Arctic Expedition 2012

Follow the journey : July 23 - August 7

Students on Ice | Natural Heritage Building | 1740 Chemin Pink | Gatineau QC J9J 3N7 | 1-866-336-6423

Expedition Team

Expedition Well Wishes...

"I consider myself a bit of a veteran of the Arctic as I've been going there since 1968. But as a staffer on SOI 2010 along with my son Will, I went through a life changing experience.

The Arctic is an amazing place and to view it alongside fascinated students from around the world as it faces the challenges of climate change was an opportunity I'll never forget.

Enjoy, travel safe, and you too will be changed forever."

Peter Mansbridge
Chief Correspondent, CBC Television

Students on Ice Expeditions has brought together an international team of scientists, artists, educators, explorers, writers, societal leaders and social innovators. The staff team's experience and enthusiasm ensures that student participants will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Arctic.

These staff work closely with student participants to ensure the expedition is an unforgettable adventure!


Geoff Green
Founder & President, Students on Ice
Expedition Leader

Canadian adventurer, environmentalist and educator Geoff Green has been leading expeditions and adventures from pole to pole for the past twenty years. Many notable organizations such as the Discovery Channel, World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian Institution enlist Geoff to lead their groups into the world's most remote and interesting regions.

In 2005, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. Congress for his work with youth and the environment. He was also selected one of Canada's "Top 40 under 40" - an annual national prize event saluting Canada's top young leaders. In 2004, Outpost Magazine chose Geoff as one of the "Top 5 Canadian Explorers" to watch.

Geoff is the founder and President of Students on Ice Expeditions an award-winning educational organization based in Chelsea, Quebec. The program - now in its tenth year - has taken over 1,500 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. The goal of this unique project is to give the world's youth a heightened understanding and respect for the planet's global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it.

As expedition leader, Geoff is a veteran of 79 Antarctic expeditions and 35 Arctic expeditions.

To read Geoff's full biography click here. To learn more about Geoff, visit


clare glassco
Manager, Projects, Partners & Participants, Students on Ice

Clare Glassco has been leading high school students on expeditions around the world since 2007. From Ecuador to Egypt, Clare has worked to provide transformative educational experiences for teenagers far away from their homes and comfort zones. A graduate of Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training on Vancouver Island, Clare’s belief in the need to reconnect students to the outdoors in order to sustain both the planet and future generations has led her to Students on Ice.

Clare is recently completed a Master’s thesis on the history of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in Canada, a migrant labour scheme which has been in operation since 1966. In 2010, she received a Social Sciences Humanities Research Council fellowship to further her work.

Clare's ability to smoothly coordinate trip logistics and be the primary participant liaison is instrumental in making SOI expeditions successful. She manages the day-to-day operations of our field programs and provides support for expedition staff, educators, chaperones and student participants. As part of her work, Clare travels on all of SOI's Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.


kathleen connelly
Participant and Logistics Coordinator, Students on Ice

Kathleen feels most at home when she is in the outdoors. She loves to be active and is always looking for a new adventure! Her travels have taken her hiking in Patagonia, skiing on Canada’s west coast and backpacking in Australia and New Zealand.

During the winter, you’ll find Kathleen on the ski hill where she enjoys being a part of the Ottawa Masters downhill ski racing circuit. Kathleen is also a guide for visually-impaired ski racer Brad Barker, representing Ontario at National-level competition. In 2010, they even had the chance to train with Canada’s 2010 Paralympic Team!

Kathleen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Physical & Health Education from Queen’s University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. She is also a proud teacher at Alta Vista Public School in Ottawa. A strong believer in hand-on learning, Kathleen loves bringing her experiences back to the classroom to motivate her students to become active, engaged global citizens.

Kathleen works closely with Clare managing the day-to-day program on the ship and provides support to students, expedition staff and chaperones.


maatalii aneraq okalik
Logistics Coordinator, Students on Ice

Maatalii Aneraq Okalik is originally from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. She is currently completing a degree in Human Rights and Political Science with a minor in Aboriginal Studies at Carleton University. An active community member within Ottawa, she is the President of the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, a Committee member of Project North and a Founder of the Inuit Students Association of Carleton University. Guiding her decisions and actions by Inuit Societal Values based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (traditional Inuit knowledge), Maatalii dedicates her education and experience toward healthy communities – identifying gaps and solutions for social betterment of Inuit in Ottawa and across Canada.

Prior to joining the Students on Ice team in June 2012, she worked as a policy analyst and researcher with the Inuit Relations Secretariat, Inuit Tuttarvingat within the National Aboriginal Health Organization, and the Nunavut Court of Justice. Maatalii has worked with First Nation, Métis and Inuit youth for the past ten years and is currently coordinating a Youth and Arts project with the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

Maatalii’s research interests include Indigenous epistemologies, culture, governance and politics, self-determination and sovereignty; the Circumpolar world; human rights and law. Her favourite things to do are to spend time with family, watch movies, and dream about the future! When she is back home in Nunavut, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and throat singing and laughing with family and friends are what occupy her time.


janet ungrin
Coordinator, Education Program, Students on Ice
Janet Ungrin joins the SOI team fresh off a teaching career that has taken her around the world. Originally from Deep River, Ontario, Janet has had a lifelong love affair with the out of doors, and is happiest when found out on the lakes and rivers of the Canadian Shield. Janet has spent summers as a canoe guide, wintered in a cottage with a wood stove and no running water, and hiked throughout the seasons around the world.  She is also a competitive athlete, having played volleyball, rugby, and soccer at a high level.

Janet completed a BPHE at the University of Toronto and earned her BEd through the Outdoor and Experiential Education program at Queen’s University.  She is very interested in active experiential learning, and especially in the idea of Outdoor play: the subject of her TEDx ISL talk in 2011.  Her passion is youth empowerment and giving young people the confidence, resources, and tools they need to pursue their passions fully and completely.

Janet was a chaperone on the 2007 Antarctic Expedition, and is happy to be back with the SOI team for her first Arctic adventure.



Field Staff

The following is a partial list of staff participants. The remaining staff members will be posted as we receive their bios and photos.


jolly atagoyuk

Jolly is dedicated to keeping his culture strong through artwork. Much of the strength of the print tradition thriving in his home community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut Territory, can be attributed to Jolly's talent, enthusiasm and generosity.
Jolly’s work in stencil, lino prints and etching is cherished by collectors around the globe. He has also become known for his woodcuts, silkscreens, watercolours, sculptures, jewellery and filmwork.
Jolly regularly tours the south, promoting the release of the Annual Collection of Pangnirtung prints. His work can also be found in 22 Northern Image Galleries across Canada.
In addition to interpreting original drawings from the community archives, Jolly creates his own imagery. Animals and spirit creatures are recurring motives in his work. He hopes that through his work people will learn more about Inuit culture, its traditions and the art of printmaking.


meg beckel
President and CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature

On June 6, 2011, Meg Beckel began her five-year appointment as President & CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Beckel joins a team of passionate and committed individuals dedicated to the museum’s vision to inspire understanding and respect for nature.   

Prior to joining the Museum Meg was Vice-President, External Relations at the University of Waterloo.  As Vice-President, External Relations, she was the senior university officer responsible for the Offices of Development and Alumni Affairs, Communication and Public Affairs and Government Relations.  She was responsible for the development and implementation of fundraising and external liaison strategies, as well as public relations and communications for the university.

Beckel began her professional career at the Bank of Nova Scotia where she served as Officer in Charge of Operations and as Assistant Manager, Corporate Banking before moving to the National Ballet of Canada in 1986, where she worked in development.

She held positions as the development director for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and as director of the Vancouver Symphony Society and Foundation before becoming the University of Calgary’s manager of individual giving, where she worked for two years.  That position led to her appointment as Executive Director, External Relations and President of the University of Victoria Foundation from 1995 to 1998. 

In 1998 she joined the Royal Ontario Museum as President and Executive Director of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and was appointed the museum’s first Chief Operating Officer the following year. In this latter role she served as spokesperson for the ROM on all operational and board governance matters, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the museum including management of the capital and operating plans and budgets.

Beckel completed her BA in political science at Queen’s University and earned an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. Beckel currently serves as a member of the board for Canada’s National Ballet School, THE MUSEUM in Kitchener and the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada.



justin bastien

Justin Bastien is a location photographer who specializes in outdoor sports, adventure, lifestyle & environmental photography. He travels extensively, creating commercial, assignment and stock images for a wide variety of international clients. His insatiable passion for travel, adventure, and the endless pursuit of fun influence his unique point of view and the subjects he photographs.

To see more of his work visit his Portfolio Website at and his blog at


Laakkuluk williamson bathory
Artist, student, community organizer

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is a mother, student, writer, community organizer and performer based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Laakkuluk’s two children speak Greenlandic, Inuktitut and English – all languages part of their heritages. Laakkuluk is currently doing research on how the distribution of Inuit cultural foods affects the well-being of Inuit children in Iqaluit as a part of a Masters Degree in Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University. She is also works for Qaggiavuut! The Society for a Nunavut Performing Arts Centre. This is a community-based group that aims to build Nunavut’s first building that would celebrate Inuit languages and culture through performance and art. Laakkuluk publishes poetry, journalism and academic papers on a regular basis, writing on a wide range of topics from childbirth to circumpolar identity and gender parity in governmental institutions. Laakkuluk has been a performer for more than 15 years involved in uaajeerneq – Greenlandic mask dancing, music, drum-dancing, storytelling and acting. Laakkuluk’s performing career has allowed her to travels all across Canada and to many wondrous parts of the world. Laakkuluk is passionate about spending time on the land – hiking, snowmobiling, boating, hunting, camping, eating wild foods and cultivating raccoon tans are all activities that figure largely in Laakkuluk’s family. In the above picture, Laakkuluk is hauling pieces of bowhead whale baleen from the historical hunt that happened outside of Iqaluit in the summer of 2011.


J.F. Carrey
Expedition Guide

Ever since Jean-François Carrey was a young boy he wanted to climb Mount Everest. On May 18th, 2006, not only did he fulfill his dreams, he also became the youngest Canadian to have climbed to the top of the world at 24 years old while obtaining his Commerce degree. JF’s passion for the arctic, mountains and rivers extends back to his youth when he was a member of Scouts Canada. As a Scout, he developed some of the skills necessary to achieve his dream. These skills proved useful when, at the age of 17, JF was a apprentice guide for a wilderness adventure company, and guided one of Canada’s most extraordinary river, the Nahanni in the Northwest Territories.

All the while his job as a guide enabled him to acquire many unique experiences. He led a number of expeditions down the Mountain and Snake river in the Northwest Territories / Yukon, and also journeyed to Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut to trek and sea kayak.
JF guides leaders and youth to think like a adventurer. He inspires people from all over the world to embrace change. He speaks internationally on leadership and unveiling the perspective gained by leading expeditions in these immense and uncontrollable environments.


sira chayer
Journalist, Photographer and Videographer

Sira Chayer has worked as a journalist, photographer and videographer for QMI Agency in Montreal since 2007. With a main focus on Arts & Life and politics, she is responsible of the production of reportage videos for the web as well as images and articles for the different platforms of Quebecor Media such as Le Journal de Montréal, 24h, and and all other media across Canada that require content.

Her bachelor's degree from McGill University in Biological Sciences led to a journalism certificate at Université de Montréal and many years working in the media. Now she will leave the newsroom to pursue a masters in nutrition at Université de Montréal with the aim to study the impact of gluten and dairy products on human health.

Her camera and her passion for traveling won't be left behind, as she will seek to take part in different video projects as a freelancer throughout her studies, like with the Students on Ice project. One day, she plans to combine her pasion for video production and nutrition into a documentary film project. 


peter croal
Geologist, Wilderness Guide, International Development Authority

Peter Croal has been working in the field of International development for over 30 years. He currently manages the Environmental Integration Unit at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  His work covers a broad range of subjects but mainly focuses on the relationship between environmental resources and improving the lives of the poor in developing countries.  Of particular interest to Peter is how climate change is affecting developing countries and how the knowledge of indigenous peoples can be better used and respected by business and governments to solve development challenges. His work has taken him to over 40 developing countries, which has provided him with a wide range of poverty/environment issues. Peter and his family had the wonderful opportunity of living in Namibia for 2 years in order to develop and manage a project that would help the poor of southern African countries be better able to be involved in development projects that would directly affect their lives. During this work Peter and his family traveled and camped extensively in the region and experienced some incredible wildlife and cultural encounters.

Peter started his career as an exploration Geologist in Canada prospecting for uranium, zinc, silver, petroleum, peat and groundwater in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the provinces of eastern and Central Canada. It was during this time that Peter developed a strong interest and respect for Canada's indigenous peoples and their issues, which continues today with CIDA. Peter has a strong passion for any outdoor activities and spent 15 years as a wilderness canoe guide for Nature Ontario.  It was during one of these trips that he met his wife to be, Judith Kennedy, also a guide, who is also on this Students on Ice expedition. In his spare time, Peter enjoys photography, cultural and adventure travel,  organic gardening, fiddle playing and participating on boards of several not-for-profit development organizations.

This is Peter's first Student on Ice Expedition and is very enthusiastic about meeting and getting to know the students and staff, and as well, sharing in a life changing experience and assisting with SOI's excellent work.  


carolyn dawe
Youth Engagement Officer, WWF Canada

Go-getter, urban gardener and Youth Engagement Officer for WWF-Canada, Carolyn Dawe is a world-traveler always up for her next adventure. Her foray into youth environmental activism started at a young age including painting dozens of yellow fish on storm drains in her home town of North Delta, British Columbia as well as a 1-line supporting role in her elementary school play “Assignment Earth.” Her interest in the environment only grew while earning her BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University.

After SFU, Carolyn took some time to explore the world, and ended up at McGill University where she earned a Diploma in Environment. These years introduced her to big ideas, great people, and have helped shape who she is today. 

Carolyn joined WWF in 2007 to organize the Earth Flotilla, an experiential learning experience in the gulf islands with 30 amazing high-school students from British Columbia. Since then she has worked to inspire and empower Canadian youth of all ages to take meaningful action for the environment. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Carolyn is thrilled with the opportunity to see her first polar bear (perhaps a whale or two) and experience the Arctic with the incredible students and staff of the SOI 2012 adventure.



jennifer doubt
Botanist and Curator of the National Herbarium of Canada

Botanist Jennifer Doubt is Curator of the National Herbarium of Canada at the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Working with her colleagues, she cares for one of Canada’s largest, most active and historically significant plant collections, and makes this enormous library of plants accessible for research and education around the world.  The National Herbarium is known for its specimens from seldom-accessed arctic regions, dating from well-known explorations that took place 200 years ago to the Museum’s present-day vibrant arctic research program.

Mosses can dominate the vegetation of extreme environments, so Jennifer’s botanical specialty of bryology suits her well to studies in the north.  She pursues research projects in floristics and conservation, using diverse inventory, monitoring, and species assessment approaches to learn more about the distribution, abundance, health and vulnerability of plants on the landscape, and contributing this knowledge to land management decision-making. She has also been part of botanical education initiatives at the Prairie and Northern Plant Diversity Centre (Devonian Botanic Garden), Adopt-a-Plant Alberta, well as ongoing formal and informal instruction based at the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Jennifer is a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and of its Mosses and Lichens Species Specialist Subcommittee.



david fletcher
Polar Historian

David Fletcher has spent the last 39 years in the polar regions, including 4 winters and 35 summers. He spent fifteen years with the British Antarctic Survey (B.A.S.) as a dog driver, Base Commander and Field Operations Manager.

David is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and was awarded the prestigious Polar Medal. He has also received the Fuchs medal from the British Antarctic Survey. David has participated on several Students on Ice expeditions as a polar educator.



whit fraser
Journalist and Chair of the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation

Whit Fraser’s association with Northern Canada began in 1967 when he joined the CBC Northern Service as a reporter in Frobisher Bay, now Iqaluit. He spent ten years living and working in Iqaluit and Yellowknife and during that period, travelled to every community in the NWT, including the communities that now comprise Nunavut.  He also travelled extensively throughout Nunavik, Labrador, Yukon, Alaska and Greenland.

From 1978 to 1991 he worked at the CBC’s National Radio and television news bureaus- In St John’s, Ottawa (Parliament Hill), Edmonton and Calgary. During his broadcast career, he witnessed the remarkable developments that led to the negotiations and settlement of five comprehensive Inuit Land Claims, The Historic First Minister’s and Aboriginal Conferences of the 1980’s that resulted in Aboriginal Rights being enshrined in the Constitution of Canada and the creation of the Nunavut Territory.

From 1974 to 1977, Whit Fraser was assigned special program coordinator for the CBC groundbreaking coverage of the Historic Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. In addition to providing daily coverage in English, Fraser led a team of aboriginal broadcasters who produced daily reports in all six Northern Aboriginal Languages. Whit Fraser also served six years as Founding Chairman of the Canadian Polar Commission where he was a strong advocate for the expansion of Arctic Research in collaboration with northern aboriginal peoples.

As an Independent Television producer, he directed and narrated a series of programs on the creations of Nunavut and the formation of the First Government and Legislative Assembly of the new Territory (1999-2000). He also served as Executive Director of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, working with Jose Kusugak. At present, he is the volunteer Chair of the Arctic Children and Youth Foundation.


eric galbraith
Oceanographer & Earth Science Researcher, McGill University

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eric worked as a geologist in South America and the Canadian Arctic before becoming an oceanographer.

His research looks at how global ocean circulation interacts with the rest of the climate system, what this means for marine life, and how the ocean will respond to future climate change. He has lectured aboard cruises throughout the North Atlantic, and in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. He has worked as a research associate at Princeton University and is currently Assistant Professor, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, McGill University.


marie-pierre gariépy
Founder and President of SLALOM Productions
Marie-Pierre Gariépy, fondatrice et présidente de la maison de production SLALOM, cumule plus de 20 années d’expérience à titre de productrice. Au courant de toutes ces années, elle a su développer des liens et des projets avec les joueurs clés de l’industrie canadienne de la télévision.

Basée à Ottawa, SLALOM se spécialise dans le documentaire d’aventure, la série dramatique et le magazine télévisuel, tant pour la jeunesse que pour les adultes.

Reconnue pour son talent et son dynamisme, ses productions sont diffusées à TFO, Radio-Canada, CBC, TVA, l’ONF et encore TV5 Monde. Elles ont été primées et lui ont valu une solide réputation, en tant que productrice francophone œuvrant en francophonie canadienne.  

Engagée dans l’industrie, elle a été formatrice à l’INIS, et s’intéresse à de nouvelles générations de créateurs. Aventurière, elle adore la voile, le ski, la randonnée en montagne : bref les grands espaces.  Elle a transmis sa passion dans les séries comme Destination Nor’Ouest I et II, et La ruée vers l’or, et elle est toujours à la recherche de la prochaine aventure !

Marie-Pierre Gariépy, founder and president of the production company SLALOM, has over 20 years of experience working as a producer. In this timeframe, she has made contacts and developed projects with key players in the Canadian television industry.

Based in Ottawa, SLALOM specializes in adventure documentary and fictional drama series, as well as web-magazine programs, for youth and adults alike. 

Renown for her talent and energy, her productions are broadcast on TFO, Radio-Canada, CBC, TVA, the NFB and also TV5 Monde. Her award-winning work has earned her a solid reputation as a francophone producer working in the Canadian Francophone community.

Involved in the industry, she has been an instructor at the INIS, and encourages the upcoming generations of creators. Adventurous, she loves sailing, skiing, trekking in mountains: in short anything to do with the outdoors. She has worked this passion into her series, such as Destination Nor’Ouest I and II, and La ruée vers L’or, and she is always on the lookout for the next adventure!


ekaterina gilas
International and External Economic Relations, Yamal-Nemets Autonomous District

Ekaterina Gilas is a chief specialist in the Department of International and External Economic Relations of Yamal-Nenets autonomous district. Being originally from Kaliningrad, Ekaterina has integrated into the Northern life within such a short period of time of 1.5 years.

Indigenous culture and life stile moved her with its depth and wisdom. Now she is deeply concerned with sustainable development of the Arctic region and interested in ways to preserve Arctic identity and environment, northern character and traditions, close connections between people and nature. That is why her work involves many projects related to indigenous peoples of the North and Arctic issues, e.g. Cultural exchange between Yamal-Nenets autonomous district and Nunavut, X International conference on permafrost “Resources and Risks of Permafrost Areas in a Changing World”, Educational project for children “Frost tube” and of course Yamal students’ participation in Students on Ice 2012.

Apart from her job Ekaterina is fond of music, foreign languages and travelling. She is an easy-going person who is ready to take part in any adventure!


david gray
Arctic Biologist & Historian, Documentary Filmmaker

An arctic biologist and historian, David Gray has studied birds and mammals in Canada’s High Arctic since 1968. Formerly a research scientist with the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN), he has made over 30 research trips to the arctic islands, studying the behaviour of musk oxen, arctic hare, and red-throated loons. As an independent researcher since 1994, he has prepared reports on Peary caribou, arctic wolves, the cultural and natural resources of three northern national parks, and the historic places of Nunavut.
He has written two books on arctic subjects (The Muskoxen of Polar Bear Pass, and Alert: Beyond the Inuit Lands) and completed two Virtual Museum of Canada exhibits: The Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918 and Ukaliq, the Arctic Hare. David worked on a number of arctic films and museum exhibits for CMN, and is a Research Associate at both CMC and CMN. David has travelled to several arctic communities to interview Elders in relation to his research on arctic wildlife and history. He is at present working on two films and a book on Arctic history.


paul hamilton

Paul B. Hamilton received his M.Sc. in Freshwater Aquatic Biology from the University of Waterloo in 1983 and undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Western Ontario. His thesis research was on watershed dynamics, primary productivity and energy transport. Paul has worked at the Universities of Guelph and Waterloo on the impacts of pesticides and acid rain on aquatic environments respectively, before moving to the Canadian Museum of Nature in 1984. At the museum Paul has conducted taxonomic and ecological studies across Canada, the United States, Mexico and Indonesia. Paul is the present curator of CANA (the National Phycology Collection of Canada) which holds more than 81,000 samples. 

Over the years Paul was given the opportunity and privilege to explore and study freshwater aquatic systems across the Arctic Archipelago. The biology of these freshwaters is as diverse as the geology of the islands. The hidden historical records in the sediments at the bottom of these lakes and ponds are a treasure chest of knowledge that continues to capture his interest and research endeavors. Other select research projects include; water quality and microscopic life in lakes and ponds from Florida to Ellesmere Island, North America; the impact of organic contaminants and mercury on aquatic systems in northern Canada.  

Paul has personal interests in history, natural history, and a special love of solo canoeing and kayaking. Through his scientific journal he has authored or coauthored the description of 27 new taxa and two new genera to science, coauthored 3 books on diatom taxonomy and ecology, and published 83 reviewed scientific papers, and 37 technical reports and popular articles.


David henry
Marine Educator and Conservationist

David Henry is the international Arctic manager for the Pew Environment Group’s Oceans North campaigns that promotes science and community-based conservation of the Arctic Ocean. He recently helped coordinate campaign efforts at the 2012 International Polar Year conference in Montreal where more than 2,000 international scientists signed a letter to protect the high seas of the central Arctic Ocean.

He fell in love with oceans at a young age and became a North Pacific high seas fisheries observer, worked at an Alaskan diving service, and was a commercial sea cucumber diver. He worked as a marine educator and biological researcher at National Estuarine Reserves in Florida and Washington State for nearly 20 years, has led wilderness canoe and backpacking trips, and studied and lived in North American, European and Asian cultures.

He received his masters in Environmental/Science Education from Western Washington University’s Huxley College of Environmental Studies and completed undergraduate work at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota where he studiedEnglish and biology. He is a member of the Northwest Association of Stone Sculptors and lives with his family in Bellingham, Washington where he loves to backcountry ski, camp, and fish.


jamie herring
Multi-media and video producer; Founder of HabitatSeven

Jamie Herring is the Founder and President of HabitatSeven (, a new media lab dedicated to broadening the impacts of science education. An experienced multi-media and video producer, Jamie has worked on projects for a diverse range of partners including Cornell University, the University of California, Berkeley, the Royal Government of Bhutan, and the Cree Grand Council, among others. As a multi-media producer and director, Jamie has worked in over 20 countries on every continent.

Jamie holds an M.A. from the University of Ottawa, and an M.Sc and Ph.D. (ABD) from Cornell University where he studied conservation biology and science communication.


mike Jensen
Science Educator, Journalist

Having survived the frigid winters of Winnipeg, Canada with little difficulty, Mike took on his first Arctic expedition in 2009 thinking he was well-prepared for anything he was going to face. What he didn’t expect was how much he wanted to go BACK! And go back he did, in 2010 and 2011, each time putting his background in astronomy, nature, writing, and physical sciences to good use with the SOI team.

As a graduate of the University of Regina, Mike started his professional life with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, and soon developed a passion for informal science and astronomy education. For the past 17 years, Mike has been working as a science educator and program developer at nature and science museums in Winnipeg, including his current home – The Manitoba Museum.

At the Museum, Mike is renowned for his sense of humour and easy-going nature, which he brings with him on expedition (along with many seasick remedies!). Mike enjoys learning about the Arctic and the effects of climate change, but the most rewarding aspect is helping the students make the best of their experiences through journal writing, pod teams, educational seminars, and informal conversations.

His experiences with SOI have given Mike a passion for sustainability that he didn’t realize he had in him. Since his first expedition, Mike has played an active role in the Museum’s first Sustainability Team, was accepted into the IISD’s Winnipeg Sustainability Leaders pilot program, and is an active participant in the Manitoba Education for Sustainable Development Working Group. In April 2012, Mike also attended the International Polar Year conference in Montreal where he was proud to become an inaugural member of the new Polar Educators International group!

Mike can’t wait to meet all the students and staff on this year’s “voyage of transformation and discovery”!



judith kennedy
Conservationist, Canadian Wildlife Service

Judith Kennedy is passionate about nature conservation. During 23 years (and counting!) at the Canadian Wildlife Service she has developed policy, regulations, and conservation plans for the Canadian government's migratory birds program. This work has taken her to many beautiful corners of Canada, including opportunities to band birds in Canada's north. Other northern experience includes paddling the Kazan and Thelon Rivers and many of Ontario's boreal rivers. Prior to joining CWS, Judith worked on Breeding Bird Atlas projects in Ontario and the Maritimes that used data from volunteers to map the distribution of birds. During 2 amazing years in Namibia with her husband and daughter, she volunteered for that country's famous community conservancy program. She tries to have an adventure like Students on Ice whenever possible.



Claudia Kraft

Dr. Claudia Kraft grew up in Toronto (where at an early age she was introduced to Inuit prints by her print-maker mother), and has since migrated to and fallen in love with the North.  She completed her masters and medical degrees at Queen's University and then completed her medical residency at UBC. She has lived or worked in South Africa, Japan, Guyana, and various remote communities in BC, NWT and Nunavut. She currently lives and works in Iqaluit and is also the community physician for Cape Dorset, NU. She loves hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing and foraging for edible wild plants (there are many in Nunavut!). She currently lives and works in Iqaluit with her partner Dr. Steve Kraus.



Steve kraus

Dr. Steve Kraus grew up outside Kitchener, Ontario.  He completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo, and Medical degree at Queen's University.  He went on to train in rural Family Medicine and Anesthesia.  He spent some of his life wandering the earth, and has worked with NGOs on projects in Guyana and Pakistan.  He has also traveled and worked as a physician throughout Canada's north. He currently lives and works in Iqaluit and is also the community physician for Arctic Bay, NU. He likes to spend his downtime engaged in non-goal directed activities, like philosophizing over good meals with good friends.



William Lishman
Inventor, Filmmaker, Sculptor

One of Canada’s great pioneers, Bill was the first person to foot-launch and land a powered rigid-wing aircraft in the 1970s. Taking advantage of the slow flight capabilities of his customized aircraft, he developed a technique to lead Canada geese in the air. After several years of research and experimentation, he successfully led a flock of 16 geese on a 400-mile migratory journey. This journey inspired the Oscar-nominated film Fly Away Home. Bill has gone on to apply his migration techniques to safeguarding the whooping crane, one of the world’s most endangered species. For his breakthrough work with migratory birds, Mr. Lishman has received numerous awards including the prestigious honour of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Canadian government in 2000. In addition, Bill is an internationally celebrated sculptor and renowned inventor/designer of furniture and underground architecture. His work includes Autohenge, a full-scale replica of Stonehenge, and his dome-shaped, underground home with its unique features and energy-efficient designs.

Bill received an honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in June 2008.



Wayne Lovstrom
Small Business Owner and Manager

An avid environmentalist, Wayne Lovstrom was introduced to Students on Ice by his daughter in 2008.  His first expedition was to the Arctic in 2009, where he had such an incredible experience he has been travelling between the Arctic and Antarctic with the group ever since. His journeys have given him a love and respect for our polar regions and the delicate balance of life they contain.

Wayne is a local business owner in Three Hills, AB. Over the past twenty-six years, he has fine-tuned his skills in communication and technology management; specializing in system setup and maintenance. With each expedition, his customers look forward to new photos and stories of his journeys. And he is quite willing to share the adventures of SOI given any opportunity.

He is well known as a community minded businessman who has been involved in many volunteer efforts over the years. His extensive work with youth as a team manager & mentor facilitates an easy rapport with those he works with. He currently chairs the local adult learning society, and tutors learners of English as a second language.

An enthusiastic, lifelong learner, Wayne is eager to experience new opportunities wherever they arise; particularly those with an environmental focus. He will continue to explore the planet, visiting as many regions as possible.  Even the ones without snow.



samia madwar
Web editor, Canadian Geographic magazine

Samia Madwar is a Web editor at Canadian Geographic magazine, where she seeks every opportunity to learn more about the Canadian Arctic. She studied biology as an undergraduate student at McGill University and received her Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University in 2011 with the aim of pursuing a career in science writing. Her fascination for the North began when she was an intern at Canadian Geographic writing about Arctic science during International Polar Year 2007-2009. Since then, she has visited Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec while researching her master's research project on zoonotic diseases, and in 2011 spent five weeks traveling and reporting in the Barents region (northern Norway, Russia and Finland). Joining the Students on Ice program is an exciting opportunity to further explore more of the circumpolar Arctic and gain more insights into how a changing environment in the far North affects the rest of the world.



eric mattson
Geologist and Glaciologist

Chair of the Geography / Geology Department at Nipissing University, Director of the Nipissing Environmental Research Centre and an Adjunct Professor with the Cold Regions Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University, Eric has been conducting glaciological research for the past 20 years.
Most of his research has been conducted on glaciers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Saint Elias Mountains in Yukon Territory, and the Himalayan Mountain Range. Dr. Mattson's main research interest revolves around energy balance studies (small scale and large scale), and research into variations in glacier volume to determine past, present and future trends in glacier size and melt water production. Other research involvements include snowmelt modeling in North-eastern Ontario, debris flow activity in Banff National Park, and island biogeography in Massasauga Provincial Park.



matty mcnair
Polar Explorer and Educator

Internationally recognized as the top woman polar guide in the world, Matty has journeyed to both Poles setting several very impressive world records. She led the first women’s expedition to the North Pole in 1997.

After leading 2 expeditions 600 nautical miles to the South Pole, Matty returned to take her daughter, Sarah, and son Eric to the South Pole. Sarah (age 18) & Eric (age 20) became the youngest in the world to ski to the South Pole. Matty and Sarah are the first Canadian women to ski all the way to the South Pole. Matty and her son, Eric (who both have dual citizenship) were the first Americans to ski all the way to the South Pole unsupported and un-resupplied. From the South Pole they kite-skied back in a world record of 17 days!

Matty has an infectious zest for life, a creative mind, a lateral problem solving approach to challenges and a great sense of humour.



lee narraway
Adventure Photographer

Lee Narraway spent her childhood exploring the wetlands, forests and lakes of Eastern Canada with her father, an outstanding naturalist and environmentalist. This ignited a passion and curiosity for the outdoors that continues to this day.
Lee received her first camera at ten years of age and soon discovered the joy of sharing her view of the world with others. She uses natural light and her ability to communicate with people to create unique environmental portraits. Her professional career is now focused on travel and adventure photography.
In her quest for outstanding images, Lee has skied, hiked, canoed, backpacked, and traveled by dog team, horseback, snow machine, helicopter, hot air balloon and icebreaker to remote and isolated parts of the world.
When she visited Canada's High Arctic, Lee became fascinated with its diversity and haunting beauty. Now, she strives to capture its mystery and magic on film by documenting the dramatic scenery, the wildlife and the evolving lifestyle and culture of the Inuit.
Based in White Lake, Ontario, this professional adventure photographer continues to travel the world, discovering wildlife, landscapes and characters through the lens of her camera. Her popular photography workshops have been taught in such diverse areas as Australia, Canada, Chile and the Arctic.



evalyn parry
Songwriter, Poet, Theatre Creator

Evalyn Parry is an award-winning songwriter, poet and theatre creator, based in Toronto. Her innovative, multi-disciplinary performances have taken her to music, storytelling, poetry and theatre festivals from coast to coast of North America over the last decade. Inspired by a powerful vision of environmental and social activism, evalyn’s creations – which range in theme from 19th century cycling heroines, to 21st century sailors; from “feminine protection” to bottled water, to the quest for the Northwest Passage - have been widely produced, broadcast, commissioned and anthologized; she has released four critically acclaimed CDs, and created six original theatrical productions for the stage.  An urban cycling activist, evalyn’s most recent show SPIN stars the Bicycle as “muse, musical instrument, and agent of social change”; it premiered in Toronto in 2011, was nominated for a 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award, and will be touring internationally in 2012/13. 

Education is also a vital part of evalyn’s artistic practice. She has led workshops combining writing, performance and activism for high school and university students across the country, and in Toronto, she runs a creation and performance program for queer-identified youth at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.  She is thrilled to be joining SOI for her first trip to the Arctic. More about evalyn (and you can listen to her music) at:



maria pastor
Physical Oceanographer

Maria grew up in Valencia, Spain, among fields of oranges on the Mediterranean coast. She was always drawn to the mysteries of the sea, which took her to study ocean science in the Canary Islands, Barcelona, and Princeton. Her doctoral work looked at how the ocean circulation brings nutrients to fertilize the rich marine life of the northeast Atlantic, and why it can vary so much from one year to the next. She has worked on research cruises across the North and equatorial Atlantic, sampling the waters to look for signs of recent climate change. She now lives in Montreal, and is developing her appreciation for cold weather and winter sports. 



annie petaulassie (pitseolak)
Craftmaker and Educator

I was born in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, on the southern tip of Baffin Island, and was adopted by Peter Pitseolak and Aggeok. I had 3 brothers and 3 sisters. My father was the camp leader over five families. We lived in an outpost camp called Kiaktuuq about five miles away from Cape Dorset, until I was about six or seven years old. We did not have electricity, or running water and there was no source of outside entertainment except short wave radio and a battery operated record player. We used to enjoy my mother playing the accordian. In the 1940's my father took photographs of the Inuit people. These pictures are a record of our history for the next generation.
The only transportation we had was by dog team or canoe with an outboard motor and motor boat with a sail.
I have been teaching 28 years at Elementary School. I was working at Nunavut Sivuniksavut which is affiliated with Algonquin College in Ottawa as an instructor from 2008-2009. In Arviat I was part of a team that developed grade three math assessments that were used by students across Nunavut. I have participated in the development of the Inuktitut teaching Curriculum based on Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Values. I have a Bachelor of Education Degree from McGill University (1996). I am currently teaching at Nakasuk School in Iqaluit.
I was brought up in a time when my mother would sew traditional clothing. I learned by observing and doing as opposed to classroom setting. I have taught young people from across Nunavut and Canada who comes to Iqaluit for Katimavik Programs how to make sealskin slippers and mitts. I have a good knowledge of our traditional culture and I believe that it is important to pass it on to young people.



scobie pye
Polar Scientist and Historian

“Scobie” Pye is a research scientist with a Master of Science degree awarded by the University of Tasmania, Australia. Over the past 30 years much of his life has been spent in southern latitudes working with the British Antarctic Survey (B.A.S.), the Australian Antarctic Division and the University of Tasmania. He has spent four winters and seven summers on the island of South Georgia, two summers on the floating ice shelf station of Halley Bay in the Weddell Sea and two winters and nine summers on Australia's Macquarie Island. Scobie's main scientific interests are focused on the conservation and management of Polar Regions. He has worked and traveled extensively in the northern latitudes. In 1978, Scobie was awarded the Fuchs Medal for outstanding service to B.A.S..



madeleine redfern
Mayor of Iqaluit, Nunavut

Ms. Redfern is mayor of Iqaluit, Nunavut and has held this position since December of 2010. She is from Iqaluit, Nunavut and is a graduate of the Akitsiraq Law School with an LLB from the University of Victoria. She was the first Inuk to be given a Supreme Court of Canada clerkship.

In Iqaluit, she has been a strong social advocate, businessperson, and consultant. She has a great deal of governance and volunteer experience with Aboriginal and Inuit organizations, including, but not limited to, the Inuit Non-Profit Housing Corporation, where she was Secretary-Treasurer; the Tungasuvvingat Inuit Community Centre, where she was President; the Ottawa Inuit Headstart, for which she was the founding member; and the Wabano Aboriginal Health Centre, for which she was also the founding member. She was also recently the executive director of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, a commission that reviewed the “effects of federal government policies on Eastern Arctic Inuit” between the 1950s and 1980s. Mayor Redfern’s work advocacy, professional, and governance work shows her dedication and passion towards the development and delivery of programs assisting Aboriginal and Inuit people and reflecting their values, needs, and priorities.



kieran Shepherd

He has been employed by the Canadian Museum of Nature for almost 25 years, primarily involved with the care and preservation of vertebrate fossils. His current position is as Curator of  Palaeobiology caring for the National Fossil Collection.

His research interests are very broad  but generally deal with vertebrate fossils, especially Ceratopsian dinosaurs and Tertiary mammals. He collaborated in the discovery and description of new a Ceratopsian dinosaur, Vagaceratops (Chasmosaurus) irvinensis. Field work is one of the activities he finds most rewarding, travelling as far away as China in the search for fossil dinosaurs, although he also enjoys prospecting for Champlain sea fossils in the Ottawa Valley.

He enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for and experience in fossil and natural history collections, with colleagues, students and the public.  From 1993-2003,he designed, co-ordinated and taught a course in the curation of natural history collections for the Algonquin College Museum Studies program, and was on the team that developed the popular and iconic Fossil Gallery at the Canadian museum of Nature in Ottawa.

When not on the trail for fossils, he also enjoys sailing the Ottawa River, attempting to learn the mandolin and riding his recumbent bike.



richard sears
Whale researcher and expert

Richard is founder and president of Mingan Island Cetacean Study, a research project dedicated to ecological studies of marine mammals. He established the first long-term studies of Blue whales both in the north Atlantic and in the northeast Pacific Oceans. He has studied Blue whales in eastern Canada, Iceland, west Greenland, the Azores, the Antarctic, and in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. In 2002 his research led to the recognition of “endangered status” for the Blue whale in Canadian waters.



steve sheppard
Educator, Marine Environmental Technologist

Stephen Sheppard is a second year Marine Environmental Technology student at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MI).  With a degree in Youth Ministry from Vanguard College in Alberta, Steve spent the majority of his career mentoring junior high and high school students through community programs and athletic teams. 

A nature enthusiast and former varsity athlete, Steve’s outdoor pursuits include hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing.  He is also an accomplished photographer; rarely seen without his camera.

As an up and coming marine environmental technologist, Steve advocates our responsibility to preserve the planet.  He believes that young people need to connect with the environment if there is going to be a sustained response to the ecological crisis.



mary simon
Inuit Leader, Former President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Mary May Simon was born in Kangiqsualujjuaq (George River) in Nunavik (Northern Québec). She was elected to the position of President Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in July 2006 and served until June 2012. Ms. Simon has devoted her life's work towards gaining further recognition of Aboriginal rights and to achieving social justice for Inuit and other Aboriginal peoples nationally and internationally. In 1994, Ms. Simon was appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada to be the first Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs. As part of her work, she was instructed by the Government of Canada to take the lead in negotiating an eight country council, which is now known as the Arctic Council. This Council was established in 1996 and includes the active participation of the indigenous peoples of the Circumpolar Region. Mary Simon has received many honours for her leadership in developing strategies for Aboriginal and Northern affairs. She has been awarded the Order of Canada, National Order of Québec, the Gold Order of Greenland, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.


kara stonehouse
Sustainability Leadership Artist; Executive Director of Tucker House Renewal Centre

Kara Stonehouse could be summed up as a sustainability leadership artist.  Kara stands in her purpose as a light for spiritual renewal and wise leadership, as she directs Tucker House Renewal Centre, helps organizations visualize their grandest possible future with AHA! Graphic Facilitation, and practices with the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations community in Ottawa. An artist at the core, Kara loves to explore the depth and richness of life, love, and pain through sculpture, sketching, painting, digital art, poetry, energy work, and heart-song. Inspired and awakened by her time at Findhorn Eco-Village in Scotland, Kara is gifted in and passionate about creating magical spaces where people can become more than they thought they could be. 

In recent work, Kara developed and hosted Sustainability Champions trainings for young leaders in Ottawa and Toronto, drawing on her masters training in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability. She also graphically recorded the Polar Educator’s International Polar Year conference and the Ottawa River Keeper’s advisory panel visioning session, taught graphic recording to Art of Hosting practitioners and facilitated the community visioning process for Lanark Eco-Village.


ariela kay summit
Environmental Researcher

Ariela recently graduated with a Master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a focus in environmental analysis and policy. Her interest in local responses to climate change led her to work on a research project with the Partners for Climate Protection program in Canada, which supports municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ariela also staffed the Water is Rising Project, which brought artists from Tokelau, Tuvalu, and Kiribati to college campuses across North America to raise awareness about the affects of climate change on small island nations. Ariela is a certified yoga teacher, has led camping trips with youth, and is passionate about increasing access to healthy foods.


alex taylor
Polar Guide and Educator

Alex Taylor’s Antarctic career kicked off in 1992 when he was hired by the British Antarctic Survey as a polar guide for a glaciology project in the shadow of Mt. Vinson. This led to dozens of other expeditions and soon to leading expeditions in the High Canadian Arctic. A love of the polar region’s incredible landscapes, wildlife, history and other-worldly experiences keeps him coming back to these remote locations year after year.
More than 15 seasons south in Antarctica have afforded Alex the privilege of visiting many parts of the continent working in support of science projects for the British Antarctic Survey and the United States Antarctic Program. He has also provided technical and safety support for television and films down south. Most notable were the two ship-based expeditions to film the award-winning feature Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.
Alex has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary, specializing in Outdoor Pursuits and Geography. He has climbed and traveled all over the world but the Canadian Rockies and the polar regions remain his favourite places on the planet.
Alex’s home base is in Canmore, Alberta. He has been working in the Rocky Mountain National Parks for over 27 years. His eclectic work life has always been focused on the wild outdoors and has included jobs as a fire fighter, wildlife technician, weather station specialist, still photographer and videographer, to name a few. When not in the Arctic, Alex works as a human-wildlife conflict specialist for Parks Canada in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks.


janet ungrin
Coordinator, Education Program, Students on Ice
Janet Ungrin joins the SOI team fresh off a teaching career that has taken her around the world. Originally from Deep River, Ontario, Janet has had a lifelong love affair with the out of doors, and is happiest when found out on the lakes and rivers of the Canadian Shield. Janet has spent summers as a canoe guide, wintered in a cottage with a wood stove and no running water, and hiked throughout the seasons around the world.  She is also a competitive athlete, having played volleyball, rugby, and soccer at a high level.

Janet completed a BPHE at the University of Toronto and earned her BEd through the Outdoor and Experiential Education program at Queen’s University.  She is very interested in active experiential learning, and especially in the idea of Outdoor play: the subject of her TEDx ISL talk in 2011.  Her passion is youth empowerment and giving young people the confidence, resources, and tools they need to pursue their passions fully and completely.

Janet was a chaperone on the 2007 Antarctic Expedition, and is happy to be back with the SOI team for her first Arctic adventure.




The following is a partial list of student participants. The remaining students will be posted as we receive their bios and photos!

amanda akeeagok
Amanda Akeeagok lives in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, Baffin Island. She has lived in the communities of Grise Fiord and Arctic Bay, which are two of the most northerly communities in North America. Amanda enjoys reading, listening to music, computer, cooking, being with friends and family and camping and hunting.  She is active in helping out at school with fundraisers and she enjoys playing sports. Access to the internet is an interesting way to see the world from a small community in the Arctic, and Amanda dreams of travel and adventure.

Amanda has just completed her first year of high school and she is interested in most of her high school subjects. She received the Achievement in Science Award from Inuujaq School in 2012 and she is interested in the environmental changes that are happening in the the Arctic. She would like to learn more about the weather, the land, wildlife and the ocean. The changes that she has been able to observe, living in the Arctic, and the knowledge of the elders, has her interested in the science behind the environmental warming.

The opportunity to participate in Students on Ice will provide answers for Amanda that she can share with her community. She is interested in the adventure of living at sea with other young people and meeting and learning from professionals about the environment.  Amanda wants to contribute in any way she can, to the success of the expedition experience.

sam anderson
Sam Anderson is a student leader from Ottawa, Ontario. He is an executive member in his High School’s student council, and the Student Trustee of the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, representing the voices of more than 70,000 students. He is also an executive member of the Ontario Student Trustee’s Association, the province-wide students’ council, and the largest student government in the world. He represents 2.6 million students as a stakeholder at the Ministry of Education. Sam is passionate about giving students a say in their education and the practices of their schools and school boards. He is especially passionate about environmental issues and is fighting to ban the sale of bottled water in publicly funded schools.

He is an avid traveller and has spent many weeks living in remote areas around the globe, from the Amazon Rainforest to the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea. He is participating in the 2012 Arctic Expedition to gain insight into environmental issues that will face the next generation of Canadians and hopes to bring what he learns back to the provincial government and Ontario’s schools. He wants to give the leaders of tomorrow the tools they will need to solve the environmental issues of the next fifty years.

When he is not working in student politics he is a dedicated student and a track and cross-country athlete, as well as a member of the rugby, alpine racing, nordic ski, and swim teams at his school. He plays piano and guitar.
yasmin anderson
Yasmin Marie Anderson lives in Ottawa with her older brother, Samuel, and her parents. She’s passionate about tennis. She is a volunteer instructor, plays competitively and will be a counsellor at a tennis camp this summer. When she’s not on the courts, she babysits and enjoys playing the piano, bass guitar and trombone. Yasmin is really fond of the outdoors and has camped at many national parks in Canada and the United States.  She is participating in the SOI Arctic expedition because she is very interested in native cultures.  Last year she travelled to Guyana, South America and visited Amerindian villages deep in the rainforest and savannahs. The locals taught her how to catch a piranha, which she threw back. This experience was awesome and gave her a desire to learn more about how other native cultures live, particularly the First Nations in Canada. One day she would like to be a doctor in Northern Canada. Yasmin also likes photography and cooking. She will be trying to complete her bronze level Duke of Edinburgh award this summer and is going into Grade 9 at high school next year. She plays a mean yo-yo.
monica angiyou
Hi my name is Monica Angiyou. I am from Puvirnituq, Quebec. I am 16 years old. I live with my mother Sarah a single parent who helps me though out everything. I love traveling, sewing, knitting and taking pictures. I work part time at our local Co-op store as a cashier. I am attending high school at my hometown, After I am done with high school I would love to try to go to Helicopter school in Montreal and travel the world.
tyson angnetsiak
My name is Tyson Angnetsiak, and I’m from Pond Inlet, NU. My main interests are going out hunting and camping with my relatives (mostly with my father), and hanging out with my friends, especially playing sports. I don’t have much free time because I don’t really want to waste my time doing nothing; I love doing things and helping people if they need a hand or carrying things. I’m hoping to learn different cultures and traditional ways in what Greenlanders do, and how they do it because I want to show, and teach those skills to my Inuit people: what is the difference from our culture and theirs and how we can learn from each other. I applied this experience because I want to learn, listen, and to experiencing it, that way I will show and teach the Greenlandic culture to my Inuit people from Nunavut.
emma arsenault
Hi! I’m Emma Arsenault! I am 17 years old and looking forward to my fourth and final year of high school! The main focuses in my life are family, friends, school and work. I enjoy activities that involve fresh air which is why camping, swimming, skiing and rowing are my favourite activities. I believe that camping with my family from a very young age is the driving force behind my love of biology and the reason that I want to participate in Students on Ice. I find so much joy in the remoteness and natural beauty of Ontario’s Provincial Parks that the idea of visiting the Arctic is quite overwhelming. I am sure that being a part of this expedition will be the most enriching experience of my life to date!
annabelle awashish
Annabelle comes from the James Bay area of Northern Quebec. Her roots, as a Cree youth, have given her a close connection to nature. She presently attends high school in Chibougamau, Quebec. Her favorite subject is Geography and is considering pursuing it at a post-secondary level. Through out the year, she participates in outdoor activities with friends and family, which include camping, canoeing and other Cree traditional activities. Annabelle has a special interest in wildlife. She loves to observe animals and birds on her outdoor outings. By being part of a Northern culture, she is excited to learn about other peoples of the north. The prospect of experiencing close contact with the Arctic and its people is what has drawn Annabelle to participate in the Students On Ice Expedition.
ashley bae
Hello! My name is Ashley Bae and I am from Pasadena, California.  I enjoy photography, watching documentaries, spending time with my family and friends, fencing, volleyball, and cooking. I will graduate from Milton Academy this June and will major in Biology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland this coming fall. I have always been fascinated by marine life—in fact, my love of science stemmed from my love of the ocean and the life that lies within it— so I have spent my previous summers participating in programs including Sea Education Association's "Oceanography of the Southern California Bight" and MIT's Ocean Engineering Experience.  The opportunity that Students on Ice provides for high school students to see the poles of the Earth is a unique one, and I am excited to see the incredible fauna and flora that can tolerate and exist in the Arctic! I look forward to witnessing the sea ice that is melting at a rate faster than ever, and I am eager to meet and talk with many great peers and mentors who have similar interests as me. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, SOI; I cannot wait until July!
leanne beaulieu
Hello, my name is Leanne Beaulieu and I am 15 years old but will be 16 during the expedition. I attend school here in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada at Qiqirtaq Ilihakvik High School. I enjoy going to school, spending time with family and friends, playing sports, camping, and I especially love my cat Whiskers! I hope to meet new friends while travelling to Greenland and Iqaluit. I want to do what I can to help preserve this earth and this trip will help me learn what I can about the arctic and the animals and how I can possibly help.
madison bennett
Enter Madison Bennett, 16 going on 17 and a zoology enthusiast; she's the newest edition to the Students on Ice 2012 Arctic explorers. Madi has a variety of interests, including but definitely not limited to: art, writing, reading, animals, her work with her local Humanitarian Club, volunteering, Girl Guiding and kickboxing. She lives in scenic Stephenville, Newfoundland, a town with a population of a mere 8,000. Many of her friends describe her as 'anything but shy', 'motivated', and 'an original'. Yet, if she had to describe herself she would say that she's just passionate about what she believes in. Madi is the oldest sibling in her family and has been a leader and a self-starter from the get-go. Her first role model as a child was her grandfather and he has been the inspiration that sparked Madi's fire to give back to the environment and educate others about the importance of animals, nature, and our ecosystems. By going on this expedition, Madi hopes to be able to gain more knowledge to bring back to the people of her community and to anyone who will listen. She hopes to be able to gain new friends to network with, and to bring about change on a greater scale. Most of all she hopes that she will gain the tools necessary to motivate others to empower themselves and to take action for the planet.
Derrick bernard
Derrick Bernard is a 15-year old aspiring sophomore at Southwind High School in Memphis, Tennessee, USA., where he is an honors student with a 3.7 GPA.  He has been a member of the National Honor Society.  Additionally, Derrick was a recipient of The University of Memphis 100 Junior Empowered Men of Color Honors award in 2010 for his commitment to academic success. 

Derrick’s extracurricular passion is singing and dancing.  He is a bass singer in the Southwind High Jazz and Concert choirs and a tenor with the Ella Jackson Memorial Choir at his church, Mars’ Hill MB Church.  He also auditioned and was selected to participate in the All West Tennessee Chorus in the 2011-2012 school term.  As a dancer, Derrick was the captain of his grade school, Double Tree Elementary, Step Team for 3 years.  He is currently dancing professionally with Subculture Royalty Dance Company (aka SubRoy), where he is a newly promoted staff assistant.  With SubRoy, Derrick has performed on many stages including, Cymphonique Miller’s “All That” music video (featured on 106 & Park), Michael Jackson’s Immortal Tour master class in Memphis, America’s Got Talent auditions, and many more. 

Derrick also loves to travel and hang out with his mother and step-father, Christy and Shawn Hudson; father, Markus Bernard; grandmother, Cheryl Bernard; 7 siblings, Desmond, Daniel, Kylan, Shawn, Cenitra, Temera, and Brittany, and other family and friends.

Derrick plans to attend UCLA, major in education, and pursue a teaching career, in addition to becoming a dance instructor.

Chelsea Blackmore
Chelsea is 16 years old and just finished grade 10. She lives in Victoria on Vancouver Island and she is very involved in her First nations community. She is very interested in helping people and would like to become a nurse. Her goal is to become a nurse in remote communities all over Canada.

She lived and volunteered a few times already in different ethnic communities, where she learned from the elders about traditional healing methods and  medicinal plants.

She is passionate about the environment and spends lots of time seeking new opportunities on how she can help impact others to protect the planet. Chelsea is looking forward to learn more about wildlife and traditional ways of life from the Inuit people of the Arctic regions.

She is very outgoing and very inquisitive because she believes strongly in teamwork and the exchange of thoughts and experience to come to solutions. She is very happy to have the opportunity to participate in this expedition and all the new people and facts she will get to know.

Thanks to this experience she will be even more motivated to impact her community to participate and contribute more time and effort for a better
and more sustainable society.
madelaine Brown

Madelaine Brown is a proud recipient of the Leacross Foundation Scholarship which has enabled participation in this extraordinary adventure to the Arctic.  She loves writing, photography, debate and politics.  She has a passion for learning and will soak up every droplet of knowledge she can everywhere she goes.   She is goal driven and from a young age has had her sights set on this journey.  With a determined destination, she has participated in volunteer work with organizations such as Heart and Stroke Foundation where she was honoured with the 2010 the Heart and Stroke Ambassador Award for her work sharing a message of heart health to elementary school age children and various service groups.  She has also done volunteer work with the local food bank, Habitat of Humanity and Glenhurst Art Gallery. She did a term of duty in the Spring of 2011 at Queens Park as a legislative page. She spends her lunch hours reading with kids with special needs and has won their hearts.  Madelaine simply believes in giving back.  With every opportunity that presents itself, she approaches it head on and with enthuisiasm that is contagious.  She believes that each of us can help each other be our best and learn from each other. 

ashley burton

Ashley Aupaluktuq-Burton is from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut and enjoys spending her time sewing, beading, performing (throat singing and drum dancing), fishing and camping while not attending post-secondary education at Nunavut Sivuniksavut. Ashley has spent a great deal of time doing volunteer work and helped fundraise for different associations and tournaments in her home Rankin Inlet. She hopes to learn more about her homeland the Arctic, the effects of global warming, how to reduce global warming at a pace for Inuit and northerners to adapt and how to protect the environment from pollution. Her post-expedition goals are to return to Ottawa, Ontario in the fall of 2012 to attend Year 2 of Nunavut Sivuniksavut and to work with the youth of Rankin Inlet after her schooling by doing cultural activities to preserve Inuit culture. She sees herself working for an Inuit organization or Nunavut Tourism one day.


ivalu christensen

Ivalu Barlach Christensen is a 17-year old girl, who currently is studying in Sisimiut, Greenland. Her interests are playing handball, which she has played for 6 years, and being in nature. She has always been concerned about the nature and would do anything to create awareness to other people about the climate changing. Ivalu was a climate ambassador for UNICEF in 2009, where she attended the childrens climate forum, and afterward attended some of the COP15 workshops. After finishing primary school in Aasiaat, Ivalu went to Denmark for boarding school, where she spent a year. She came home, where she started high school in Aasiaat, but after 6 months, she moved to Sisimiut for the mathematical and science line.  Ivalu is considering majoring in energy or sustainable biotechnology in the Aalborg University, after finishing high school in Sisimiut. Ivalu loves going to school and learning new things, she especially loves math, biology and chemistry.

Ivalu is very outgoing and loves meeting new people. She loves meeting new challenges and most of all, she loves accomplishing something, what she worked hard for.

Ivalu thinks that the Students on Ice expedition is a great opportunity to create awareness of the climate changing. It is not only a great experience to gain, but she hopes she is going to gain more educational knowledge from the other participants. Ivalu is looking forward to meeting the other participants!

rosemary davies

Rosemary Davies is a Northern California student who will be attending SOI due to the generous sponsorship of Climate One.  She is a recent graduate of Berkeley High School, Berkeley CA and will be attending Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this fall. She is excited to travel outside the United States for the first time! Her interests include equilibristic juggling, kendo, programming, water coloring, and creative re-use projects. And, she has lists of other things yet to be done, which include soldering, naginata, and making a microbial fuel cell. While she is interested in almost-everything, her main passions revolve around science, artwork (, and the outdoors. Rosemary is a curious person who loves to question, imagine, and be involved with the world around her.

While Rosemary likes questioning, she is looking forward to finding their answers and finding a deeper, worldly perspective. She believes that traveling to the Arctic will be a meaningful experience that will expose her more to the natural world and will develop more of her leadership. In this way, she sees the program as transformative. On the Students on Ice Expedition, Rosemary hopes to be more connected to the world, gaining greater respect for it and stewardship. 

angel deer
I live in Quaqtaq, Nunavut. I was born on November 14, 1997. My interests are canoeing, hunting, singing, playing guitar, throat singing, and I play basketball at the gym. I would love to meet a lot of new friends when I am on the Students on Ice Expedition and all different kinds of people. I would like to learn new languages and learn more about global warming. I hope to gain more knowledge about scientific research on ice polar regions. I want to learn more about the animals that we hunt as Inuit and where they live. I especially would be interested to witness the penguins at the South Pole one day.
marine poirier defoy

Marine Poirier Defoy est une jeune adolescente originaire d’Ottawa qui adore
voyager et découvrir de nouveaux endroits. Confiante et curieuse, elle aime
socialiser avec les gens locaux ainsi que d’explorer les lieux lors de ses voyages.

Marine est aussi une adolescente sportive et mordue d’activités extérieures,
tels que la voile, la natation, le ski, le camping et le canot. Soucieuse de son
environnement et toujours désireuse d’en apprendre davantage sur le sujet, elle
s’intéresse également aux sciences, tant à la physique qu’à la chimie.

Elle a énormément hâte de vivre l’expérience de l’Arctique, de voir ces paysages
grandioses, d’en apprendre plus sur les changements climatiques et, bien sûr, de
faire plusieurs fabuleuses rencontres.


Marine Poirier Defoy is a young adolescent from Ottawa who loves to travel and
discover new places. Confident and curious, she likes to socialize with the locals
as much as she likes to explore the regions she visits during her travels.

Marine is also an athletic teenager and a fan of outdoor activities, such as sailing,
swimming, skiing, camping and canoeing. Very much aware of the environment
and always looking to learn more on the subject, she is also interested in
science, whether it is physics or chemistry.

She greatly looks forward to experiencing the Arctic, to see the impressive
landscapes, to learn more about climate change and, of course, to making
several new acquaintances.


alexia fabiani

Alexia is passionate about astronomy, mythology and extreme sports. She is really interested in sciences and, although she is only seventeen years old, she loves politics and debates. Furthermore Alexia likes to socialize and to meet new people from different walks of life. She is also very sensitive about subjects related to the environment and animals. She loves outdoor activities and likes to spend time in nature, and to discover new places. Alexia likes to go abroad and to visit old buildings, museums and ruins. She tends to take pictures of everything, to immortalize every single moment. She wants to travel to the Arctic to discover this beautiful region and its fauna and flora, but also its people and traditions, and finally to discover a pure sky, contrary to that of the cities. Indeed, in the near future, she wants to be an aerospace and astronomy engineer. Alexia really believes that this adventure will be a determinant for her future and will leave extraordinary memories in her mind. In fact, she will be mixed with almost 80 students from different cultures, languages, and traditions, which will be the best opportunity to share interests and to build indestructible relationships with the people who shared this unique experience. Moreover, it will be an occasion for her to see whether climate change is a fact or not and what are its consequences on these weak regions of the world. It will also be a chance to take part in scientific activities that will enable her to open her mind to new and specific sciences, to enrich her knowledge, and to cohabit for two unforgettable weeks with interesting people.


roman farella

My name is Roman Farella. I am a 14 year old high school student at Widdifield Secondary School, in North Bay, Ontario – where I was born and have resided since.

I play a lot of sports, but mostly football and hockey.  Sports take up a big part of my life, as I enjoy them very much. Aside from sports, my interests mainly consist of music, photography, film, and biking.  I have taken lessons playing piano and guitar and can play by ear.

I’ve never really taken a huge interest in the environment, mostly because I don’t know much about it. That’s why I think this trip with Students On Ice will be not only very beneficial for me, but just an all around good experience.

I look forward to going to the Arctic, as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity!


holly fleming

Holly began her life in Trondheim, Norway and has lived on the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She now resides in St. John’s, NL. From a young age Holly has been passionate about volunteering and the environment. She likes to spend her time outdoors cross-country skiing, kayaking, hiking and bicycling. She loves to travel and believes that by seeing and experiencing different places and cultures, she will be a more caring citizen of this world. Holly is actively involved in many school clubs and extra-curricular activities, such as the Peace and Justice Club, Girl Guides of Canada and the Avalon Nordic Ski Club. She is an avid reader and collector of meaningful quotes.

Holly is excited about participating in Students on Ice and hopes to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the Arctic’s environment, biodiversity, history, people and challenges. She looks forward to learning how plant, animal and human communities persist and coexist in what appears to be a very harsh environment. She hopes to attain first-hand knowledge about the issues concerning the Arctic that she currently reads and hears about in the news, such as global warming and the impact it has on the flora and fauna, shipping passages, claims for resources and the well-being of the indigenous peoples.  

Holly plans to study Archaeology and Physics or Biology at university. She looks forward to drawing connections between Archaeology and the Arctic environment.

Holly recently developed an interest in photography and is excited about capturing the beauty of the Arctic with her camera.



arina golichenkova

Golichenkova Arina has been studying in Gymnasium №1 of Noyabrsk for 9 years. She has always been a curious, responsible and willing student. She is able to set goals and achieve them. Arina has always been keen on studying all the subjects at school and has received excellent grades. Since an early age she has been particularly interested in learning foreign languages (English, German and French), geography, nature-study and maths. She has a high performance capacity, good memory and is very persistent. She takes part in municipal, regional and all-russian Olympiads and has had good results in such subjects as mathematics, English, German, French, literature, geography, social studies.

In 2007 Arina took part in the international contest in the English language “Good Luck”, where she became a prize winner and was awarded with a free trip to London.

Since then Arina has travelled a lot, together with her parents, with her peers and with different groups of tourists. During her trips she always takes quite a few photographs. She has visited about 20 countries already and she really enjoys travelling. She is also fond of reading books; thanks to them she is rather smart and erudite. Arina is interested in exploring the nature of different places on our planet, that is why she is looking forward to taking part in the Arctic Expedition. She is also concerned about the conservation of wildlife worldwide.



cole grabinsky

My name is Cole Grabinsky and I am from Vancouver BC, Canada. I recently graduated from Burnaby Central Secondary School and am looking forward to going to Dalhousie University for Environmental Studies in the Fall. I love skiing and biking and going on camping trips. I am a professional actor and love talking to people. I am super excited for our upcoming Students on Ice Arctic expedition and meeting other people passionate about the environment and sustainability.




julian Jenneskens-pohl

Julian is half German and half Dutch. However he has never lived in the Netherlands. His birthday is on the 28th November and currently he is 17 years old. He likes to spend his time outdoors: Playing soccer, tennis and hockey. Furthermore Julian is a motorsport fanatic who loves go-karting, quad riding, jet ski racing as well as driving Jeeps over difficult off road circuits. He is also highly interested in the stock market and everything that revolves around economics and keeps track of daily news, which helps him to pursue his career dream as a future investment banker. Julian is also fascinated by team work and the power people have together rather than working alone. Teamwork will play a major role in the Arctic, however this is an excluded part of the world with many surprises waiting for him. This means that Teamwork enters a new world with the need of even greater unity and cooperation. Julian wants to discover whether this kind of teamwork is different form his previous experiences and in what way the Arctic region plays a role. The wildlife and the expedition as a whole is a unique experience and Julian therefore wants to talk about it as much as possible with family and friends upon return of this program. When Julian was younger he had always wanted to be a veterinarian and developed a personal and emotional interest for animals, his excitement regarding the wildlife in Arctic regions is therefore gigantic. As well as that he wants to learn how global warming has really affected places such as the Arctic with his own eyes, rather than listening to previous declarations of the media. As well as that he also attended the Antarctic Youth Expedition 2011-2012, which will make the Arctic experience even more interesting. This is because he hopes to find both similarities and differences in both polar regions regarding climate change, wildlife and experiencing the significance of Arctic ecosystems. 



elizabeth joanasie

Elizabeth is somewhat shy, But once you get to know her is pretty outgoing. She loves to go for ski-doo rides, and boating in the summer. She is proud to be Inuk and wants to learn more about her home land. She has a great sense of humour and loves to make people laugh. She works with kids and organizes after school and summer camp activities. She is very excited to be apart of this expedition and feels it will help her get an idea of what she wants to do in the future.




harmony jordan

Harmony Jordan is a 17 year-old from West Kingston, Rhode Island. There, she is a Co-facilitator of her school's Gay Straight Alliance and a Drum Major in her school's symphonic band. Out of school she plays trombone in the local civic band and has been a girl scout for seven years. During the winter she is a ski instructor at the Yawgoo Valley Ski Resort in Exeter, Rhode Island. Throughout the year, Harmony is mentored by Prentice Stout, the former dean of Oceanography at URI and together they explore all the bodies of water in Rhode Island and teach the Marine Bio class at Camp Fuller.

In the future she hopes to go to college and double major in Biology and Anthropology and minor in Women's and Gender Studies. For this Expedition she hopes to become more enlightened about the world around her and learn as much as she can in order to help the world for a better tomorrow. Her main goal for this trip is  to learn and experience as much as she possibly can. After the trip she hopes to write a book with Prentice Stout on her experiences.



avery keenainak

Hi my name is Avery Keenainak. I live in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. I am 15 years old and I'm going into grade 11 in the Fall at Attagoyuk Illisavik.

I was participating with an exchange trip down to Rockland, Ontario during the Spring. I am also with the Junior Canadian Rangers, we learn about our environment, life and how to be good role models. I am the oldest in my family, I have one brother who is 13 years old and a little sister who is turning 7. My mother's name is Annie Keenainak and is the daughter of accordion player Simeonie Keenainak. My father's name is Johnny Tucktoo. I love to go out camping with my family and go fishing, especially to Isuituq during the end of summer. I like to play sports. My favorites are soccer, basketball and badminton. I love to be with my friends, walk around town, draw and sketch, sing and throat-sing with my friend Colleen and I like to play with my piano and fiddle. When I'm done school, I want to go to Nunavut Sivuniksavut down in Ottawa. Then I want to pursue my dreams and become the first Inuit doctor in Nunavut.



donna lyall

Donna Lyall, a grade 11 student of Kiilinik High School in Cambridge Bay, has lived up north her entire life. At age 12 she entered the local Cadet Corp and worked her way up to Sergeant. Last year she was promoted to cadet instructor as she is no longer of the age to participate in the Corp. She enjoys life up north. Spending time outdoors is one of her favorite pastimes. Donna believes that there is no other scenery like that of the north. Whether it is winter where blankets of snow glisten under the sun, or spring with its endless sunlight, there is beauty in the north like no other. It could be said that her favorite memory of north is and always will be the sound and chaos surrounding the blizzards that occur in the winter months. This is when she is at her most comfortable. The beauty of the north always amazes her and this is where she finds inspiration for her artistic talents in different mediums; painting, photography, and sketching to name a few. A very avid traveler, she has been to the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta and the Northwest Territories however, her love of the north has only been piqued and she is excited about the opportunity to learn more about how culture, landscape, and topography vary in the different regions of the Arctic Circle. Although, she is not sure where her future will take her, she will continue to embrace her roots and continue to love the north.



Laryssa Lyszczarz

Laryssa Lyszczarz, 17 years old, currently resides in Deerfield, New York. Having a love for nature, she is extremely excited and grateful to be able to join SOI to the Arctic this summer. In her spare time, Laryssa enjoys playing her oboe, where she plays in several different bands open to her. She also loves traveling, her greatest venture being to Antarctica.

After traveling to the Antarctic with SOI this winter, Laryssa’s appreciation and curiosity for nature has only grown. She hopes that this expedition will help her gain an even greater outlook on life, and help her in her future endeavors. Laryssa hopes this Arctic expedition will help her further her knowledge on the current environmental state of our Earth, and help her make the changes needed to keep out planet pristine. She is particularly excited to be able to see Greenland, as it is somewhere she has always wanted to travel to, due to its beauty. Although she is planning on becoming a pharmacist, the experiences she will gain on this expedition will help her gain experiences and knowledge she would not be able to get anywhere else. When the expedition comes to a close, Laryssa plans to continue to educate others on both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and how we can make a difference in our planet’s future.


brendan kelly

Brendan Kelly is a sixteen year old outdoor fanatic! Brendan has a burning passion for wildlife photography and protecting the worlds animals and their habitats. Brendan has been recognized many times for his conservation efforts including in his local  newspaper, magazines, and also Brendan has traveled to Manitoba twice with ducks Unlimited Canada to learn more about conservation. Brendan is extremely excited to travel to the Arctic; to learn about its amazing habitats and the animals that live within them so he can better educate himself and the world about things such as global warming and how it is affecting the people and animals that live there.



carmella klengenberg

Born to Ross & Laverna Klengenberg, Carmella was born on October 28, 1997. She is of Inuvialuit and Inuit ancestry. Her great-grandparents come from all walks of life; Alaska, Denmark, Portugal, and of course Canada and she wishes to learn as much about them as she can.

She enjoys travelling and had attended the JCR’s (Junior Rangers) training sessions during her summer break from school. She has lived in various communities in the NWT on short stints as she loves spending time with her Nanuk (grandmother).  

During the school season, she has participated in various school projects, including “Skills Canada” competitions. During her grade 8 year, she placed 2nd in the baking competition. She could’ve placed 1st, however because she was a year younger than the required age limit, they placed her in 2nd position. Since then, she has had various requests for her baking, and cake decorating skills right from personal requests to being hired from local businesses.

She has just completed grade 9 is will be attending grade 10 at the beginning of the school year. In her third year in a row, she has received the GNWT Department of Transportation’s Science and Math Award.

Carmella is the 2nd oldest born to Ross and Laverna. She has two 3 sisters and two brothers. She is currently at a Summer Language Camp waiting to return to the community to continue her summer holidays. She is excited to attend the “Students On Ice” expedition.



alana krug-macleod

Born in Ontario, living in Saskatchewan and visiting relatives in Nova Scotia whenever possible, Alana is at home in a few regions of Canada.  She has always had an interest in traveling, animals and ecosystems, and loves to go on historical, outdoor and environmental adventures.

After traveling to the Antarctic with SOI this winter (or summer in Antarctica), Alana could not keep her mind off the Arctic.  Antarctica was even more amazing than she expected, and Alana has been doing presentations and research related to that land of ice and snow ever since.  She has started an education program called “Project Penguin.” In her spare time she fits in pet-sitting, cross-country running, clarinet-playing, art, videography and photography, and as much reading as possible.

Alana wants to see the other polar region; to learn more about how climate change is affecting people, animals, and ecosystems; to collect some meaningful research data; and to see the wildlife and landscape of the northern areas of Canada and Greenland.  By traveling to the Arctic she hopes she will deepen her understanding of the environmental issues at stake, connect her knowledge with concrete spaces and people, learn how people are making positive changes, and fall in love with the northern polar region as deeply as she did with the south.  After the trip she intends to continue to live in eco-friendly ways, to conduct polar research, and to educate others about the effects of our individual and collective actions on our global home.


anna Menshikova

My name is Anna Menshikova. I was born on July 2, 1994 in the town of Polevskoy near Ekaterinburg (Russia). Now I live in the settlement of Purpe in Yamal-Nenets autonomous district.

My father is Andrey Menshikov. He was born in 1963 and was educated as an engineer. My mother is Lilia Menshikova. She was born in 1972 and is also an engineer.

I went to the first form of school №1 in Purpe in 2001. During my studies, I obtained certificates for excellent success. I also took part in the international mathematic competition “Kangaroo”.

In 2007 I took part in the Olympiad on the English language among students of the Ural Federal district (I have the diploma of the winner of the 2nd degree of the 2nd stage). I also took part in the international stage of the III Olympiad on the English language among students of the Ural Federal district in the Czech Republic in the city of Prague (the diploma of a participant).

In 2007, I became the owner of the grant of the open joint-stock company “Novatek” and in 2008 I moved to school №5 in Gubkinsky for more intensive study of the English language.


ocean mcleod

My name is Ocean Mcleod I live in Aklavik. I have three brothers - Edward, Sam and Tom. I also have two nieces. I've lived in Aklavik all my life with my mom Sarah Mcleod, dad Ian Mcleod and my brothers. I'm in grade 9 now and in the fall I will be going into grade ten at Moose Kerr School. My main interests are photography, hunting, trapping, fishing, canoeing and being with my family and friends. All my life I was on the land hunting and trapping and I love it! I love taking pictures of the land I grow up in and I think more people should be able to see it because the land is beautiful! I also love to travel! I want to travel the world when I get older. I think I have a lot more to see than just the place I live.  I have been to some places like Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Ivvavik National Park, Edmonton and a couple more places but nothing too far from home so I think this trip is going to be awesome!! Well that's me Ocean!! 



prizzi mehta

My name is Prizzi Mehta, a recent graduate from St. Robert Catholic High School. One word to describe me is: unpredictable! I'm the type of person who absolutely LOVES trying new things, volunteering with new people and organizations, travelling, and in general, surprising myself. I never say that I can't do something unless it deals with spiders.. eeek! Nonetheless, I'm an extremely friendly and outgoing person. Some of my hobbies include gymnastics, math (I know what you're thinking) and MUSIC! I've been playing the piano for 14 years and have added on 3 other instruments over the years. One thing you'll learn about me is that I'm obsessed with horoscopes.. I'm a Gemini in case if you were wondering. Lastly, something that really defines me is that I'm not afraid to say the unspeakable, or do the unthinkable; everything that surrounds us started with inspiration, lead to thoughts, and then became our world as we know it. My goal, as a young woman, is to inspire and to be inspired to make a change.



marck mercado

Hi there! My name is Marck Mercado, a student graduating from Saint Brother Andre Catholic High School of Markham, Ontario.

I am a combination of constant learning, answer seeking, and community involvement; with a side of art and a dash of entrepreneurship. I step foot in whatever interests me and look forward to what it leads to. I will do my best with the challenges I will face in the road ahead, but in the meantime I’m enjoying being the growing student I am now.

By participating on this expedition, I hope to achieve my goal of inspiring other youth to take an interest and take action towards environmental issues including the Arctic and how it is affected by the crisis of climate change. When I become uniquely educated about the Arctic and obtain greater insight of the environment and culture, I will pass that knowledge and my stories to the network of high school environment clubs that I have created through the Youth Environmental Network of York Region. I hope that my stories and messages will be a powerful tool of inspiration that will spread as a ripple effect of action. I hope to commence an ongoing discussion about how we as young people can contribute to the betterment of the Arctic and protect our global environment. This discussion is meant to act as a catalyst in creating environmental change not only in York Region, but around the world.

michael milton

My name is Michael Milton and I’m from Pond Inlet, Nunavut. My interests are playing video games, running around and jumping over stuff, playing volleyball, and working as a stock boy at the Northern store in Pond Inlet. I hope to learn a lot about the ocean, land and about anything the SOI program has to offer. I would tell my friends all about the trip and tell it to my all family members about my experience and tell them about what I saw. I would love to go to college and graduate from college, become a businessman or just save up my money and help out a business. But when the time comes I hope to travel to a lot of places that I’m going to remember forever.





andrew miner

Andrew is 16 years old and a resident of East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  He is president of his class, editor of the school newspaper, quarterback of the high school football team, a member of the baseball team and drama club, a tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist with the jazz, concert, and marching bands, and a blogger for his town’s local online news website.  Born in Bethesda, Maryland, he has lived in Texas and New York City before his family settled in Rhode Island.  A volunteer with Habitat For Humanity, Andrew has a keen interest and passion for environmental issues, sustainable habitats, and preserving biodiversity.  Andrew hopes to bring the knowledge he gains back to his community and state and to create a fund to sponsor students from his high school on Arctic Expeditions with SOI each year.  He is particularly interested in public policy and government after participating in a Model United Nations with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.  Andrew is also interested in studying indigenous knowledge and the various cultural, political, and economic forces that are shaping the Arctic region today.  His favorite books include Paradise for Sale- A Parable of Nature by Carl McDaniel and John Gowdy and The Arctic Grail by Pierre Berton.



anastasiya miropolskaya

Anastasiya has been living in the north of Russia since her birth. Without any doubt, she knows a lot about northern way of life, features of nature and weather conditions. Moreover, in Yamal, the place where Nastya lives, you can meet natives, that's why she is familiar with the life of the Nenets and the Khants. She prefers to spend free time with friends and relatives.  Anastasiya is interested in social science, foreign languages and history of Russia. She consider global problems especially climate changes to be one of the most important themes in social science. Furthermore, Nastya is full of traveling and communication with foreign people. She aims to learn more about different people, their traditions and customs. Anastasiya has a dream to visit northern countries such as Canada because she is sure that the Students on Ice Arctic Expedition will help her to determine her plans for the future, to find a solution to some problems, to get acquainted with the nature of another northern country and compare it with the place where she lives, and, of course, to practice English.




emanuel maktar

I am Emanuel Maktar and I am originally from Igloolik but I moved to Pond Inlet, Nunavut. I like to play soccer and Basketball, and go hunting and camping with my friends and family. I love my Family and Friends. When I graduate from high school I would like to go college. If I go to college I would like to become a mechanic. If I finish college I would like to travel around the world to look for all kinds of jobs. If I find a great job I want to live there and have a job. I think I will learn lots of experiences from SOI. I would like to know more about Greenland and if I get back to my hometown I would tell my friends and family about how the trip went in Greenland, and about coming home.




emily morin

Hi my name is Emily Morin and I am a senior at Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois. I play soccer year round and mentor younger kids in soccer. I am also a member of student council and the National Honor Society. When I grow up, I want to be a biomedical engineer and work to better the technology associated with artificial knees. I am very interested in learning more about the Arctic environment and the organisms that live there. After the expedition, I am going to share what I learned with my community through writing articles in our school’s newspaper as well as visiting the local schools. I am so excited to begin the journey!!!




rachel morin

Hello! My name is Rachel Morin and I am from Barrington, Illinois, in the North West suburbs of Chicago. Next year I will be a sophomore at Barrington High School. Here I participate in LaCrosse and Volleyball.

I am so excited to go on the trip this summer with my older sister Emily, who will be a senior next year. I am looking forward to the new experiences I will see this summer.


Newkinga moss

Newkinga is taking her education at the Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She is currently in senior high Grade 11. Newkinga was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut and her interest is learning/speaking new languages.

She is also involved with the 795 Air Cadet Squadron in Iqaluit. Newkinga’s been in the Air Cadets for four years and will continue to be in the Air Force in the future. This program is always for volunteer work around the community.

Newkinga is also involved with the Iqaluit Taekwon-do Society in Iqaluit. She’s been doing Taekwon-do for two years and will continue keeping her fitness ‘up-to-date’. Newkinga teaches the youth Taekwon-do students at the Aqsarniit Elementary School twice-a-week. Since Newkinga is the only teenager involved in the Iqaluit Taekwon-do, the instructor invited her to travel to Ottawa for the June 2nd tournament held at Grand Master Lu’s Taekwon-do school, to which she agreed.

Newkinga was involved in the 2012 Skills territorial competition held in Iqaluit. In the Skills Competition she went for Workplace Safety, which she won and went to the Skills Canada National Competition held in Edmonton where Newkinga met Mike Holmes in person.  


annie nakashuk

Hi. My name is Annie Nakashuk. I am 16 years old and I'm from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. I like to play sports such as volleyball and soccer. I've been to tournaments for both these sports. I have been to Iqaluit and Baker Lake for volleyball and I have been to Yellowknife and Iqaluit for soccer. I have won silver for soccer and I have won bronze, gold and silver for volleyball. I have worked part-time for the co-op here as a cashier for more than a year. I like to hang out with friends and family and I am looking forward to going into grade 12 next semester.  


Ísabella Ólöf Þorsteinsdóttir

Isabella is native to Iceland and values the Northern regions' diversity and wild personality. Five years of her life were fullfilled in Canada, where a passion for learning still grows. Exploring Canada and spending time outside is her biggest hobbie. She enjoys volunteering her spare time in her community´s parks working to right environmental wrongdoings. Isabella is passionate about spreading awareness of the environment´s fragileness in our modern world, and actively promotes environmental-awareness to younger audiences in her community. Up in the Arctic, she hopes to learn from every passing person, place, and thing that cross her path, create connections, and make the most out of every moment.



michela panarella

Michela Panarella is 17 years young and cannot wait to explore the Arctic! She is looking forward to seeing a whole new side of the world and learning about a different kind of life. Her passions include math class, solitaire and Jeopardy. She hopes to be a psychiatrist in the future to understand how the mind works. Michela loves science and hopes to be able to apply science to material learned in this expedition. 




danno peters

Daniel Peters is known to his friends as Danno. He is fourteen years old and is going into Grade 10 at Centennial Collegiate in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Danno is very active in his school in a variety of clubs including tech club, math club, art club, volunteer club, and synchrotron club. Danno loves the  outdoors. He lives on an acreage east of Saskatoon that has an orchard, a garden and much wildlife. Danno has been a member of Scouts Canada for seven years. He has enjoyed the opportunity to hike, bike, canoe/kayak, camp and Geocache in many places in Western Canada. Danno looks forward to exploring the Arctic region with the Students on Ice program.



kirill pogartsev

My name is Kirill Pogartsev, and I am from Russia. My native town is Salehard. I was born here 16 years ago, and it is still the most favorite place in the world for me. I go to a school that's called "Gimnasia №1". I learn six days a week, but still have time for some hobbies. For example, one of them is collecting different figures. What's more, I'm interested in new technologies, web-design, photographing, using available mass media and traveling. Now I'm a participant in the "Students on Ice" expedition. This fact makes me proud and happy. I have never heard about it before, and when I had a chance to take part in the expedition, I took advantage of it. I hope, that "Students on Ice" will give me a lot of new, unique experiences and I'll know something new about the Arctic, take interesting pictures, show them to my friends and, sure, try to solve some ecological problems. By the way, I like animals very much and meeting with them is one of my purposes during the expedition. The other one is to meet new friends. So, I'm looking forward "Students on Ice" and I really want to practice my English.



lynzie qaqasiq

Hi. My name is Lynzie Qaqasiq. I am 16 years old and I'm from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. I like to play soccer, badminton and basketball. I've been to a basketball tournament in Baker Lake and last month I participated in an exchange trip with students from Rockland, Ontario. I am going to participate on a trip with Junior Canadian Rangers to the Yukon. I like to hang out with friends and family and I enjoy learning new things. I am going into grade 11 next semester. I'm looking forward to going on the Students on Ice Arctic Expedition this summer.



saalia pijamini

My name is Saalia Pijamini and I am 16 years old. I live in the most northern community in Canada, Grise Fiord. I am in Grade 12 and I plan to go to Nunavut Sivuniksavut in the Fall. I’d like to be a teacher in the future. I am interested in science and the environment and I would love to learn more about them. Wildlife and nature amuse me and I would really like to find out more information about them. I have wanted to go on an expedition like this but have never had the chance. One reason I really want to go on this expedition is because I like how it is an educational expedition with students from around the world, all on a ship!




mercedes rabesca

My name is Mercedes and I am from a town called Behchoko, Northwest Territories. I am attending Chief Jimmy Bruneau high school. I love to play sports, and the violin and guitar. I also like singing even though I have a scratchy voice! I love to travel and recently went to India to spend Christmas with "Save a Family Plan" families and before that to Europe to learn about World War I and see the battlefields. I am honest, nice, confident, responsible and outgoing but shy at first. LOL.




paul sala

My name is Paul Sala. I am 17 years old and I live in Umiujaq, Nunavik. Ever since 2010 and 2012 I joined Circus camp in a town called Kuujjuaq. I made some friends from the circus club and I learned to juggle. I like to hike. I walk around my town and outside town. I am dependable. I am a very good listener and contribute to conservation when I have something important to say. I lead by watching my elders and following their actions. I like to watch movies and listen to music. I also like to go hunting. I am proud to be from the north. I would like to make new friends on the trip to Greenland. I will miss my family when I’m away, but I’m excited to tell them about Greenland. I’m very excited to travel and see another place.




julia sisto

Julia is 16 years old; she is American and Italian, her passions are photography and literature. Julia particularly likes to capture people in their environment to give greater meaning to her portraits, she is hoping to get the opportunity to communicate with populations in the Arctic and take some shots that would show how climate change affects them. She aims to find inspiration to create meaningful images that she will then try to vehicle in the most ways possible in order to share her experience with other people.

Julia is quite curious and prone to questioning things, that is part why she wants to participate in this expedition, she knows she needs to make efforts to “preserve the planet”, and she knows how, but she wants to find out exactly why. Julia lives in Monaco, a small country near the South of France, in which it is impossible to see the earth’s degradation but the causes... definitely. On a recent trip to Africa she saw how people could live in sustainable ways and wishes to get new inspiration on this expedition, in order to propose a cleaner lifestyle to her surroundings.

She also hopes that this multi-cultural experience will help her make her mind up about plans for her future.



Lorane Siusangnark

My name is Lorane Siusangnark. I'm from Repulse Bay, Nunavut which is located right on the Arctic Circle. Repulse Bay's population is about 1,000. I'm the 4th child of 5, and my parents' names are Mikki and Noah Siusangnark.

I like playing ice hockey and 6 on 6 volleyball. I've gone on many different trips because of sports and have won a couple medals for my hometown. I'd rather live in a small town than a city because there's more people that I know than in a city, but I wish small towns had more places to work in.

I'm attending grade 11 in Tusarvik School, my favorite subjects are physical ed. and social studies. After I graduate high school, I want to learn about being a conservation officer because I like being out on the land; it brings peace, relaxation, and I like the scenery - a little getaway from the town noises, pollution and garbage.

The reason why I want to travel to the farther Arctic is because I want to learn more about the Greenlandic people, and see where their ancestors used to live their lives and partly because I've never been to that part of the world before. Unlike last summers trip to Ontario, it probably won't be humid and hot, causing me to sweat like a pig but with a breeze and warm weather which I am use to. 



Haley smith

Haley is an Inuvialuit born and raised in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.  She is 17 years old and in Grade 11. Her education and Inuvialuit culture is very much important to her and family. Haley loves her experiences travelling in the Mackenzie Delta and the Beaufort Sea. In 2010 Haley participated in a youth leadership program and canoed 290 km’s of the Horton River. She learnt that working together, being safe and achieving confidence will develop skills. In 2011, Haley was able to participate in a school field trip to Ivvavik National Park conducting field studies with the curriculum of the school and traditional knowledge of elders. Haley became aware that through studies research could be done to help the environment. Haley says “I can see that leaders need the best information available to them and our leaders and upcoming leaders need to make choices for a sustainable healthy environment”. She thinks that the Students on Ice Expedition is exactly the program to further knowledge in understanding climate change and to learn what the international issues are regarding the Arctic. Haley looks forward to being an ambassador for the Inuvialuit and is happy to bring her culture to share with this program. Haley’s biggest expectation she says “I would love to see the similarities and differences in Arctic ecosystems from the Northwest Territories to Nunavut to Greenland”.  Haley is excited to be part of the Students on Ice program and can’t wait for the expedition to begin!



vladmir Tarabarin

This is a story about a young boy Vladimir, who lives with his family in Yar-Sale. Now he is only 17, but he has already done the first important steps to success. His life has not been very long, but it is rather interesting and very exciting. He was born in Kurgan in 1995. When he was 8 years old he was playing on a football team.

From 2002 till 2010 Vova studied at secondary school №47 in Kurgan. Now he is learning in school in Yar-sale. He was very good in Chemistry and it is his favorite subject. In the 9th and 10th forms he was the winner in chemistry and English school competitions.



alex therriault

Alex was born with a love of the outdoors.  He is an avid fisherman starting his fishing career when he was just an infant drinking his bottle in the bottom of his Dad’s boat.  He is also quite experienced in the fine art of exaggerating the size of his catch at the end of the day.  He is an enthusiastic hunter as well and enjoys being out on the land.  Alex earned his sea legs taking sailing lessons while living in Nova Scotia.  Alex enjoys the rush of downhill skiing in the winter and free running all year round.  He can climb almost any building in town swiftly and efficiently.  He likes to challenge himself on his BMX and see what kind of tricks he can pull off.  He can do a 180 and he can almost do a full 360 on his BMX.  Alex is also interested in carpentry.  Right now Alex is working for a contractor doing various things such as helping build new additions in his community.  This summer Alex will also put all his work hours towards an apprenticeship in carpentry.  When Alex is older he wants to be a Conservation Officer.  Alex is enthusiastic to learn more about the poles.  He is interested in learning about all living things in the arctic.  Alex lives in Mayo, Yukon, Canada with his parents, brother and two sisters.


nancy tooktoo

I am Nancy Lucy Tooktoo from Umiujaq, Quebec. I was born January 7, 1994. I have 5 siblings, 1 baby girl and a boyfriend. I had a baby when I was 16, she is now 2 years old. I still go to school, secondary 4, and my baby goes to daycare. My teenage life was short and I didn’t get to experience a teenage life, but I am glad my baby came. She changed my life in a good way and I have been living with my boyfriend since I was 15. My baby is very cute, smart and funny. I love spending time outside with my family. I love camping. I enjoy going out picnicking, ice fishing, picking berries and Honda riding. I like to watch television. One show that I like is Scare Tactics because it is funny.

I like to learn new things and see new things. I am excited to go to a different country and meet new friends.



ariana vaisey

Ariana is grateful to the Leacross/R. Bern Foundation for generously sponsoring her expedition. She loves spending time outdoors, whether backpacking in the Rockies, gardening in her school’s greenhouse, or spending time on a sea lion research vessel. Passionate about preserving the environment, she founded her school’s Green Team, volunteers at a salmon hatchery, and leads summer camps focused on environmental stewardship. During the expedition, she hopes to learn about the Arctic ecosystem and how to protect it from the impacts of climate change. She also looks forward to sharing her experience with others when she returns home to Port Moody, BC. In September, Ariana will be entering her last year of the IB diploma at Lester B. Pearson College in Victoria, BC. 



malaika vaz

Malaika Vaz is a fifteen year-old who is extremely passionate about the environment. This will be her second students on ice expedition after having had the amazing  opportunity to experience the essence of the Antarctic continent. Windsurfing is one of her passions and she is currently ranked no.3 and no.2 in India. A certified PADI advanced open water diver, Malaika loves spending time under water and in natural environments. Malaika wants to pursue a career in the environmental sphere and contribute to making the world a more sustainable and happy place to  live in. Traveling and gaining new perspectives on life through experiences is something she enjoys. Malaika is also a voracious reader who likes to write. She anchors her own television show on a local television channel. She is currently involved in a documentary , which will aim to save the Indian tiger from the brink of extinction. During the course of the Arctic expedition, Malaika hopes to learn more about the endemic ecology of the Arctic as well as the culture of the the inhabitants of the region. She is really excited about the upcoming Arctic expedition and can't wait to meet her fellow ambassadors and embark on a journey of a lifetime. Last but not the least, Malaika is a proud Indian who also believes in the lyrics of the iconic song Imagine by John Lennon.



emily walsh

Emily Walsh is a 17-year-old grade 11 student from Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  Emily loves travel, the arts, humanitarianism, and science – she is a curious person by nature who wants to be involved in the world around her and to explore new interests and places. She loves the sciences and participates in science fairs using an ongoing environmental study of eutrophication in freshwater ponds in her community. She is actively involved in groups that promote social change, such as Students Against Drunk Driving, community clean-up, Conception Bay South Parks Commission, the annual Responsibility Action & Development High School Outreach Champions (RADHOC) Youth Leadership Conferences, and many others – she loves helping others. Emily adores the art of photography, and she is very excited to photograph the beauty of the Arctic! She feels that being able to travel to the Arctic with Students on Ice will teach her so much more about this area and its place in the world than she could ever hope to learn through a traditional classroom or the internet.  Emily believes that travel is a great teacher and hopes to learn many lessons this way.  On this expedition she hopes to learn about the true severity of the climate change happening in the Arctic, about wildlife living in the Arctic and how it differs from where she lives, and about the cultures in the areas on the expedition, and how they live in day-to-day life.


terri woods-boone

As a current graduate of Junior High, Terri is excited to start her first year of high school with the stories and experience of the Students on Ice Expedition 2012.

Growing up in the small city of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Terri has dedicated much of her time to the involvement of extra-curricular activities within her community. Starting from a young age, Terri has participated in after school programs hosted by her community centre.  She has been involved in many recreational programs throughout the summer and winter months, but enjoys outdoor adventurous activities, such as rock climbing and zip lining, the most.  Other activities and sports Terri enjoys are volleyball, soccer, singing, and her new interest, learning how to play the guitar.

Family and community involvement is very important to Terri. She likes to give back to those who have played a very important part in her life. Terri enjoys spending as much time with her family as possible, especially her brother, and enjoys volunteering and tutoring young children at her community centre.

Terri loves to engage in any challenge that is set in her path and is excited to experience all the challenges and learning experiences Students on Ice 2012 has to offer.


ocean wyatt

I am sixteen years old and will be in level II this school year. I was born and raised in the remote, coastal community of Nain, Labrador.  My active involvement in extracurricular activities show a strong dedication to being a well rounded, high achieving student. I can keep conversations going and I have a great sense of humour. My main interests include photography, being out on the land, jamming out, playing hockey, working out and being with friends and family. I love learning new things and take every opportunity to attend a workshop. I spend a lot of my time out on skidoo or boat - hunting, egging, fishing or simply just "gone off." 


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