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Floating classroom bridges cultures & understanding in the Arctic

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Students on Ice to launch 2016 Arctic Expedition with youth, leaders, scientists, elders & artists

Gatineau, Quebec: July 18, 2016 – On July 21, more than 100 high school and university students from across Canada and around the world come together in Ottawa to begin a two-week expedition to the Canadian Arctic and Greenland with Students on Ice (SOI). They are led by an expert team made up of 80 scientists, artists, Inuit leaders, dignitaries and polar explorers on this life-changing journey of discovery, reconciliation and adventure. Expedition dates are July 21 – August 5, 2016.

Participating youth will foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the Arctic through hands-on learning in science, history, culture, arts, policy and governance, Key educational themes include climate change, marine protected areas, Truth & Reconciliation and youth engagement.

“By connecting curious and passionate youth with the people, land, challenges and opportunities of the Arctic at such a critical time, we hope to foster the knowledge, inspiration and determination in youth that will stay with them for a lifetime,” says Expedition Leader Geoff Green.

Beginning in Ottawa, this ship and land-based journey will explore the communities, coasts and fiords of the Canada’s Eastern Arctic before crossing the Davis Strait to western Greenland.

The expedition team represents 12 nations: Canada, U.S.A., Greenland, Malaysia, China, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, Monaco, India, France, and Belgium.

SOI’s impressive educational team includes H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, Minister of Education for Nunavut Paul Quassa, scientists Roger Bull and Noel Alfonso with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Inuit leader Mary Simon, Hey Rosetta singer/songwriter Tim Baker, Inuk artist Jolly Atagooyuk and authors James Raffan and Ed Struzik.

The 2016 expedition will include:

  • Encounters with whales, polar bears and other Arctic wildlife
  • Hands-on land and ocean-based research and learning
  • Zodiac cruises among icebergs and ice floes
  • Opportunity to learn from a cross-section of global leaders and experts
  • Visits to Northern communities and cultural events
  • Exploring  the Illulisat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage site (“iceberg factory”)
  • Paddling traditional Inuit qajaqs (kayak) in the Arctic

The 2016 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition is made possible through partnerships with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Parks Canada, Canada Goose, Makivik Corporation, Kativik Regional Government, Leacross Foundation, WWF-Canada, Canadian Heritage, the U.S. Embassy Ottawa, Canada Council for the Arts, and more than 30 other incredible supporters. Through the generosity of partner organizations, more than 80 per cent of youth participants are supported to participate in this transformational, life-changing experience.

“To explore the Arctic with youth and experts from around the world, enables a unique learning opportunity to bridge cultures and allow for passionate, globally-minded and solution-driven conversations and initiatives to flourish,” says Green. “This expedition will be the beginning of a life-long journey, and a very important step for youth to gain the inspiration, education and motivation needed to become leaders in their communities and around the world.”

To learn more and to follow the journey, visit studentsonice.com

About the Students on Ice Foundation

The Students on Ice Foundation is an award-winning organization offering unique educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic. Our mandate is to educate the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions, support their continued growth and inspire and catalyze initiatives that contribute to global sustainability. Since 2000, Student on Ice has taken more than 2,500 youth from 52 countries to the Polar Regions.


To arrange interviews or request more information, please contact:

Ashley Brasfield
Media and Communications Manager
Students on Ice
Office: 819-827-3300, cell: 613-859-8966


Download a PDF of the Press Release and Fact Sheet


Students on Ice is proudly supported by bv02.

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