SOI @ IMPAC4 Blog: Da Chen

While Students on Ice participates in the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) in La Serena-Coquimbo, Chile, our delegation of 9 students from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada will be sharing their experiences and stories through blogs, photos, and videos.

Below is a blog post from Da Chen, an alum of the 2017 Arctic Expedition. Da is a Parks Canada northern engagement student and has been preparing for IMPAC4 with their support.

The spectacular Andes Mountain range. Photo: Da Chen

Early week thoughts

It’s hard to believe that I am in Chile a week after the Student on Ice Arctic Expedition. Going from the top of the world and learning about all the great people, places and history of the north to now coming down south. Its going to be so amazing sharing my own personal stories and experiences from my Arctic trip to other participants at the IMPAC4 conference.

I do have some personal reservation as I don’t quite know what to expect. Marine Conservation is something relatively new and foreign to me. Even though I grew up beside Lake Ontario, I had little interaction with water and had less knowledge of marine conservation. Most of my current knowledge came from the 4 summers I worked with Parks Canada.

However, I am definitely looking forward to learning new things throughout the week not just from the conference but also from my fellow delegates. We do have an amazing group of people who are passionate and came from different backgrounds. We have someone who studied thousands of years old plants (Cassandra) to using 3D printing technology to address various issues (Alysia) to just many more amazing work and stories. I feel like this trip would be a continuation of the amazing learning I had during the Arctic expedition.

Speaking of Chile. From my short introduction to Chile, it’s quite a beautiful country with mountain standing among clouds to ocean by the city to much much more. What a beautiful country and I am so lucky and privilege to be here with the SOI delegate. I am looking forward to learning more about this place and the different work on marine conservation happening throughout the world.


Da Chen

My name is Da Chen and I am currently attending the University of Toronto Scarborough majoring in City Studies and Political Science. Growing up, I knew little of marine protected areas or their importance. However, over the last 4 summers, I worked with Parks Canada in various positions and was introduced to the world of marine conservation. Through my jobs, I visited a few national marine conservation areas such as Fathom Five NMCA and Lake Superior NMCA. While there, I learned about the importance of marine areas and how crucial it is for us to protect them.

This summer, I had the privilege of participating in the Student on Ice Arctic Expedition and while we were in Pond Inlet, the Minster of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna declared Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) as Canada’s newest marine conservation area! It was definitely an important step in protecting our ocean and coastline.

I am very excited to participated in the IMPAC4 conference with Student on Ice. It will be a great opportunity to meet and learn from so many amazing people within the marine conservation world. Can’t wait!

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