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Expedition Staff

Management Team

Geoff Green (small)GEOFF GREEN
Founder & Executive Director
Expedition Leader, Students on Ice

Canadian adventurer, environmentalist and educator Geoff Green has been leading expeditions and adventures from pole to pole for the past twenty years. Many notable organizations such as the Discovery Channel, World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian Institution enlist Geoff to lead their groups into the world’s most remote and interesting regions.
Geoff has received numerous awards and recognitions over the course of his career. In 2012, he was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to the nation and to humanity through his work with Students on Ice. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Education from Nipissing University. In 2010, he was recognized as one of 25 Transformational Canadian and in 2005 he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. Congress for his work with youth and the environment. He was also voted one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” – an annual national prize event saluting Canada’s top young leaders. In 2004, Outpost Magazine chose Geoff as one of the “Top 5 Canadian Explorers” to watch.
Geoff is the founder and Executive Director of Students on Ice Expeditions an award-winning educational organization based in Chelsea, Quebec. The program – now in its tenth year – has taken over 1,500 students, teachers and scientists from around the world on expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. The goal of this unique project is to give the world’s youth a heightened understanding and respect for the planet’s global ecosystem, and the inspiration to protect it.
As expedition leader, Geoff is a veteran of 79 Antarctic expeditions and 36 Arctic expeditions.
To read Geoff’s full biography click here. To learn more about Geoff, visit

Shirley Manh

Manager, Expedition Logistics & Participants

Shirley has spent her career working to provide innovative and transformational experiential learning opportunities to young people. She spent the early years of her career travelling and working as an Educational Tour Leader, leading innumerable trips with student groups of all ages to various cities across Canada and the United States. During her time in the educational travel industry, Shirley moved from working on the road to Operations and Management, where she trained and managed teams of up to 50 tour leaders, giving her a passion for facilitating personal growth and professional development in students and young professionals.
Shirley then stepped in to the non-profit sector and through her involvement with The Otesha Project, first as a Tour Liaison and then as the Development Director, she worked to support creative environmental education programs that explored sustainability initiatives and social justice issues on an individual, local and global level. She is passionate about living with intention, conscious consumption, and waste reduction.
Shirley first stepped on board with Students on Ice on their 2010 expedition to the Antarctic delivering youth engagement workshops to the student body. She is thrilled to continue working with SOI participants to prepare them for their journey to the Polar Regions. Her ability to smoothly coordinate expedition logistics and be the primary participant liaison is instrumental in making SOI expeditions successful. Working closely with the Expedition Leader, Shirley oversees the day-to-day operations of SOI field programs and provides support for expedition staff, educators, chaperones and student participants.

Justin Dearing

Manager, Education & Alumni Programs

Justin was born in Kamloops, BC, grew up in many different communities across Canada, and has just moved to the beautiful Chelsea region of Quebec on his newest adventure with his wife and super-hero son. Having been to both poles in 2013 as an educator with SOI, he is super excited to join the team full-time!
Justin has completed his coursework towards his Masters in Coastal Zone Management, holds a graduate diploma in Integrated Coastal and Oceans Management, as well as a B. Sc. in Biology and Religious Studies. Justin has helped inspire thousands of youth to take a leadership role in changing their world through the realization that ONE person makes ALL the difference. He has spent the past 12 years working with youth, schools, communities, NGO’s, governments, and international organizations on environmental issues and policies, empowerment and engagement activities, and the ongoing effort to inspire change. In 2013, Justin was awarded the NL Environmental Award – Individual Category for excellence in environmental leadership; in 2011 he was named a Waste Reduction Hero for leading 1,000+ volunteers as they removed over 20,000 lbs of debris from more than 100 beaches; and in 2010 he was chosen as one of Atlantic Canada’s top 40 Emerging Leaders from a pool of over 400 nominees.

To Justin, the bottom line is that the depth of our challenges directly relates to the quality of our opportunities and he is committed to helping youth and communities see those opportunities realized. His personal mantra, “Waiting to make a difference, is the one thing that guarantees you never will”, motivates him to BE the change instead of WAITING for change.

Director of Development

Inspired by the opportunity to combine program and organizational development, youth education and polar expeditions, Henk van der Molen joined Students on Ice in 2014.
Prior to joining Students on Ice, Henk worked as Chief Operating Officer of Camino, Canada’s leading Fair Trade and Organic chocolate brand. Henk brings a strong background in business and organizational development to the team and focuses on expanding Students on Ice programs, developing additional funding steams and strengthening SOI’s support systems.

Henk spends his time outside of the office with his wife and three young children. After everyone has gone to sleep, he enjoys a good mountain bike ride, hike or cross country ski. His love for the outdoors has taken him in the past to many beautiful places in North America, Europe and Asia. Favorite thing to do while in the outdoors? Listening to the sounds of silence.

Arctic Youth and Partnership Program Manager

Caitlyn Baikie, a Students on Ice alumna, joins us from Nain, Nunatsiavut where she was born and raised. She is currently finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Aboriginal Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland while working for us in Gatineau. She has almost a decade of experience under her belt in Arctic social and physical sciences through various programs and work experiences. She is an alumni of the kANGIDLUASUk student program which operates out of the Torngat Mountains National Park, and was a research assistant for the Arctic Inspiration Prize winning project SâkKijanginnatuk Nunalik initiative, which is a collaborative initiative between Memorial University and the Nunatsiavut Government. Through her post secondary studies, Caitlyn has published an article in the peer reviewed journal Arctic, and presented posters at International Polar Year Conference and ArcticNet.

Caitlyn also has a keen interest in government policy and has taken various summer internships with the Nunatsiavut Government’s Executive Council, which allowed her to better understand the implementation of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, while working closely with elected officials and community members of Nunatsiavut. Most recently, she participated in the 2014 Victoria Straight expedition, which was located in Erebus, one of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated ships through the North West Passage. In 2015, CBC named Caitlyn one of the top 5 indigenous leaders under 30 to watch.

Expedition Staff


Jolly is dedicated to keeping his culture strong through artwork. Much of the strength of the print tradition thriving in his home community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut Territory, can be attributed to Jolly’s talent, enthusiasm and generosity.

Jolly’s work in stencil, lino prints and etching is cherished by collectors around the globe. He has also become known for his woodcuts, silkscreens, watercolours, sculptures, jewellery and filmwork.
Jolly regularly tours the south, promoting the release of the Annual Collection of Pangnirtung prints. His work can also be found in 22 Northern Image Galleries across Canada.
In addition to interpreting original drawings from the community archives, Jolly creates his own imagery. Animals and spirit creatures are recurring motives in his work. He hopes that through his work people will learn more about Inuit culture, its traditions and the art of printmaking.

Vice President of Visitor Experience & Engagement, Canadian Museum of Nature

Following a background in Anthropology from McGill and Fine Art from Concordia, Ailsa moved to London to pursue her artistic career. She began developing new media installations for museums and galleries in 1992 and produced award-winning CD ROMs, before joining Microsoft Network.

She joined the BBC in 1998, initially as the Online Editor for BBC Science and then as Managing Editor, BBC Online Production. In 2001, Ailsa left the BBC to gain experience in commercial online publishing.

Ailsa returned to museums in 2003, joining the Natural History Museum, London as the digital strategist and then as Head of Content, where she was responsible for delivering the Museum’s public offer across exhibitions, web and programming.

Ailsa returned to Canada in 2014 and joined the Canadian Museum of Nature, as Vice President of Experience and Engagement, where she is continuing to develop innovative ways of connecting people with science and natural history.

Expedition Physician

As an Emergency Physician, Chris Bauer particularly enjoys remote medicine and trauma care, having worked from the Queen Charlottes and Bella Coola to Moose Factory and Gameti. After years raising children, flying on Medevacs and working in the ER in Yellowknife, NWT and Alberta, he moved with his wife Sheonagh and kids Iain, Bhreagh, Georgia and Angus to Wolfville, NS to hike and camp along the high tides of Fundy or ski and snowshoe in Acadian woods. Chris loves his work in the Emergency Department in Kentville and particularly enjoys teaching students and residents. He also works part-time in Iqaluit, as he misses the “real” winter of the North. After a childhood attraction to tales of Arctic exploration and an adult fascination with Inuit and Dene cultures, Chris is thrilled to join Students on Ice as a member of the expedition staff.


Ronnie is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts masters of fine arts film program. His works have aired domestically and internationally in both theater and broadcast. Ronnie’s films and documentaries cover stories ranging from middle school heavy metal artists, kitchens and restaurants, to issues facing the world.  Currently living in New York City, he serves as cameraman for Channel One News. He is excited to join the Students On Ice expedition and is thrilled to be able to bring forth their story as well as the reality of climate change to the world.

Daniele Bianchi

Assistant Professor

Originally from Bologna, Italy, Daniele completed his PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at Princeton University, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in Montreal and University of Washington in Seattle. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at University of California Los Angeles.

His research looks at the interactions between climate, ocean circulation and marine life. He is particularly interested in the mechanisms that regulate marine ecosystems at the global scale, in particular how marine organisms, from microscopic phytoplankton up to zooplankton and fish, respond to changes in their environment, both natural and due to human activities. For his research, he uses a range of oceanographic data, from in situ measurements to satellites, together with mathematical models that describe the physics, chemistry and ecology of the ocean.

Pro Kayaker & Photographer

Erik is a pro kayaker, pro photographer, and a featured athlete in numerous adventure films. His confident approach to challenges on and off the river has earned him the title “the honey badger of kayaking”. With many first descents of rivers and waterfalls to his name, Boomer specializes in kayaking some of the world’s toughest rivers. In 2011, Boomer and John Turk became the first to circumnavigate Ellesmere Island on a 100-day ski and sea kayak expedition, which earned him a nomination for National Geographic’s “Adventurer of the Year” award. Recently, he was featured as an athlete on the BBC’s “Top Gear”. Boomer is not only an adventure photographer, but also works as a commercial and editorial photographer. His work has appeared in, amongst others: Outside magazine, The New York Times, and was a finalist in the Red Bull Illume competition.

Dr Katherine Breen

Expedition Physician

Dr. Katherine Breen is a family physician specializing in remote and rural medicine. Passionate about leading a healthy and adventurous lifestyle, she has spent most of her career practicing in the Canadian Arctic.
After completing her post-graduate training in Family Medicine, Kate began practicing medicine in Iqaluit where she focused on the areas of Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics, and Tuberculosis.

Kate is a certified yoga teacher. She enjoys a style of yoga that incorporates nature appreciation and mindfulness with an energetic physical flow. She is a member of the Wilderness Medical Society, the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada, and the Canadian College of Family Physician.



Ever since Jean-François Carrey was a young boy he wanted to climb Mount Everest. On May 18, 2006, not only did he fulfill his dreams, he also became the youngest Canadian to have climbed to the top of the world. JF’s passion for the Polar Regions, mountains and rivers extends back to his youth when he was a member of Scouts Canada. As a Scout, he developed some of the skills necessary to achieve his dream. These skills proved useful when, at the age of 17, JF was a apprentice guide for a wilderness adventure company, and guided one of Canada’s most extraordinary rivers, the Nahanni in the Northwest Territories.
His job as a guide enabled him to acquire many unique experiences. He led a number of expeditions down the Mountain and Snake river in the Northwest Territories/Yukon, and also journeyed to Ellesmere Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut to trek and sea kayak.

JF guides leaders and youth to think like a adventurer. He inspires people from all over the world to embrace change. He speaks internationally on leadership and unveiling the perspective gained by leading expeditions in these immense and uncontrollable environments.

Journalist, Photographer & Videographer

Sira’s bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Biological Sciences led to a journalism certificate at Université de Montréal and many years working in the media as a journalist, photographer and videographer for and QMI Agency, and more recently as a videographer and head of division of the photo department for La Presse newspaper in Montreal and it’s new ipad application La Presse+. Her camera and her passion for traveling led her to take part in different video projects not only for La Presse, but also as a freelancer, like with the Students on Ice project. Sira has a new strong interest for medicinal plants and health and is now undertaking studies in herbal medicine.

Patrick Crawford

President & Co-Founder, Spire Aerobotics

Patrick grew up flying gliders and small aircraft as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Following his passion for aviation, Patrick studied Integrated Engineering at the University of British Columbia before co-founding Spire Aerobotics in the spring of 2014 –- a technology company focused on capturing, analyzing and communicating high resolution geospatial data. Spire’s work focuses on utilizing and advancing drone technologies. Patrick’s goal is to make businesses and the world safer, more efficient, and aware by harnessing technology.Patrick grew up skiing, exploring and enjoying the great outdoors, adventures that have taken him around the world to places such as Russia, Nepal, Alaska, and the Canadian Arctic.Patrick is the Assistant Program Director of the SHAD UBC program, an entrepreneurship and engineering-focused program for exceptional high school students. Patrick is a Students on Ice Alumni from the 2008 Arctic Expedition.

Joanna Dafoe

Climate Policy & Law Specialist

Joanna Dafoe is joining the 2015 Anniversary Expedition as a specialist in international climate change policy and law. She is passionate about finding ways for young people to inspire, inform, and embolden the international response to climate change. Joanna is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School and recently graduated from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a Master of Environmental Science. Her research with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy identifies opportunities to innovate international climate change policy through the engagement of non-state actors at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Joanna also works as a writer, editor, and thematic expert for the International Institute for Sustainable Development Reporting Services. She is the proud founder and co-president of the Yale Law School Sledding Society and she loves giving super hero capes to her friends. You can follow her on twitter @jodafoe

Co-manager, Inter Pares

Kathryn is in her 30s, from Ottawa, and works in the international development field. She has studied and lived in Mexico, Uganda, Nicaragua and England. She currently works at Inter Pares, a non-governmental organization, as a co-manager and a fundraiser. Inter Pares is committed to a social justice approach to international and community development work. Solidarity not charity!

This will be Kathryn’s first trip to Canada’s North. She is leaving behind her bike called Rusty and her frisbee team to join the Arctic expedition. They’ll be okay without her. Kathryn will be resuscitating dormant, but not forgotten, camp counselor skills and fun for this trip. She is looking forward to living on a boat among new people and using many cheesy maritime puns.

Manager, Migratory Birds & Habitat Conservation

Garry hails from Sackville, New Brunswick where he manages conservation activities for birds and wildlife habitat for the Atlantic unit of the Canadian Wildlife Service. Overseeing monitoring and conservation programs in Atlantic Canada and the management of 11 National Wildlife Areas and 15 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in Atlantic Canada fill most of his time. When not at the office, Garry enjoys swimming, cycling, running, paddling his SUP, learning to surf, photography and exploring his new home in the Maritimes. This will be Garry’s seventh Arctic expedition with Students on Ice and he is excited to explore ideas about conservation with students and staff. Little is known about the distribution of marine birds in the Arctic so Garry hopes you will join him on the bridge to help with surveys!

Muhammad Fardy

Fundraising & Awareness Executive

I am 32 years old male from Malaysia. I am working with Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation (SMARF) and I am coordinating the participation of 4 students and 2 teachers from Malaysia to join SOI 2015 for the 1st time.

I am cheerful, very open type of person and enjoy working with people very much. I love learning about people and unique cultures.

James Flaherty

Educator & Filmmaker

James Flaherty is an educator and filmmaker.  He began his film career as a partner in Lynx Images, a Toronto-based film production and distribution company. During this time he worked on “Ghosts of the Bay” a film and book project about the lost history of Georgian Bay which went on to become a Canadian best seller. In 2009 he wrote and directed “Mouse”, a short drama which has been used across North America as an anti-gang resource. His latest film is “Iqaluit Dawn”; a documentary about a trip to Nunavut by Ontario high school students. He has taught communication technology in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board for the past 20 years and is very excited to return to the Arctic with SOI and six young people from his school board.

Whit Fraser

Educator, Journalist & Storyteller

Whit Fraser’s association with Arctic Canada began almost fifty years ago. His experience includes broadcast journalist, Chairman of the Canadian Polar Commission and Executive Director of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. His work took him to every community in Canada`s the three northern Territories and much of the circumpolar world. He believed in the 1960’s that he stumbled upon the best story on Canada, and that’s still true today. He’s covered the remarkable events that shaped the Today’s Arctic, including the McKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, Constitutional negotiations that enshrined aboriginal rights in the Canadian Constitution of Canada; Aboriginal Land Claims from initial concept and demands through to the final Agreements. He also produced documentaries on the creation of Nunavut Territory. Presently he is voluntary chair of the Arctic Children Foundation, and provides communications’ advice for Canadians for a New Partnership which is dedicated to Reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and all other Canadians

Media Coordinator

Marie-Pierre is a University of Ottawa graduate with a Communication and Business Administration degree, she has over 20 years of experience in the film, television and convergent media industry.

One of Marie-Pierre’s strengths lies within her ability to recognize the right talent for her projects, who will, according to their field, solidify her projects. In less than 5 years, she has made SLALOM one of the most prolific production houses in French Canada.



Chair, Education Advisory Committee

Education, youth and the environment have been the focus of Lisa Glithero’s professional and personal life. With Bachelor of Science, Education and Master of Education degrees, she has taught in Canada, Nepal and has served as the Education Program Director for Students on Ice. Through 8 Polar Expeditions, Lisa has witnessed firsthand the impacts of climate change, further igniting her passion to connect today’s youth to the planet’s global ecosystem.

Lisa’s dedication towards a ‘greener’ society led to her establishment of the EYES Project in 2004. EYES is a Canadian not-for-profit organization committed to bringing a sustainability imperative into educational pedagogy and practice. She is currently a Visiting Professor with the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa and continues to serve as the Director of the EYES Project, as well as Chair of the Education Advisory Committee for Students on Ice. Lisa is also a board member of the Chelsea Foundation.

In March 2006, she was honoured with an international “Women of the Earth Award” by the Yves Rocher Foundation for her work in environmental education and in April 2008 was named by Nobel Peace Prize Nominee (2007) Sheila Watt Cloutier, as one of Chatelaine’s “Amazing Canadian Women to Watch.”
Lisa lives in Chelsea, Quebec with her partner Geoff, son Fletcher and daughter Nellie.

Mark Goehring


Hi, My name is Mark Goehring and I’m very excited for our expedition! I lived in Alaska on the Yukon Delta in a Yupik village as a Jesuit for a couple seasons and have found the far north an amazing place. Earlier, as a young US Naval Officer, I sailed into Siberian waters- but never as far north as the Arctic where we’re going. I was a licensed counselor for youth (high school and college) in Washington State and later in my career worked as a counselor for elders in San Francisco. My passion for the environment continues to grow and I look forward to learning and being helpful in any way I can on our upcoming adventure.

David Gray

Arctic Biologist & Historian

David is an independent researcher, writer, and filmmaker, specializing in Arctic parks, mammals, and history, especially the Canadian Arctic Expedition (CAE) of 1913-1918.
During his research on the behaviour of muskoxen, David spent several years, including one winter, on Bathurst Island, Nunavut. As a researcher with the Canadian Museum of Nature, he made annual trips north to study muskoxen, Arctic hares and Red-throated Loons. As a filmmaker, he directed Arctic Shadows: the Arctic Journeys of Dr. R. M. Anderson and five documentary films on early immigration from India to Canada. David has written two books on Arctic subjects: muskoxen and CFS Alert, and produced two Virtual Museum of Canada exhibitions (Ukaliq: the Arctic Hare and Northern People: Northern Knowledge. He also produced an exhibition on the CAE for the Canadian Museum of Civilization. In 2013 David headed a research expedition to Banks Island to document sites used by the CAE.

Chief Operating Officer, Nunavut Tunngavik

Udlu has significant experience representing Inuit interests with regard to policy development. She has held senior positions at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., including Chief Negotiator for devolution, and as Special Advisor with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador on Arctic issues.  She was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and has undergraduate degrees in business administration and education. She is a frequent guest speaker, nationally and internationally, on issues affecting Inuit across Canada.

Sarah Harmer

Singer, Songwriter & Musician

I have been a Canadian touring and recording musician for the past few decades but this is my first trip to the Arctic.

I write about the usual stuff- love, loss, beauty, but I’ve also been learning lots as a citizen in the past few years about protecting species and wild spaces, so some of that experience works its way into songs too.



Joannie Harrisson Marin


Hello! My name is Jo, I’m a teacher (a relaxed one). I used to teach many subjects such as geography and science. I practice many sports and I’m a passionate about wildlife! I like teamwork and sharing with people from all over the world. I have traveled a lot and I’m very curious. I like to laugh a lot. I will be there to learn, to share and to help you. No question is a bad one!

See you all soon!

Mike Jensen

Student Experience Co-ordinator, Science Educator & Journalist

As a graduate of the University of Regina, Mike started his professional life with a BA in Journalism, and soon developed a passion for informal science and astronomy education. For the past 20 years, he’s been working as a science educator and program developer at nature and science facilities in Winnipeg, including his current home – The Manitoba Museum.

Mike brings his sense of humour and easy-going nature with him on expedition (along with many seasick remedies!). Mike enjoys learning about the Arctic and the effects of climate change, but the most rewarding aspect is helping the students make the best of their experiences through journal writing, pod teams, educational workshops, and informal conversations. His experiences with SOI have given Mike a passion for sustainability he didn’t realize he had.
This is Mike’s 7th SOI Expedition and can’t wait to meet all the 2015 students/staff and experience the adventure together!

Donna Johnson cropped

Social Worker & Traveler

Donna has backpacked off the beaten track all over the world, seeking ways of travel that promote learning and connection. She is passionate about human rights, social justice and the development of critical thinking. As a social worker and teacher her work had focussed on promoting justice for women. Donna likes to read, write and explore ideas. She loves the outdoors, ships and the sea and has always wanted to travel to the Polar Regions, but in a purposeful way, not as a traditional tourist.


Photographer, Explorer & Speaker

Creating imagery that celebrates natural and human heritage has been the focus of Pat’s life since exploring the Australian outback as a teenager. His quest for adventure started as a fourteen-year old, driving ore trains two miles underground in a gold mine. At age18 he roamed throughout the South Pacific where amongst many occupations he co-owned a dive salvage company and constructed a house from 40,000 beer bottles. Sailing a trimaran from one Polynesian archipelago to another was all quite romantic except when irradiated during French Atomic tests. He has been in command of off-shore oil rigs, directed natural gas exploration, constructed an LNG plant and pipelines. Then… he became a professional photographer with his bride Rosemarie. The couple is internationally renowned for their monumental imagery and tomes. Pat is Medalist and Fellow of The Explorers Club, Medalist of the Royal British Geographical Society, Fellow of the Canadian Geographical Society.

Rosemarie Keough

Photographer, Explorer & Speaker

With the goal of creating evocative photographs, Rosemarie’s explorations have taken her from Antarctica to Amazonia to the Arctic. Former high jump champion and graduate of the Richard Ivey Business School, Rosemarie left financial management with Procter and Gamble following a white-water canoeing expedition in Canada’s sub-Arctic where she met Pat Keough… and has never looked back. The couple has received 31 prestigious awards for excellence including World’s Best Nature Photographers, World’s Best Photography Book and Outstanding Bookarts Craftsmanship. Rosemarie and Pat are renowned for ANTARCTICA, an elegant, handcrafted tome acclaimed by international critics to be among the world’s finest art books. Yale University maintains an extensive archive of the Keoughs’ lengthy careers in the bookarts and photography. Rosemarie is a Fellow and Medalist of The Explorers Club, Fellow of The Canadian Geographical Society, medalist of Britain’s Royal Geographical Society, and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.

Kelly Khan

Operations Director, bv02 inc.

Kelly Khan leads bv02’s Business Development and Operations functions. With over 20 years marketing experience in a variety of industries, she’s had ample opportunity to view marketing and business from a variety of angles and apply that expertise to whatever comes her way. Before she began her quest to turn business into a well-oiled machine, she hosted and produced several radio shows — all beginning at the age of ten!

The “behind-the scene” perspective she gained while interviewing music artists and politicians and promoting community events, gave her insight into what it takes to produce engaging and relevant products and have fun doing it.Kelly, a mother of three, was a major force behind the launch of AndyCamper, an organization whose mission is to contribute to the development of children through interactive, entertaining and educational content that encourages outdoor activity and fuels the imagination.

Historian & Educator

Pete grew up on a small family farm in southern Ontario, but chose his first love – history – as his career. Pete’s research into sovereignty, security, and stewardship issues has taken him to communities across the Canadian North and allowed him to experience the land with many amazing Elders and the Canadian Rangers. He also taught Circumpolar Studies at Aurora College in Inuvik and Fort Smith for two years, where he had the opportunity to coach the best sport in the world – basketball.

Pete has published multiple book chapters and articles, and two co-edited volumes on a wide array of polar topics. In the fall, he will start a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Trent University, which will explore the community history of Ikaluktutiak. Pete recently moved back to Ontario with his wife, Maria (just married in June!), and is thrilled to be heading north again with SOI.

Mental Health Counsellor

Genevieve (Akilak) is from Baker Lake, NU. and now resides in Saskatoon, SK. This will be her third expedition with Students on Ice in the role of Mental Health Counsellor.

Genevieve has worked with the student population for 10 years, and looks forward to working with the population for several more. She has a passion for mental health and well-being, education, and culture. What she loves about Students on Ice is that she can combine her passions with adventure, the outdoors, and meeting motivated students.

Although Genevieve loves summer fishing, she especially loves spring ice-fishing around her hometown of Baker Lake. She explains that there is nothing quite like the excitement of fishing on the ice in the sunlight, surrounded by family, friends, and the sound of migrating geese.

News Reporter – Channel One News

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio (United States) and graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University in 2011. I live in New Jersey and have been reporting for Channel One News in New York City for 2 years now.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have to travel the world and share valuable information with middle and high school students across the United States. When I am not on the news beat  I enjoy reading, staying active working out, playing basketball and football, and spending days out on the water fishing.

Ronnie and I plan on covering a variety of stories while on the vessel but at the top of our list is a story on how climate change is affecting the Arctic. I am pumped to be part of the SOI trip to the Arctic and I can’t wait to meet all of the staff and students on this great adventure.

Jamie Koebel

Artist & Dancer

Jaime Koebel is Nehiyaw/Michif (Cree/Métis) from Lac La Biche, AB. She has lived in Ottawa since 2000 and was a Policy Advisor in several Indigenous organizations. Now, as an artist her practice includes carrying on traditions of fish scale art, using porcupine quills/hair and caribou/moose hair. Jaime also practices Métis beadwork which includes land mapping and storytelling and her drawings reflect floral imagery based on traditional Indigenous knowledge. As the Owner of “Indigenous Walks,” she educates participants on a walk and talk tour through downtown Ottawa to explore monuments, architecture and landscape while learning social, political and cultural issues from an Indigenous perspective. Jaime is the Manager of a family dance group called “Prairie Fire” and in 2009, she was invited on a State Visit to Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica with former Governor General, Michaëlle Jean.

Agneta Krogsgaard

Greenlandic educator & expert on history & culture

Greenlandic. 24 years old. Have been in danish military. Loves adventure, dogsledge, nature and training. Worked with kids and youth in Sisimiut. Crazy cross-country skier. Loves competitions. Creative all-kind-of-work woman.



Linda Lang is an expedition and climate change artist whose paintings are based on over a dozen expeditions to the Polar Regions. She is an elected Signature Member of Artists for Conservation, former Art Liaison for International Polar Year, and founder of Polar Artists Group and the Arctic Quest 2006 project. She represented polar artists at the launch of International Polar Year in Paris, France in 2007, participated in the Circumpolar Artists Round Table discussions at the United Nations Office in Geneva, and in 2008 and 2009 she represented Canada at the Northern Lights Festival in the Russian Arctic. Linda has taught art workshops for the TDCSB, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Students on Ice Climate Change expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica, in Russia, and the United States.


Hello my name is Ethan Larmand.
I am from Toronto, Ontario but I grew up in the country side about an hour and a half north of the city. I studied social work at Ryerson University in Toronto and received my Bachelor of Social Work degree. In 2012 I was hired as a Community Social Services Worker in Baker Lake, Nunavut where I stayed for almost two years. My first trip to the arctic was in grade 10 where I took part in a cultural exchange to Igloolik, Nunavut. I love to travel and have been to countries such as Thailand and Israel. I love to play sports, music and cook.

Pascal Lee

Planetary Scientist

Dr Pascal Lee is a planetary scientist at the Mars Institute, the SETI Institute, and NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He is internationally known for his work on the history of water on Mars and on planning future human missions to Mars. He has led over 30 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica, including the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition and 20 NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) field campaigns on Devon Island. The HMP studies Mars by comparison with Earth and helps plan future human missions to Mars. Dr Lee is the award-winning author of Mission: Mars, which received the 2015 Prize for Excellence in children’s science books from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Pascal likes to play with his dogs, paint, and fly. He is a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor. On SOI-2015, he is traveling with his loyal Australian cattle dog, King Kong.

Martin Lipman


 Specializing in science and natural history, Martin Lipman has worked as a photographer for over 25 years. Recognized for his commercial images and most recently for his work in the Arctic, he joined Canadian Museum of Nature research teams in Canada’s High Arctic and was present when paleobiologist Dr. Natalia Rybczynski found fossilized mammal bones of a walking seal and a High Arctic camel.

Martin is a graduate of Ryerson University (Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photography)and holds an MA in Journalism from Indiana University. He is a instructor and former academic advisor for the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa.

His Arctic field photography has been featured in the media – most recently in Discover Magazine. Other outlets include Radio Canada’s Déscouvertes, Canadian Geographic, Agence-France Presse and the BBC. Martin’s work has also been featured in a number of books about climate change, the Arctic and paleontology.

Laura Lucier

NASA Robotics Flight Controller

Hi! I’m a NASA Flight Controller, so I get to spend my days commanding the robots onboard the International Space Station. I also teach astronauts how to use the robots and love that my job allows me to work with others from various countries to achieve the common goal of human space exploration. From space, its easy to appreciate that we’re all members of the same tribe, and to accomplish such grandiose feats as human spaceflight and protecting our planet, we all need to work together. I love to travel, build furniture, SCUBA dive and fly small aircraft. When I was a teenager I spent a summer in the Norwegian Arctic, so I’m really looking forward to re-visiting this fragile part of our planet as an adult and in the company of such an enthusiastic group!

Mikkel Lund


Mikkel is a civil engineer with special focus on arctic building design, and is currently working as a teacher at the local high school in Sisimiut, Greenland. He’s also a lecturer at the Greenlandic branch of Technical University of Denmark (ARTEK), offering insight into the challenges of building and construction in the arctic region. Another topic of great interest is development and implementation of the use of renewable energy sources in the arctic: Wind-, solar- and hydroelectric power. Mikkel is a certified sea-kayaking instructor, and loves to paddle the arctic waters – both on daytrips and longer expeditions.

Professor at Nipissing University

Eric Mattson is a professor of Physical Geography at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario where he has specialised in the field of snow and ice hydrology for the past 25 years. Most of his research has been conducted on glaciers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Saint Elias Mountains in Yukon Territory, and the Himalayan Mountain Range. Dr. Mattson’s main research interest revolves around glacier mass balance studies and research into variations in glacier volume to determine past, present and future trends in glacier size and melt water production.

Roszita Mat Zain


Hi, I’m Roszita Mat Zin from Malaysia. I’m teaching English as a second language in a secondary school, SMK Tengku Ampuan Intan in Kuala Berang Terengganu, Malaysia which happens to be my hometown. Helping my students to learn English to help prepare them for life in higher education institutions and life after graduation is my greatest satisfaction. I enjoy reading, watching movies and travelling. I am a very determined and highly motivated person and I believe I’m quite easy-going to work with. Above all, I would say I’m a positive and enthusiastic person. I am excited to experience nature at its best through the Arctic Expedition and I am looking forward to the adventures awaiting us there.

Zodiac Driver & Educator

Scott is an expert and advisor in the environmental and sustainability communities. A biologist by education, Scott has devoted his career to management and marketing in the sustainability sector.
Until 2012, Scott was President and CEO of TerraChoice Group Inc., a firm specializing in sustainability certification and marketing. TerraChoice combined science and business expertise to help genuine environmental leaders build market share and accelerate progress towards sustainability.
In recent years, Scott completed a 60+ stop speaking circuit including two tours in Australia and has been featured as an expert commentator in mass media including TV appearances on Canada AM, Business Week, CBC, and CNBC.
As a sailor, Scott has completed a two-handed trans-Atlantic aboard a 30 foot, and many ocean deliveries of vessels large and small. In 2012 he was part of a two man expedition that was the first sail circumnavigation of the Manicouagan – the Eye of Québec.

Eric McNair-Landry

Adventurer & Kayak Builder

One of the youngest individuals to ski unsupported to the South Pole, Eric has kite-skied over 19,000 km on expeditions and has crossed the Greenland Icecap 6 times. He currently holds the record for the longest kite-skiing distance in 24 hours at 595 km! His dog sledding skills led him to embark on a two-month dog sledding expedition in the high arctic with legendary explorer Will Steger. He has crossed the Gobi desert, guided a kite-ski traverse of Antarctica, kite-skiing Northwest Passage, and recently has traversed southern Baffin Island in a kayak he hand built.One of Eric’s main focuses is the revitalization of the Inuit Kayak, and on this expedition we will be constructing three skin on frame kayaks, and paddling them in the NorthWest Passage. Eric will also take charge of transmitting all daily dispatches while we are on expedition.

Sarah McNair Landry

Adventurer, Cinematographer, Photographer & Polar Guide

Sarah grew up with the Arctic Ocean and a team of dogs in her backyard. No stranger to the cold, she is the youngest person to travel to both the North and South Pole, traverse the Greenland Ice Cap five times, venture into the Gobi Desert, guide an expedition to both the South and North Pole, and more recently kite ski 3,300 km retracing the Northwest Passage. In 2007 along with her older brother and teammate Eric, she was nominated for National Geographic’s prestigious “Adventurer of the Year” award and named one of the “Top Ten Women in Adventure” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. When she is not in the cold, she spends her time working in film. She has directed several documentaries and is a published photographer.

Don Marrin

Executive Director, Northern Parks – Parks Canada

During his career at Parks Canada, Don has been Superintendent of Kluane National Park, Superintendent of the Yukon Field Unit, and Superintendent of the Rideau Canal and Eastern Ontario Field Unit. Living in the Yukon created a lifelong attachment to Canada’s north, and Don now has responsibilities for the operation of 13 national parks and 6 national historic sites in the northern territories.

Parks Canada’s partnership with Students on Ice in 2015 includes featuring Sirmilik National Park, and sponsoring 13 participants, who also have a student summer job working at Parks Canada’s northern parks or in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

As an avid canoeist, highlights have included canoeing Nahanni National Park, the Yukon River Quest and other trips in the Yukon, Ontario and Quebec. Prior to joining Parks Canada, Don was actively involved in amateur sport, professionally and as a hobby, at the local, national, international and Olympic level.

Founder & executive director – UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Manicouagan-Uapishka

Jean-Philippe L. Messier is the founder and current executive director of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Manicouagan-Uapishka, known to work closely with large private sector (including hydroelectricity, mining and logging companies); academia; First Nations; NGOs etc. He is also president of the Canadian Association of Biosphere Reserves and regularly called upon to represent his region, Quebec or Canada on UNESCO bodies. He did numerous capacity-building missions in the North, in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America, which made him awarded by his government in 2014 for achievements that are recognized beyond the borders of Quebec.

Northern canoeist and trekker, Mr. Messier also works in Nunavik since 2004 as co-founder of Northern Aboriginal Seminars, taking place since then in Mushuau-nipi, which aims for intercultural bridging and to foster first nations’s leadership.

Lucie Metras


Lucie worked as a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service for over 30 years in migratory birds conservation and species at risk programs.. For the last few years, she has been working as a volunteer at the Canadian Museum of Nature with the school program and at the National Herbarium. Volunteering in the community as well as continued learning are very important for her.

A keen traveler, she has visited most of Canada provinces and territories for work and during summer holidays. More recently, she visited national parks in Kenya and traveled to South Africa and Australia. She enjoys hiking, biking and cross country skiing et elle aime aussi lire un bon polar.

CEO bv02 Inc.

In his career spanning more than two decades, Andrew has demonstrated a knack for
marrying creative thinking with leading edge technologies to effectively solve problems
in a variety of sectors, including government agencies, the private sector, educational organizations and cultural institutions. He is known for consistently pushing the boundaries of digital technology by engaging with users to build personalized interactive experiences. Leading digital design and innovation has always been a focus for Andrew in roles at both national companies and digital agencies. As the entrepreneurial leader of bv02, Andrew has spent over a decade creating innovative design, strategy and development solutions as the lead strategist and founder of the digital agency. Andrew is also actively involved in community organizations, sharing his time, experience and strategic abilities as an advisor and active board member for several groups, including AndyCamper, the Beluga Foundation, IABC Ottawa, and the Algonquin College Multi-Media Program.

Lee Narraway

Expedition Photographer

Lee Narraway spent her childhood exploring the wetlands, forests and lakes of Eastern Canada with her father, an outstanding naturalist and environmentalist. This ignited a passion and curiosity for the outdoors that continues to this day.

Lee received her first camera at ten years of age and soon discovered the joy of sharing her view of the world with others. She uses natural light and her ability to communicate with people to create unique environmental portraits. Her professional career is now focused on travel and adventure photography.
In her quest for outstanding images, Lee has skied, hiked, canoed, backpacked, and traveled by dog team, horseback, snow machine, helicopter, hot air balloon and icebreaker to remote and isolated parts of the world.
When she visited Canada’s High Arctic, Lee became fascinated with its diversity and haunting beauty. Now, she strives to capture its mystery and magic on film by documenting the dramatic scenery, the wildlife and the evolving lifestyle and culture of the Inuit.
Based in White Lake, Ontario, this professional adventure photographer continues to travel the world, discovering wildlife, landscapes and characters through the lens of her camera. Her popular photography workshops have been taught in such diverse areas as Australia, Canada, Chile and the Arctic.

Sophie Nicholson

Program Support Staff

Sophie is a native New Zealander who has lived in NZ, Australia, UK, Spain and the USA.
She left her homeland after graduating with a B.Sc in Chemistry and spent 15 years working in the Pharma and Biotech industries in Europe.
She now lives in New York where she’s raising her baby daughter and is excited to be joining the SOI expedition for the second time.

Pascale Otis


Pascale has been exploring the Polar Regions since 2000. After working as a field Biologist studying birds in the Arctic and Antarctica, she wintered aboard a Canadian yacht on the Antarctic Peninsula. Pascale’s main focus on that mission was to draw attention to the impacts of climate change and share this adventure through the media with audiences around the world.Pascale is a passionate educator, storyteller and videographer. She has been involved in all aspects of expedition life, from yacht crewing and logistics, to media communication and film production at both ends of the earth… and occasionally the warm places in between!“My aim is to help improve our understanding of the Polar Regions and promote the importance of Antarctica and the Arctic as part of the global ecosystem”.

Jessica Parks

Associate Specialist, Arctic, WWF Canada

Jessica works at WWF-Canada and recently joined the arctic team. She’s usually working from her desk in Toronto which is why she feels lucky to be representing WWF on this year’s trip! This will be her first time in the arctic and she can’t wait to see and experience all the places she has heard so much about. She looks forward sharing stories from the trip via WWF.

Jessica’s been passionate about environmental issues since she was a kid and pursued environmental studies, women’s studies and urban planning at university. Jessica lived in London, England for 3 years. During this time she cycled from London to Paris! She was also lucky enough to live in South Africa for two years where she worked with local communities to develop housing solutions. She loves to cook, sings in a choir and is working to develop Toronto’s 1st sustainable cohousing community.

Climate Change Scientist, Artist

Bianca is a climate change scientist who works for the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. She spent the last 15+ years working in the Arctic, on Ellesmere Island, Svalbard, and Greenland, investigating how ecosystems respond to past and ongoing climate change. Now she is working on recovering records of past climates from the subantarctic islands that encircle the Antarctic continent. Her work has been cited by the IPCC and has appeared on CBC radio’s Quirks and Quarks, and in National Geographic and New Scientist magazine. She is also a painter and printmaker, taking advantage of polar field seasons to capture her impressions of remote, changing landscapes on paper. In her spare time, she and her 8 year-old son try to find wild places to explore and new birds to identify on the British Isles.


My name is Annie from Iqaluit, Nunavut. I am qualified teacher with a Bachelor of Education and 32 years of teaching experience. I have taught Inuktitut in all subjects; this year I am teaching Inuktitut as second language from kindergarten to grade 5. In 2008-09, I took a one year sabbatical leave to teach at Nunavut Sivuniksavut in Ottawa.
I used to teach young people that were here for youth programs from across Canada how to make sealskin slippers and mitts. My hobbies are sewing, beading and making hand crafts such as quilting, making crochet hats, sealskin broaches, hair clips, mitts, slippers, handbags, wall hangings, parkas, beaded slippers, and tops or parka covers with embroidery designs.
I was brought up in a camp until I had to go to school, I have some knowledge of traditional life. I like to pass on our Inuktitut language, traditional songs and our history to younger generations.

Dominique Potvin

Sustainability Facilitator and Social Entrepreneur

Dominique’s passion for adventure, love for peoples and towards our planet’s natural environments have been shaped by an upbringing spent over four continents. Over the last ten years, she has worked for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) where she coordinates Canadian participation in UNESCO science and sustainability initiatives. Her earlier career focussed on providing analysis and advice on oceans policies to both the Government of Canada and international NGOs. Ensuring that a variety of knowledge sources and perspectives are considered in decision-making, especially when dealing with complex matters related to natural resources, represents one of her greatest motivations. Joining the SOI Arctic expedition will be an occasion to become exposed to one of the globe’s political, economical and environmental epicenters, while learning from outstanding leaders of all ages and expertise.

General Surgeon

I am a General Surgeon working in Barrie, Ontario. I have an interest in Wilderness Medicine particularly in mountaineering. My hobbies including biking, canoeing and soccer. My daughter is on the expedition. I worked 25 years ago in the Arctic as a rafting guide on the Coppermine and Horton rivers. When I was in high school I went on an Alaska expedition with Operation Raleigh.


James Raffan

Expedition Educator

James Raffan “JR” is a writer, geographer, adventurer, professor, experiential educator, musician and “Kickass Canadian” ( who first went north in the 1977 to build metal buildings for ESSO. He has spent part of every year since then in the polar regions, working as a biologist, expedition guide, educator and cultural researcher. Author of a dozen bestselling books, he is a Fellow International of the Explorers Club, a Fellow, past Governor and Camsell Medalist of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and, among other distinctions, in 2010 he was bestowed an Inuinnaqtun name “Aiuituk,” meaning “one who gets things done” by the youth of Kugluktuk and, in 2015, a Doctor of Laws degree from the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Guelph. Along with Geoff and other distinguished SOI staff, JR was named in May 2015 by Canadian Geographic magazine as one of Canada’s 100 Greatest Explorers. Further details

Grant Redvers

Environmental Scientist & Sailor 

Prior to taking to a life at sea in the high latitudes, Grant Redvers worked as a scientist in New Zealand and at Scott Base in Antarctica. He has a masters degree in environmental science, and is a qualified yacht skipper and dive master.
In the early 2000s he sailed from New Zealand to Antarctica and South Georgia Island on a 45ft yacht for mixed climbing and glaciology research expeditions. After sailing back to NZ through the Pacific Islands he then joined Tara Expeditions. Aboard Tara he completed a number of expeditions to Antarctica, South Georgia and Patagonia, supporting a diverse range of research, natural history and adventure projects, before setting a course for the Arctic.The last project on Tara took Grant to the Arctic Ocean for almost 2 years, from 2006-2008, as the leader of an expedition to study climate change as part of the International Polar Year. He then sailed to the west coast of Greenland to support glaciology research projects, and has just published a book about the Tara Arctic mission.
Along with Pascale Otis, Grant has also been running ‘Arctic Tern 1’, the SOI research support yacht, for the past three summers in west Greenland the Eastern Canadian Arctic.

Legendary Polar Scientist, Leader and Explorer

Geologist, ecologist, organizer of international science programs. Seventy years studying polar regions and high mountains, 24 years Geological Survey. Chief geologist, first international research expedition to Antarctica, three years residence there, returned ten times since. Prices studies twice each at North Pole and South Pole determining rotational behaviour of planet. Leader, First Canadian Himalayan Expedition, Karakoram Mountains. Taught geology, Princeton and Cambridge Universities. Founder of multidisciplinary Polar Continental Shelf Project , Director 1958-71. Member of committee that created Environment Canada, was its Science Advisor 1970-89. Served on many United Nations Committees concerning environment, radioactive waste, climate. Under UNESCO, was President, International Commission on Snow and Ice 1979-82, President, MAB Northern Sciences Network 1983-2001. Past member Polar Research Board, US Academy Sciences. Decorated for scientific services UK, USA, Norway, USSR. Order of Canada, Massey medalist. Author of about 250 published papers on environment, polar regions, climate, tectonics. Member of group that founded Students on Ice.


My name is Rakesh Bin Sala. I was born in 1977 under the zodiac of Libra. I am devoted to find a solution and I am happy to use my born character to make this expedition awesome. Now, I am 37 years old and married to Nur Azrina Aziz; gifted by Allah with four awesome princesses.  I have been enjoying life as a biology teacher for almost 15 years at MARA Junior Science College of Gemencheh, Negeri Sembilan. A lot of achievements have been made in this time. I am very excited about this expedition and really confident it will be one of my best memories in my life album. I’m strongly believe this will be an awesome expedition!

Curator Palaeobiology

Kieran has been employed by the Canadian Museum of Nature for over 25 years, primarily involved with the care and preservation of vertebrate fossils. His current position is as Curator of Palaeobiology caring for the National Fossil Collection.

His research interests are very broad but generally deal with vertebrate fossils, especially Ceratopsian dinosaurs and Tertiary mammals. He collaborated in the discovery and description of new a Ceratopsian dinosaurs, Vagaceratops (Chasmosaurus) irvinensis and Xenoceratops foremostensis Field work is one of the activities he find most rewarding, travelling as far away as China in the search for fossil dinosaurs, although he also enjoys prospecting for Champlain sea fossils in the Ottawa Valley.

He enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for and experience in palaeobiology and natural history collections, with colleagues, students and the public.

When not studying fossils, he also enjoys sailing the Ottawa River, and riding his recumbent bike.

Tarek Sherif

Chairman & CEO, C0-Founder, Medidata

A founder of Medidata Solutions, Tarek has served as CEO since 2001 and chairman since 2009. He has more than 30 years of leadership experience in health-tech and finance. Including Medidata’s successful public offering in 2009, Tarek has led Medidata from startup to becoming the leading provider of cloud-based solutions to the life science industry, supporting clinical development globally while defining the vertical cloud company business model.

Tarek received his BA from Yale University and MBA from Columbia Business School. He serves as the co-chair of the Partnership Fund for NYC and is a board member of Blue Legacy International, a not-for-profit organization focused on preserving our water resources.

Alexander Shestakov

Director, WWF Global Arctic Programme

Dr. Alexander Shestakov has MSc and PhD in geography, landscape sciences and environmental management, and MA in Land and Environmental Law from Moscow State University. He was working at the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences on environmental issues, with international consultancies on impact assessment and environmental audits, as Health, Safety and Environment Manager at BP Russia. He been an expert to the Committee on Ecology at Russian Parliament drafting federal environmental laws and represented Russia in the Convention on Biological Diversity and CITES. He leaded TRAFFIC in Russia and also served as a Conservation Director in WWF Russia. Alexander, since 2010 represents WWF (permanent observer) in the Arctic Council.


Inuit Leader & Former President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Mary Simon, OC, QC, comes from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec).

She is the recent past president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Inuit Organization. (2006-2012) She has just completed her term as Chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education with a mandate to implement a comprehensive national strategy, aimed at improving Inuit educational standards and achievements.(2012-2014)
She has advanced critical social, economic and human rights issues for Canadian Inuit regionally, nationally and internationally.
Ms. Simon led Canada’s negotiations during the creation of the eight Nation, Arctic Council in the mid 1990’s.
She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Recipient of the National Order of Quebec, the Gold Order of Greenland, The National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gold Order of the Canadian Geographic Society, The Symons Medal, the Governor General’s Northern Award. She has been inducted into the International Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ms.Simon has also received nine honorary doctorates of Laws from 9 Canadian Universities. She also served as Chancellor of Trent University.
In 2013 Ms. Simon received recognition as a nation builder from the Famous Five. She was recently honoured by the Public Policy Forum for her contributions to public life, public policy and governance in Canada.
She is also an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
She is a recent recipient of the CCAB/SODEXO Award for “Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.
Most recently, Ms. Simon has been actively involved in the creation of a new organization called “Canadians For a New Partnership”. She is the Co-chair of the Board of Directors.

Design Engineer & Instuctor, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University

Hi my name is Joe and I hail from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; the most easterly coast of Canada. I am a design engineer and an instructor. My work activities these days at MI consists of teaching courses such as project management and quality management. However, my career at MI started off designing unique equipment for the fish processing and aquaculture industries.

To keep my passion for design alive, I have undertaken a Master’s Degree in Engineering. I’m in the midst of developing a new autonomous system to profile the waters of the continental shelf. This system will collect vital oceanographic data needed to study our oceans.

For fun I play water polo, golf, and ski (when there is a mountain nearby). I consider myself to be well-traveled, but this trip will be the icing on the cake. I look forward to sharing this awesome adventure with you!

Paul Sokoloff

Botanist, Canadian Museum of Nature

Paul Sokoloff is a botanist at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, due to his roving family he counts himself a previous resident of Indonesia, Vietnam, northern B.C., central Alberta, and rural Nova Scotia.
Perhaps inspired by this nomadic upbringing, or perhaps primed by many years spent gallivanting around Alberta with Scouts Canada, Paul has sought adventure in work and life.

As a museum graduate student, Paul has had his clothes accidentally stolen by a fisherman in southern Labrador, and managed to flip a canoe full of fossil samples in New Brunswick’s Jacquet River. After a trip to Victoria Island in Canada’s Western Arctic, Paul seeks any opportunity he can to get back, and is now a veteran of four Arctic expeditions. Recently, Paul has made forays into analog space missions, and has recently spent two weeks simulating a Mars mission in southern Utah.

Technical Director, bv02

My name is Brett Tackaberry and I’m a proud resident of the fair city of Ottawa. I am a digital solutions architect and technical director for bv02, a digital creative agency in Ottawa. I help my clients develop complex technical vision and then bring that vision to reality. I’m also responsible for a staff of 15 and play big role in the overall operations and delivery in bv02. Outside of work, I help out with a variety of initiatives around Ottawa with a focus on community building, education and helping kids. I also have a side business including an app for landlords and a vinyl record company. I went to Carleton University for Mechanical Engineering. I have a beautiful family of two boys, Emmett and Cole, and a wonderful wife. I like gardening and creating stuff.


Polar Guide/Human-Wildlife Conflict Specialist

Alex Taylor’s Antarctic career kicked off in 1992 when he was hired by the British Antarctic Survey as a polar guide for a glaciology project in the shadow of Mt. Vinson. This led to dozens of other expeditions and soon to leading expeditions in the High Canadian Arctic. A love of the polar region’s incredible landscapes, wildlife, history and other-worldly experiences keeps him coming back to these remote locations year after year.

More than 15 seasons south in Antarctica have afforded Alex the privilege of visiting many parts of the continent working in support of science projects for the British Antarctic Survey and the United States Antarctic Program. He has also provided technical and safety support for television and films down south. Most notable were the two ship-based expeditions to film the award-winning feature Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.

Alex has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary, specializing in Outdoor Pursuits and Geography. He has climbed and traveled all over the world but the Canadian Rockies and the polar regions remain his favourite places on the planet.

Alex’s home base is in Canmore, Alberta. He has been working in the Rocky Mountain National Parks for over 27 years. His eclectic work life has always been focused on the wild outdoors and has included jobs as a fire fighter, wildlife technician, weather station specialist, still photographer and videographer, to name a few. When not in the Arctic, Alex works as a human-wildlife conflict specialist for Parks Canada in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks.

Trevor Taylor

Fisheries Policy Director

An avid lover of the ocean I have been on or around the sea for most of my life. I started fishing as a boy in northern Newfoundland, worked on a variety of fishing vessels, captained a shrimp/crab fishing vessel, worked for the fishermen’s union and was the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Newfoundland and Labrador. I did a few other things but those were the really fun ones! I now work for an environmental organization, Oceans North Canada, focusing on the sustainable use and protection of fisheries and marine resources in the Arctic. If you’ve never been to sea before be careful, it gets in your blood and your heart and your head!! And your clothes, especially your clothes!!

President, International Maritime Inc.

Don Walsh is an explorer, oceanographer and lecturer. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1948, he graduated from Annapolis in 1954. During a 24 year naval career he spent 14 years at sea, mostly in submarines including command. At retirement he held the rank of Captain. Don’s polar experience began with trips to the Arctic in 1955 and the Antarctic with the Navy’s Deep Freeze in 1971. He has worked at both North and South Poles and is eligible to wear the Antarctic Service Medal. The Walsh Spur (near Cape Hallett) was named for him in recognition of his contributions to the U.S. Antarctic Research Program.
Don may be best known for making oceanographic history in 1960 with Jacques Piccard when they dove 35,800 feet down in the Navy Bathyscaph Trieste to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, deepest place in the world ocean. For this historic descent, never duplicated since, Walsh was decorated by President Eisenhower at the White House.

Don is the Author of over 150 articles and papers, and has been an advisor for the White House, NOAA and NASA. He was appointed by Presidents Carter and Reagan to the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, was a member of the Law of the Sea Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of State, and served as a member of the Marine Board of the U.S. National Research Council from 1990 to 1993. In 2001 received the Explorers Club highest award, The Explorer’s Medal.

Media Professional

Kelly Drennan Walsh has been an advertising and marketing professional for over 20 years. As an art director/copywriter for BBDO Los Angeles, he represented a wide variety of clients before starting his own agency based in Oregon and New Mexico. Over the years he has acted as creative director, account executive, photographer and copywriter, involved with the design, production, and execution of numerous advertisements and commercials for print and broadcast media. He served as director of marketing for a public radio station in Santa Fe, NM, where he also produced/hosted a radio show and volunteered as remote events coordinator and programming advisor. Kelly recently started an advertising/PR consulting firm that will bridge the gap between scientific research and the public/policy makers, creating a better understanding of the issues that effect the planet and its inhabitants. The ultimate goal is to partner science and technology with decision makers, media and academia to foster meaningful dialog and rational policy choices. His visit to Antarctica in 2012 further solidified his commitment to bring critical scientific and environmental issues to the forefront of our discussions on climate, conservation and political action.
Also in 2012, he had the opportunity to accompany James Cameron’s expedition back to Challenger Deep, where Kelly’s father, Don Walsh, had made the historic dive 52 years prior. Mr. Walsh an alumnus of St. John’s College, and is currently taking courses in marine biology/earth systems at Oregon State University.

Executive Director, Ecological Integrity

Michael, currently the Executive Director of Ecological Integrity at Parks Canada, has over 25 years of leading the successful implementation of ecosystem science programs for the protection and management of protected areas within the federal government of Canada, as well as internationally with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The programs include the development of Canadian Water Quality Guidelines and Species at Risk Recovery Strategies; the design and management of Ecological Integrity Monitoring and Reporting programs, as well as climate change adaptation strategies using protected areas.

The integration of knowledge systems into national and international conservation policy is very important to Michael, including the effective implementation of IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas Best Practices for the management of national parks around the world.

Michael Wymant

North American Director, Energy & Sustainability

Michael works with Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, Canada’s largest facility management firm. Dedicated to the TD Bank portfolio, Michael works with facility managers, project managers and engineers to optimize buildings performance in the US and Canada. Michael has been a faculty member of the Canada Green Building Council since 2007 and instructs students regarding the LEED rating system. Michael has overseen the certification of over 100 LEED projects and currently sits on the Board of the Toronto Chapter of the CaGBC. He holds a Masters certificate from Northwestern University in Real Estate Law and is a graduate of Waterloo’s SEED program Master’s in Environment and Business. In 2012, Michael scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro raising funds and awareness for WaterAid Canada, non profit implementing projects in Afirca. Michael splits his time in both Canada and the US with his wife Kirsten and their two children.

Expedition Dog


My name is King Kong. I’m an Australian Cattle Dog mix. Pascal Lee is my owner. I was born in California just over 9 years ago. My mom was an Australian Cattle dog named Ping Pong, and my dad was an American Eskimo Spitz called Skibo. They met late in life but got along really well. I have two sisters, Cookie and Mae Bell. They’re pretty hyper; I’m more laid-back. I got my name because I’m a gentle giant, plus it was fun to be “King Kong – Son of Ping Pong” ! My mom worked for the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) and traveled to the Arctic seven times! It’s now my turn to work on the NASA HMP. My job is to look out for polar bears while scientists and students are busy doing fieldwork. I can also fetch stuff, do tricks, howl, and keep everyone entertained. I’m so excited to be traveling to Greenland and Nunavut with Students on Ice! Thank you for having me on board!

2015 Arctic Blog

Follow the latest adventures and stories from the students and staff aboard the 2015 Arctic expedition to Western Greenland and the Eastern Canadian Arctic.

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Meet our Educators

A global team of scientists, elders, artists, musicians, historians, and industry leaders who help to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Polar Regions through cross-disciplinary learning.

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Alumni Stories

SOI Expeditions are just the first step in a life-long journey of discovery. Learn more about our global community of talented and diverse alumni.

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Students on Ice is proudly supported by bv02.

This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.