The Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) has been a valued partner in the success of Students on Ice since the inaugural expedition to Antarctica in 2000. Scientists with the CMN have participated in SOI expeditions (mostly to the Arctic) every year. Its experts, have led hands-on research in the field with students from around the world, and inspired a passion for science and a better understanding and appreciation for the unique plants, wildlife and changing polar environment.
The museum’s partnership with Students on Ice goes beyond providing on-board expertise. Many of the Arctic trips have kicked off with behind-the-scenes visits to the museum’s national collections and research labs in Gatineau, Quebec. The students are exposed to some of the millions of diverse specimens that record Canada’s biodiversity, an experience enhanced by firsthand stories from the museum’s experts about their fieldwork and their scientific research
SOI also collaborates with the CMN on educational events throughout the year. These have included the recent ‘Q is for Qajaq’ exhibit at the museum that showcased the building of three traditional Inuit qajaqs (kayak) as part of a movement to educate and inspire a renaissance of qajaq building and paddling in the Arctic. Past projects that have tapped the partnership include the national Polar Perspectives speaker series and school workshops for the 2007/08 International Polar Year, the collaboration to include SOI testimonials and videos in the museum’s national travelling exhibition Arctic Voices, and participation in numerous Arctic-themed events and public programs.
“We congratulate Students on Ice on 15 years of inspiring young people about the environment and the Polar Regions,” says Meg Beckel, Canadian Museum of Nature CEO and President. “Our partnership benefits both of our organisations, and we will continue to share our expertise with SOI through hands-on discovery and interpretation of the diversity of our Polar Regions.”
Meg Beckel, President
Canadian Museum of Nature