It has been nearly 3 weeks since we landed in the Ottawa airport marking the end of the 2017 Students on Ice Arctic expedition. This expedition was a life changing and inspirational journey for me. I am still coming to terms with how much it has done for my outlook on life and the opportunities it has created. The two weeks spent on the Ocean Endeavour afforded me so many powerful memories, and great connections with people from across the country & the world.
The way I was able to interact with some of the most knowledgeable & interesting people I have ever met, and pick their brains on a daily basis gave me such a great understanding of a wide variety of concepts. My biggest takeaway was about the effect climate change is having on the Canadian north. Both the ecosystems, and the communities are being hit with direct and detrimental effects of a warming climate. I was really moved by hearing firsthand accounts of the hardships of hunting. Northern Hunters often need sea ice to travel on, but are having difficulties predicting the thickness of the ice, and sometimes this can lead to falling through the ice.
I am in touch with several of the staff and students from the expedition, and am really grateful for the networking and connections it created. In a few weeks I will be attending the Ontario Nature Biodiversity and Environment Youth Summit thanks to a connection formed with a staff member while in the Arctic. I have already begun, and hope to continue using my Students on Ice experience, and any/ all subsequent activities to work towards positive change in my school, community, and all across the world.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada