, Geoff joined two Monegasque youth who participated in the 2018 Students on Ice (SOI) Arctic Expedition in presenting highlights from the journey; SOI’s upcoming initiatives and impact in the areas of climate change and ocean conservation; and officially launched the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation scholarships for the upcoming 2019 Arctic Expedition.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco is the Honorary Chair of the Board for the Students on Ice Foundation, an award-winning organization founded and led by Geoff. Prince Albert II has generously supported SOI and Monegasque youth on SOI expeditions for more than a decade and it was an honour to celebrate SOI and the impact these expeditions have had on Monegasque youth over the years.
Arctic 2018 alumni Baptiste Crovetto and Morgane Puons did a wonderful job presenting and sharing their experiences with a crowd of 400 hopeful students and inspiring them to apply for the 2019 expedition! Underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta also shared some of his extraordinary images from the Antarctic, including the photos that earned him the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2017. It was a wonderful event, and we were proud to have it included as an official part of Monaco Ocean Week this year. Merci à tous!!
Interviews with Geoff and the Arctic 2018 students on Monaco Channel below (time: 06:05-09:00)
Geoff speaks on Monaco Channel TV about the Students on Ice program
Geoff presents a copy of the Canada C3 commemorative book to Ségolène Royal at the 11th Annual Students on Ice Launch Event hosted by HSH Prince Albert II in Monaco. She spoke passionately about the need for urgent action on climate change, and the important role of youth.
Geoff addresses students in Itilleq Fjord during the 2018 Arctic Expedition. Photo (c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation
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.
On February 20, 2018, Geoff Green and Students on Ice 2018 Arctic Expedition alumni Matthew Linehan and Sara Dubé had the honour of presenting on SOI’s transformational journeys, including the SOI Foundation’s recent Canada C3 expedition to the Ambassador of Denmark to Canada Niels Boel Abrahamsen, his wife Karen, and the International Women’s Club of Ottawa.
The International Women’s Club of Ottawa is a wonderful organization that supports cross-cultural learning among its members and we were grateful for the opportunity to introduce our program, highlights from our journeys, and SOI’s impact inspiring and empowering youth as global ambassadors. It was especially fitting to present on SOI’s journeys at the Ambassador of Denmark to Canada’s residence as Greenland is an integral part of every SOI Arctic Expedition. The expedition brings onboard students and staff from Greenland each year to share their homeland and engage in cross-cultural and cross-national discussions around Indigenous culture, climate change and ocean conservation among other important Arctic and global topics. Greenland is also part of each expedition’s itinerary as students and staff visit communities, explore fjords and glaciers and learn about the Arctic through a more holistic, circumpolar lens.
A special thank you to Ambassador Abrahamsen and Karen for welcoming us into their home and providing this opportunity to share the SOI Foundation’s journeys and outreach initiatives.