Summer on ice
With back-to-school season in full swing, summer is starting to fade from most of our memories. But the Students on Ice expedition participants have had a summer they’ll never forget in the Arctic.
The 2019 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition gave 131 high-school and university students the opportunity to travel to the Arctic and engage with scientists, elders, artists, musicians, dignitaries, historians, thought leaders, and innovators. Students were invited to experience a changing Arctic for themselves through ocean conservation, climate change and sustainable development from July 23 to Aug. 7.
WWF-Canada co-sponsored a student named Shelton—who hails from Arviat in western Nunavut—on this incredible journey. For Shelton, a first-year graduate of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program in Ottawa, this trip offered an opportunity to explore his own heritage. When asked what he’ll remember most about the expedition, he said, “The people I met—especially my people, the Inuit. I come from a strong Inuk background. I want to keep my language and heritage alive.”
Aside from meeting locals, Shelton was surrounded by plenty of people on the trip. The two-week journey brought together over 130 students from 18 countries around the world.
Here’s just a taste of what they experienced on this trip of a lifetime.
Following a pre-expedition program in Ottawa, students and staff ventured to Greenland where they explored the shores of Itilleq Fjord and participated in local land-based workshops like this session on pressing plants.
In route to Uummannaq, the students took in the stunning sight of icebergs in Disko Bay off the coast of Greenland. The students also learned about the history Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and spotted humpback whales on their journey.
The students arrived in Qiajivik (Coutts Inlet) on day nine of the expedition where they participated in more workshops, including a tutorial on making bannock and tea with Joanna Awa.
Nearing the end of their trip, the expedition team had an action-packed day of activities, including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and the annual ice plunge.
For more photos from SOI, visit studentsonice.com