Arctic Expedition 2013

Follow the journey : July 23 - August 7

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Expeditioners in the News

Students on Ice Arctic Expedition 2013 News

News stories about the expedition will be posted here. Expedition participants are encouraged to send any media coverage you have received and we will post a link.

Email media 'at' with your articles, interviews, audio and video. Check back regularly for updates!

July 29

Ottawa Morning

Ottawa Morning featured Maddy Mackey and Samuel Ross from Ottawa:


July 28


Des étudiants de retour de l'Arctique se disent émerveillés

Plus de 80 étudiants sont revenus à Ottawa dimanche d'un séjour de 10 jours en Arctique, une expédition organisée pour sensibiliser les jeunes aux richesses de la nature et aux changements climatiques.

Depuis 15 ans, l'association Students on Ice propose à des jeunes âgés de 14 à 18 ans, provenant de partout dans le monde, des voyages exploratoires en Arctique et en Antarctique.

« Quand on se retrouve au milieu de cela, au milieu des géants de glace, des géants de terre, on se sent tellement minuscules, mais on se sent tellement bien en même temps. »— Karolanne Toulouse, étudiante participante

L'explorateur Geoff Green, qui est l'instigateur de ce projet, a mis sur pied ces expéditions pour permettre aux jeunes de découvrir des régions du monde méconnues. Au fil du temps, le thème de ces voyages a évolué pour se concentrer sur les changements climatiques.

« La glace de mer, la glace des glaciers, ça fond maintenant très très vite. Moi, j'ai visité l'Arctique depuis 20 ans, et j'ai vu les changements », déplore-t-il.

Un voyage unique

Cette année, les jeunes provenaient principalement du Canada, et une trentaine d'entre eux ont des origines autochtones. Ils étaient accompagnés de chercheurs, d'historiens, d'artistes et de scientifiques qui les ont aidés à découvrir le pôle Nord.

« On a vu beaucoup d'ours polaires. On a vu différents types de baleines, on a vu des phoques, on a vu des morses aussi. Ça c'est vraiment fantastique, c'est des animaux, je pense, que je ne reverrai pas de si tôt », affirme Alice Corporandy, une étudiante qui vient de Monaco.

En 10 jours, ces jeunes ont eu le privilège de parcourir l'Arctique depuis le Nunavut et jusqu'au Groenland à bord d'un navire. Ce voyage, qui a coûté plus de 10 000$ par personne, a pu être financé dans la majorité des cas par le biais de bourses ou de collecte de fonds.


July 28

CTV Ottawa

Students on Arctic expedition return home


85 students, including two from Ottawa, have returned home after two weeks of learning about climate change, exploring and encountering wildlife in the Arctic and western Greenland.

The two-week expedition put on by “Students on Ice” allowed students to be immersed in local culture and learn about the challenges facing the Arctic.

“It’s a critical time right now in the Arctic. It's changing so quickly,” said expedition leader Geoff Green. “I really think engaging our youth at this early stage in their life is important for all of us."

A homecoming event in Ottawa was a chance for students to share what they learned.

“I just learned how climate change is affecting these people, not being able to fish as much in the winter, go out on the ice, it's more dangerous and so I’m hoping to bring that back and let my friends and colleagues know about that,” said Micah May from Nelson, B.C.

Students also saw a number of polar bears along the way.

“We saw 11 in one day and they're just so beautiful and so majestic,” said Ottawa student Madison Mackey. “They just love the land and I don't want to see it going away.”

“No photograph, no song, no poetry, no image, no book can possibly describe the Arctic,” said Kieran Shepherd, a paleobiologist at the Museum of Nature. “You have to go there, you have to see it and experience it.”

With a report from CTV’s Katie Griffin

Read more:


July 18, 2013

Inside Halton

White Oaks graduate embarks on Arctic expedition

Chris Gismondi

What does the most northern corner of the Earth have to do with suburban Oakville?

Well, I believe that every action we take impacts the environment as a whole, that it is irresponsible to think of ourselves as individuals and not members of a community and lastly, that respecting and preserving the environment is common sense since it is what gives us life.

I think this global, collective and selfless mindset is vitally relative to environmentalism.

One can think how car emissions in Oakville do not just affect our local environment, but accumulate to affect our Earth as a whole, contributing to detrimental changes in the order of nature.

One of the tragic victims of climate change is the majestic Arctic, and I am excited to be a part of an international expedition to West Greenland and Eastern Nunavut through the organization Students on Ice (SOI), which departed July 14.

I applied to join the expedition and won a scholarship to participate from the group Earth Rangers.

The expedition includes archeological site visits, community visits and wildlife encounters, as well as stops at noteworthy climate change sites.

The team consists of 85 students with a range of backgrounds from remote Inuit communities to Switzerland, Monaco and Norway.

Students on Ice chaperones and 49 scientists, videographers, photographers, geologists, artists and Inuit elders will also be participating on this journey of a lifetime.

Besides activism, art is my other passion. I look forward to soaking up the experiences and ringing them out in future artistic endeavours, as well as continued activism work at McGill this coming September.

I am a recent graduate of White Oaks Secondary School (WOSS) and have my amazing International Baccalaureate (IB) art teacher Matthew Coleman to thank for making up one of two references for my Students on Ice application.

My other reference came from the teacher supervisor of WOSS’ Awareness and Activism Association the warm and inspirational Tracy Beck.

Their support was part of the process that involved me winning a scholarship spot on the trip, not to mention their guidance and support that helped me realize the limitless possibilities both in art and activism.

I will be writing an article during and after the expedition for the Oakville Beaver as well as other media appearances.

I would encourage anyone interested to follow the journey via my own, or other students’ blogs at

All the exposure for the expedition and the organization are all a part of the solution to preserving our home, Earth.


July 17, 2013

Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation

"Students on ice" aallartippoq


July 14, 2013

CTV Ottawa

Teens Head to Arctic

As the expedition come together in Ottawa, CTV Ottawa interviewed some of our amazing participants!



July 13, 2013

CTV Barrie

Genius Kid Goes North

CTV Barrie did a great interview with Arctic 2013 participant Maya Burhanpurkar!


July 9, 2013

The Telegram

Students to embark on awesome adventure

Trevor Taylor

Next Sunday, approximately 75 high school students will meet in Ottawa to begin what can only be described as the experience of a lifetime. They will participate in the Students on Ice 2013 Arctic Expedition.

The students, who come from a diversity of countries, social and cultural backgrounds, will travel to Greenland. They’ll join a ship and then travel up the west coast of Greenland, across Baffin Bay, into Lancaster Sound, the northeast entrance to the Northwest Passage, and eventually disembark at Resolute in Nunavut.

Along the way they will be educated in the Arctic classroom by a diversity of educators comprised of oceanographers, glaciologists, geologists, climate change scientists, marine mammal biologists, industry executives, journalists, Inuit elders and senior government bureaucrats.

They will stand on glaciers; they will get up close with polar bears, walruses, whales, birds and other Arctic animals; they will zodiac through magnificent fjords, probably see icebergs calve, will get wet and cold as they hike through bitterly cold Arctic streams; they will sail and walk in an area that few outside of Inuit and explorers have ever seen, and at least half of them, along with a third of the education staff, will get terribly seasick at least once.

Students on Ice (SOI) is an educational expedition dedicated to taking high school students to the two polar regions, the Arctic and Antarctic.

As part of the education program, students gain an up-close and personal experience with the Arctic environment, its flora and fauna and its people.

For those lucky enough to go, they will hang out with some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts. They will have presentations on the integral part Arctic ice plays in keeping our world’s temperature regulated.

And they will see the undeniable impact of the changing environmental conditions on the Arctic landscape.

This year, as in the past three years, there will be six to eight students from Newfoundland and Labrador. They will join students from Norway, Greenland, the Principality of Monaco, the U.S.A., probably Korea, China, India; in all, about 15 nationalities will be represented on board.

Some will come from very affluent families. Some will come from not so well-to-do centre city homes. There will be Inuit kids from Northern Canada, black kids from the southern states, and white kids from New York. They will almost all feel some sense of intimidation and trepidation in the early days, but will almost all cry, as teenagers do, when they prepare to leave after two weeks.

The strangers of July 14 will be close friends by the 28th and, through the connectivity of the Internet, many of them will keep in contact half a world apart, long after the trip ends.

While the expedition is about educating students on the Arctic environment, it probably teaches them as much about themselves and others. For many there is an increased self-awareness.

I have been associated with SOI as a volunteer fundraiser and expedition staff member for over three years. I have been on two Arctic expeditions and one to Antarctica.

For more than 80 per cent of the students, their participation is only possible through sponsorships from private and public sources. For the last 3 1/2 years I have bugged many in the province for sponsorship funds.

The Newfoundland and Labrador students who have gone and are going this year do so in large part due to the generosity and vision of many in the public and private sector.

Thanks to a number of departments of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Ches Penney and Martin Sullivan at OCI, Peter Woodward at the Woodward Group, Gus Ollerhead and crew at Provincial Airlines, Phillip Earle at Air Labrador, and Colin MacDonald at Clearwater, approximately 30 Newfoundland and Labrador students have been able to participate in the SOI experience.

Thanks, everyone, for your assistance in educating the leaders of tomorrow.


June 27, 2013

The Telegram

Local teen going on Arctic adventure

Aspiring marine biologist wins provincial scholarship to journey with scientists 

Rebekah Ward 
Silas Jones, a 16-year-old biology enthusiast from St. John’s, was recently the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship from the provincial Department of Fisheries and Agriculture to travel to the Arctic this summer with the Canadian organization Students On Ice.

The trip, which will span July 14-28, is scheduled to begin with a short stop in Ottawa before participants fly to Southwest Greenland, board a ship, and sail to the eastern arctic.

“The main goal (of Students on Ice) is to inspire students to think more about the world around them and about protecting the environment, and also about enjoying the world around them,” Silas said.

Silas says he’s wanted to work as a marine biologist for as long as he can remember, although he has recently acknowledged the possibility of working in some other subfield of biology. He plans to pursue his studies in the field at MUN after he graduates from high school next year.

His interest in aquatic life is not limited to the classroom. Silas started scuba diving at 13 and is working at Ocean Quest dive shop this summer, where he escorts tours diving the four Bell Island wrecks and swimming with the whales.

“I’m currently certified in advanced open water,” Silas said.

“I’ve only ever done diving in Newfoundland, but Newfoundland has a very interesting submarine environment, I have to say. It is very odd, and strangely beautiful,” he said.

“Well, when you see coral reefs and stuff (elsewhere), they’re all super colorful and there’s thousands of fish. In Newfoundland, the main dominating colours down there are kind of greyish blue and dark brownish red. The seaweed and stuff usually varies from orange to brownish red. There are usually schools of connors, these small sea perch-like fish, and depending on where you go it’s all different.”

Ocean Quest is letting him off the hook for a couple of weeks to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity, for which he is currently hunting down Arctic gear — hard to find, at this time of year, given that most places pack away their winter-appropriate clothing in summer months.

According to the Students on Ice website, the trip “will involve 70 international high school students, 14-18 years old, a team of 35 world-class scientists, historians, artists, explorers, educators, innovators and polar experts, and 30 public- and private-sector leaders.”

Silas said as the students travel across the Arctic, they will be doing research with scientists, artists and musicians.

“I’m not really scared about anything, but I don’t know what I’m most excited about,” Silas said.

“I’d have to say that working with scientists, and other people who share my interests is very exciting. And the whole adventure aspect of it all is fantastic, too.”

For Silas, July 14th can’t come soon enough.

Students on Ice said there are also five other students from Newfoundland and Labrador going on the trip — Neria Aylward, Erin Gear, Samantha Groves, Camille Thistle and Sarah Veber, as well as a number of others from across the globe.



June 19, 2013

Thunder Bay Television News did an interview with student participant Geritt Wesselink. Click below to check it out!



June 5, 2013

Arctic 2013 participant Maya Burhanpurkar was recently selected as one of the recipients of this year's Top 20 Under 20 awards. Run by the charitable organization Youth in Motion, Top 20 Under 20 is a Canadian national awards program that reaches out to thousands of youth across the country before finalizing a list of 20 up-and-comers who embody leadership, innovation and achievement.

Maya, 13, was acknowledged for setting up a fully functioning microbiology lab in her basement at the age of 10 – after universities and research institutions told her she was too young to use theirs – where she studied the effects of antibiotics on patients and discovered new properties of an Alzheimer’s drug to protect seniors and athletes from heart attacks.

Read the full Globe and Mail article below:

'Top 20 Under 20' recognizes young Canadians making a difference

Posted with permission from The Globe and Mail

Canada's brightest young minds range from 13 to 19, and have innovative solutions for everything from job discrimination to environmental damage in the oil sands

Twenty Canadians are being recognized for initiatives that range from curbing environmental damage in the oil sands to tackling job discrimination to conducting original microbiology studies – and they are all under 20 years of age.

The Top 20 Under 20 Awards, an RBC-sponsored program run by the charitable organization Youth in Motion, is a national awards endeavor that reaches out to thousands of youth across the country before finalizing a list of 20 up-and-comers who embody leadership, innovation and achievement.

Whether it's a creative mind who started an online space for high school kids to express themselves artistically, a student who started training youth on bullying prevention when she felt teachers weren't properly trained, or a 13-year-old girl who built her own microbiology lab after being denied access to university resources for being too young – each recipient has worked to improve their community.

Although students are often recommended by teachers and councillors to apply for the award, the program is not exclusive to schools, said Larry Mah, Youth in Motion programs director.

"We don't ask for transcripts," he said. "We don't associate success with grades."

The final group is vetted and judged by a panel of Order of Canada recipients.

"We thought it was important for these individuals who have been recognized with the highest civil award to select the up-and-coming," said Mr. Mah.

Past recipients have gone on to invent solar paint, develop kinetic-energy-generating shoes and receive funding from the Canadian reality TV showDragon's Den.

Top 20 Under 20 alumni winners have together reached out to 3 million youth through their initiatives, raised more than $10-million for various charity organizations and earned more than $50-million for entrepreneurial business ventures, according to statistics provided by Youth in Motion.

The full list of 2013 recipients includes: Amanda Belzowski, 15 (Ont.); Armin Rezaiean-Asel, 19 (BC); Cameron Krisko, 19 (Man.); Ceilidh Millar, 19 (B.C.); Ellen Song, 18 (NS); Fahd Alhattab, 19 (Ont.); Habiba Cooper Diallo, 16 (NS); Howard Feng, 17 (Ont.); Jared Valdron, 19 (NB); Josh Tiessen, 17 (Ont.); Joshua Miller, 18 (Ont.); Kelcie Miller-Anderson, 18 (Alta.); Maya Burhanpurkar, 13 (Ont.); Michael Smith, 19 (Alta.); Preston Lim, 17 (BC); Sarthak Sinha, 16 (Alta.); Scott Adams, 19 (Sask.); Shane Feldman, 18 (Ont.); Simone Cavanaugh, 19 (Que.); and Victoria Chok, 18 (Ont.).


April 30, 2013
Nanaimo News Bulletin

Student cruises Arctic, Greenland in July


It doesn’t matter what the long range forecast for summer temperatures might be – for Nanaimo’s Caitlin Jakobsen, it’s going to be cool in more ways than one. 

The Grade 11 student at Wellington Secondary School is one of 70 high school students from around the world accepted for the Students on Ice program.

The group will spend July 14-28 aboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Ioffe, exploring west coast of Greenland, the eastern Canadian Arctic, including Baffin Island and the Northwest Passage.

Along with the students,  the team includes 35 world-class scientists, historians, artists, explorers, polar experts, authors/journalists, educators and innovators, as well as 30 public and private sector leaders.

“The goal of the expedition is to help youth foster a new understanding and respect for the planet, working on our leadership skills so that we can help collaborate and come up with solutions to the problems facing our planet today, such as global climate change,” said  Jakobsen. “My goals upon returning are to teach people in my schools and beyond all about the Arctic and my experience there, with the hopes that I can inspire other future environment leaders (or just leaders in general) in my community.”

Cost of the expedition is $10,000, and though Jakobsen has raised $5,000, she needs the community’s help in raising the other half.

A beer and burger night has been organized at the Wellington Pub May 23, and Jakobsen has an account at the Return-it Depots under Students on Ice. She is also looking for sponsorships in the community.

Anyone wanting more information about Jakobsen, the expedition and her fundraising efforts, can check out her blog at or e-mail

May 1, 2013

Universities News

Vuntut Gwitchin student wins scholarship to join Arctic expedition this summer

Fourteen-year-old Myles Rumley-Nukon will join this summer’s 2013 Students on Ice Arctic expedition thanks to a scholarship funded by the Government of Yukon and Yukon College. Rumley-Nukon is a Vuntut Gwitchin student currently in Grade 8 at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse.

The $10,000 scholarship is provided by the Northern Climate ExChange at Yukon College, the Government of Yukon’s Climate Change Secretariat, Yukon Education and Environment Yukon. Students aged 14-18 were invited to apply earlier this year through their schools.

Myles Rumley-Nukon is a Vuntut Gwitchin student who is interested in helping his community fight to protect the Porcupine caribou herd. References accompanying his scholarship application speak highly of him being “a role model for all young First Nation males.”

“I am really grateful to Students on Ice for this opportunity. I am excited to travel with students from around the world and learn more about other regions in the Arctic,” said Rumley-Nukon.

The July 14-28 Students on Ice expedition will include 70 international high school students and a team of 35 world-renowned scientists, educators, Aboriginal Elders, historians, artists, writers, innovators, leaders and polar experts, as well as 30 public and private sector leaders.

Students on this summer’s educational adventure will develop the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices that will help them to be Arctic ambassadors and environmentally responsible citizens. The team will depart on July 14 from Ottawa and return on July 28 after exploring Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and, in Nunavut, Iqaluit and Resolute Bay.

Funding support for the scholarship from the Department of Education is through its First Nations Programs and Partnerships initiative.


April 22, 2013
Nunavut News/Northern News Service
by Peter Worden
Arctic Bay

Arctic 2013 participant Rosalie Oqallak from Inuujaq high school featureed in the Nunavut News!


April 30, 2013
High School Students from Norway to Join Canadian Arctic Expedition

Two Norwegian high school students have received a scholarship from the Norwegian Embassy in Ottawa, and will join the Students on Ice Arctic Expedition in July 2013.

Marius Johan Jensen (17) from Tromsø in northern Norway and Tor Stein-Andersen (16) from Hønefoss in southern Norway wrote applications where they explained their interest in and commitment to Arctic issues, and were selected for a scholarship from the Norwegian Embassy and Canadian organization Students on Ice.

In July of this year, Students on Ice's Arctic Youth Expedition will take 70 young students, including Marius and Tor, on a journey they will never forget. Travelling by sea and land, the expedition will cover areas in eastern Canadian Arctic as well as Western Greenland.

The students will travel with a team of experienced staff, and learn about the region through exploring and encounters with nature and wildlife. The aim is to give the participants experience in this important and fascinating part of the world, and to enhance the understanding climate and environmental challenges. They are also expected to share their experience and impressions from the Arctic with their communities when they return home.

“I am most excited to learn about climate changes and how prospective changes affect not only the environment, wildlife and natural resources, but also humanity,” says Marius. “The Arctic region is growing and developing fast, and it contains natural resources and possibilities never explored before. The demography is changing, and to achieve sustainable growth in northern societies we need to act smart. Our greatest task the coming time is to develop the Arctic in a way in which we conserve natural diversity and identity at the same time as we extend and innovate in the region to cover future needs.”

Tor says that he would like to create awareness about the Arctic and global climate change. “I feel this expedition has created a great opportunity to spread this awareness,” he says and continues “I would also like to understand the relative importance of the natural resources that nations are competing to acquire in the Arctic and the related environmental and political issues. This is of particular importance to Norway because of its position in the Arctic.” He says he also looks forward to meeting the local population of the Arctic, and learning about how climate change will affect their way of life.

Marius Johan Jensen (17) is studying natural sciences at Kongsbakken High School in his hometown of Tromsø. He works with both local and national politics through volunteerism  for several organisations, among them the Norwegian Labour Party and the School Student Union of Norway.

Since he began his political engagement, the High North region has strongly influenced his works, which is confirmed by his passion for ethnic minorities in the circumpolar regions.

Recently, he participated in the youth competition "Statoil’s Natural Science Award", in which he studied and expanded his interest for energy resources and efficiency in the Arctic.

Tor Stein-Andersen (16 ) lives in Hønefoss, Norway. He is currently enrolled at Ringerike High School, where he is president of his class.

Tor is very interested in politics, and he is in involved in the youth conservative party, Unge Høyre, both on the local and regional board. He is also an elected member of the youth advisory board in his municipality.

Tor enjoys winter sports and activities, and has played hockey for many years, as captain for several teams. He is also an avid cross country and alpine skier and spends a lot of his free time in the outdoors.






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