Arctic 2014 alumna Emma Lee reflects on her journey

By on 2014/08/22

Emma Lee (cropped)I think it is clear that all of us, although in different degrees, came back transformed and inspired from this expedition. Whether it was the powerful testimony of singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards or the humpback whale we saw on a zodiac excursion, this trip allowed us to (as cliché as it sounds) have an experience of a lifetime.

Initially when I was preparing for the expedition, I felt nervous about what to expect and didn’t feel qualified to be part of an expedition as grandiose as this one. Back then I didn’t know what incredible staff and students I would befriend on the 2014 SOI Arctic Expedition.

It was amazing to become surrounded by like-minded and goal-oriented peers for the first time. Many of these students individually were so alive and excited for the present & future. They weren’t afraid to speak about topics that mattered to them, and I felt a great surge of energy and inspiration from solely talking to them. There were many insights I gained from getting to know some of the students: I learned a range of topics from Jamaican rap to systems engineering, I heard the tragic realities of a student living in one of the Northern towns, and I spoke my first words in Inuktitut. All of these students offered something incredible and encouraged me to do the same. I was lucky to have connected with several individuals, and a few who became close friends of mine.

The SOI and cruise staff’s support was also amazing. Never would I have believed that there is more to business than money, and that Arctic hares are one of the most intriguing animals living on the planet. Each SOI staff was unique in their own ways, and helped ignite passion and the thirst for learning in many of the students for the first time in a while. The ship’s staff was always willing to help the SOI team in any way possible, whether that was greeting us with smiles in the morning, or staying up into the late hours of the evening trying to fix the water pipe.


Photo (c) Mike Beedell / Students on Ice

At the conclusion of the expedition, I came back home feeling revitalized. The expedition renewed my mind’s curiosity for knowledge, as well as allowed me to form friendships that will last a lifetime. Although I felt a disconnection from my hometown for the first couple of days, I began to really feel the appreciation for the opportunity that the Leacross Foundation and Students on Ice has given me.

It is without a doubt that I’ll keep in touch with many of the students and staff that were part of the expedition, and encourage them as they pursue their interests. Personally, although transitioning from high school to university will be difficult, I feel lucky to have a new team of students & staff that will guide me through the next chapter of my life.


SOI Alumna Bridget Graham reflects on her time with SOI

By on 2014/07/22

Bridget Graham is an invaluable part of the SOI team as an alumna with an ability to connect with individuals from every walk of life, to her most recent position as Expedition Intern. Bridget, like many of our alumni, completed

Photo (c) Todd V Wolfson

Q&A with Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter, Kathleen Edwards

By on 2014/07/15

Kathleen Edwards is phenomenal Canadian singer and songwriter who has received several Juno nominations, and has been short-listed for Polaris Music Prize. SOI is fortunate enough to have Kathleen join the Arctic 2014 expedition to teach music workshops and offer guidance on


Q&A with Sue Novotny of the WWF Arctic Programme

By on 2014/07/11

Almost every year the WWF teams up with SOI to help inspire youth by sending students from northern Canada and Greenland, along with a WWF staff member onboard the annual Arctic expedition. We chatted with Sue Novotny. She’s been working

Photo (c) Lee Narraway

SOI Launches 2014 Arctic Expedition

By on 2014/07/09

Today, high school students from across Canada and around the world come together in Ottawa to start two weeks of discovery and learning on an ambitious expedition exploring the eastern Canadian Arctic and western Greenland. Students on Ice’s 2014 Arctic Expedition


Q&A with Adventure Photographer Lee Narraway

By on 2014/07/09

Lee Narraway is an incredible photographer who has been an integral part of the Students on Ice family for a decade. Since 2004, Lee  has beautifully captured the magic of the ‘greatest classrooms on earth’ along with the remarkable people

Arctic 2013

Q&A with Musician & SOI expeditioner Ian Tamblyn

By on 2014/07/07

Ian Tamblyn is a Juno award-winning folk singer and songwriter, polar explorer and dedicated SOI educator who has helped shape lives through his popular music workshops on SOI expeditions for years. In addition to his musical talents, Ian has a


A Letter to Alumni: The Taxi Cab to Indifference

By on 2014/07/07

SOI Alumnus Donovan Taplin participated in both SOI’s Arctic and Antarctic Expeditions, experiences that forever changed Donovan’s view of the world and inspired him to make a difference in his community through the power of storytelling. Donovan submitted the following


Q&A with polar guide Alex Taylor

By on 2014/07/06

Alex Taylor is one of SOI’s integral expedition team members. He sets up the communication system, he drives zodiacs, captures incredible video footage, and so much more. He has also explored the Polar Regions for more than 20 years, and

Bianca Perren with a student during the Arctic 2013 expedition, photo (c) Martin Lipman

SOI Educator Q&A with Bianca Perren

By on 2014/07/04

This summer Bianca Perren will join SOI for her third expedition. She is both a painter and a paleoecologist, brimming with knowledge on Arctic ecology, more specifically the effects of climate change on the Arctic. We asked Bianca to share some of

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