TechSession2014 (3)

SOI Educator Q&A with Paul Brett of the Marine Institute

By on 2014/11/20

Paul Brett is a remote sensing and GIS specialist, he’s both an instructor and the chair of the ocean mapping program at Memorial University’s Marine Institute, one of SOI’s key partners. Although he’s worked and travelled extensively in the Canadian Arctic, this will be his first visit to Antarctica.


How did you get involved with Students on Ice?

I have been interested in the Arctic and Antarctic most of my adult life, reading everything I can about Arctic exploration. I met up with Justin Dearing (a former student of mine) just after his first trip to the Antarctica, and I asked him how do I get involved… And it all started from there.

Photo provided by Paul Brett

Photo provided by Paul Brett


Tell us a bit about your work with the Marine Institute?

At the MI, I currently work as an instructor and chair of the ocean mapping program. I teach GIS and Remote Sensing, as well as other mapping courses across many programs. I have been also doing a lot of work in Nunavut completing a coastal resource inventory thorough out the Arctic.

Will this be your first visit to Antarctica? And if so, what are you most excited about?

This will be my first visit to Antarctica. It has been a lifelong dream to mine to visit. I am most excited about visiting Elephant Island actually, the Shackleton story* was what first got me interested in polar exploration.

Point Wild, Elephant Island, during the SOI Antarctic 2009 expedition. Photo (c) Olivia Rempel

Point Wild, Elephant Island, during the SOI Antarctic 2009 expedition. Photo (c) Olivia Rempel


*Note: Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition members landed on Elephant Island in lifeboats after they lost their ship to the shifting ice in the early 1900s. Part of the expedition survived there for many months while Shackleton and a few select men went to seek help, and miraculously, everyone made it home alive. During almost every expedition, SOI visits Elephant Island.


What makes the Southern Ocean interesting to you?

The power of the Southern Ocean has always been something that interested me, winds and waves that travel around the globe with no continent to slow them down means there are awesome examples of each there… each band of latitude has a name to indicated the perils of seafarers who venture there, the roaring forties, the furious fifties, and the screaming sixties…

What do you hope the students will learn from you on this expedition?


Photo provided by Paul Brett

I hope I can at the minimum teach the students to respect the oceans they are studying, and that we know very little about them. In fact many say we know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than we know about the ocean. The sheer size and depth of the ocean and our current exploration techniques mean we have a lot of work to do!


Is there something you hope to learn more about?

There is so much I would like to learn ore about! But the geography of region will be of great interest. How fast is the ice changing, what are the glaciers looking like, and how does wildlife survive in such an inhospitable location.


Anything else you’d like to add?

The only thing I would like to add is that this opportunity will be an amazing opportunity for all involved. Students, staff, teachers, and the mariners who will get us there and back,  I expect we will all learn from one another!!


Q&A with Oceanographer Daniele Bianchi

By on 2014/11/17

This year, Daniele Bianchi will join SOI for his third expedition and first visit to Antarctica. During the past two Arctic expeditions, Daniele has become known for his enthusiasm and ability to make oceanography fun and exciting. We’re thrilled to


IUCN World Parks Congress

By on 2014/11/16

More than 3,000 leaders from over 160 countries have gathered in Sydney, Australia between November 12-19, 2014 for the IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC). This conference is a prestigious global gathering of protected area leaders and professionals along with individuals

Petermann Calving, August 16,2010 (after NASA), 2012, 60”x72”. Photo (c) Diane Burko.

SOI Antarctic 2014 educator Q&A: Diane Burko

By on 2014/11/12

Every year SOI attracts curious students and world-class educators from around the world to help bring the Polar Regions to life during transformational expeditions. More recently, we’ve begun to highlight these incredible teachers on our blog. With the Antarctic 2014

Leah Pengelly

Inspiring Young Pioneers in Ocean Conservation

By on 2014/10/30

SOI is excited to announce that Students on Ice 2008 Arctic alumna Leah Pengelly is featured in the current issue of the Journal of Ocean Technology. For the past several years, Leah has focused her studies and work experience on better understanding



By on 2014/10/10

Students on Ice is thrilled to be part of the 43rd North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) conference in Ottawa, Canada taking place on October 8-11, 2014. Join the conference to learn more about conservation education, green schools, technology, and

Go Global logo

Geoff Green to present at Go Global conference

By on 2014/09/15

The Go Global conference brings together a world of opportunities to study, volunteer, work and explore internationally.  Hosted by Verge Magazine, Go Global provides the opportunity to connect with organizations that can help you make it happen! This year, Students on

Emmanuel Tse (small)

Arctic 2014 alumnus Emmanuel Tse reflects on journey

By on 2014/09/05

During the Arctic expedition, as a collective group I think we knew we were part of something special but we had yet fully realized how fortunate we were, with the weather and our impromptu plans (after all, flexibility is key),

Photo (c) Mike Beedell

Reflections on SOI’s 2014 Arctic Expedition by Michaela Norgren

By on 2014/09/03

Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints is a line I heard many times during our 16 day voyage, the best 16 days of my life. Many people have asked me to describe the Arctic. I have tried


Arctic 2014 alumna Emma Lee reflects on her journey

By on 2014/08/22

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,

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