By Marina Antipina / Tyumen, Russia
I’m so happy that I was a part of the 2018 Arctic Expedition. Thank you to the SOI team and students- it was an absolutely incredible journey where I developed a deep connection to the land, ocean and communities.
During expedition, I learned about climate change, icebergs and sea ice, the 17 sustainable development goals, truth and reconciliation, and the ocean. I stood on 3 billion-year old land, I touched and tasted an iceberg, and I saw spectacular landscapes and views. I learned about the flora and fauna of the Arctic and about Inuit culture and people. Additionally, I learned from Inuit and Indigenous leaders who are seeing real and impactful changes on their land. I also saw a polar bear and seals, explored the Greenland ice cap, went for a hike across the Arctic tundra, and swam in the Arctic Ocean. What an incredible experience!
Out days at sea were very emotional. There were moments when I cried when we talked about Truth and Reconciliation, or when we shared personal experience during a panel discussion on women in science. However, in these moments, I felt gratitude from the bottom of my heart.
The Isuma programming was a great opportunity to concentrate on our feelings and thoughts and gave us time to stop for a moment, breathe and look around. My most memorable workshops were “Sea Ice and Iceberg Observations” by Donavan Tremblay, “Underwater sounds” by Scott Carr, and the session on Sustainable Development Goals by Julie Gelfand and Dominique Souris.
Truth and Reconciliation was also another area of learning. I learned about the history of residential schools and heard true life stories from Inuit. It was inspiring to get to know their culture, traditions and games. It was also eye-opening to learn about the ways in which Inuit communities are affected by climate change. Inuit provide us information about animal migration and ice melting.
During expedition, I also got close to Mother Nature. I felt a strong connection between the people onboard and the natural world. I realized how our actions impact the environment and that global climate change is real. We must find solutions and be ready to adapt to it.
I’m a petroleum engineer and I will graduate next year. This expedition helped me realize that I want to change the focus of my studies to Environmental Science. I want to get my Master’s degree in Environmental Education.