20 YEARS OF SOI
WE INSPIRE CONNECTION AND EMPOWER LEADERSHIP FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
LETTER FROM OUR FOUNDER One day in 1999, while standing on a volcanic island in Antarctica with a few hundred thousand chinstrap penguins, an idea began to emerge. Imagine if we could provide a similar experience to youth at the beginning of their lives, and how this could touch their hearts and minds and in turn influence their perspectives, ideas and futures! A year later, that dream to take youth on life-changing educational expeditions to the polar regions became a reality and Students on Ice (SOI) was born. Over these past 20 years, our small but mighty team, together with many incredible partners and supporters, has exceeded anything I ever imagined. SOI has brought more than 3,000 globally diverse youth and educators to the polar regions, and we have reached and influenced millions more through events, media and digital outreach. We have evolved into an internationally recognized pioneer and leader in experiential education and meaningful youth engagement. The SOI Alumni Program now has numerous initiatives that support student and staff alumni around the world in reaching their goals. These alumni are spearheading projects, leading campaigns, running businesses, founding NGOs, writing books and doing ground-breaking science research. They are making enormous contributions to their communities and to the planet. Some are still finding their way on their life journeys. We are here to support them. We are proud of all of them. The world needs their skills, passion and leadership now more than ever. One of the most meaningful parts of our work is having so many amazing partners, friends and allies who support and share our vision. Without each of you, we would not have been able to achieve the impact and sustain SOI in such meaningful and important ways. Before I go any further, let me say thank you, sincerely. Your friendship, guidance, and support means more than you know. As I reflect on the past and think about our path forward for the next 20 years, one thing is certain. The journey ahead is going to look different than the one that got us here. Today, we envision a Students on Ice Foundation that has an expanded focus, programming, reach and impact far beyond the polar education programs that our name suggests. We envision a future that builds on the same dream, vision and passion for a better and more sustainable world. On behalf of the entire SOI team and family, I am pleased to share this 20th Anniversary Impact Report with you. This report celebrates not only a significant SOI milestone, but our shared impact on thousands of alumniâ€”and in turn, on the world. We look forward to continuing the SOI journey with you. In the SOI spirit,
Geoff Green, C.M. Founder & President
OUR STORY Our mission is to foster globally minded leaders by immersing youth in transformative experiential learning environments and collaborative cross-cultural journeys.
Every year, we organize one or more educational expeditions to the Arctic or Antarctic. Our core identity emerges from these expeditions and from the natural world. In recent years, the SOI Foundation has evolved to include numerous programs that amplify our impact on youth and the polar regions. We are guided in all we do by our core values and a commitment to fostering leadership for a sustainable future. The educational focus of our programs evolves to match the world’s changing social, geopolitical and environmental landscape. As the climate crisis accelerates, our work on climate action, healthy oceans and ecosystems, and thriving communities is more important than ever. Hands-on experience, diversity and collaboration are critical to what we do. Students and educators bring their unique identities, perspectives, cultures and visions for the future. We honour and learn from Indigenous Peoples, who continue to guide and enrich our work each day. We believe in the value of connection to land and to one another, and that together we can accomplish the unimaginable.
Youth engagement The power of diversity Environmental stewardship Collaborative solutions
OUR PROGRAMS ARE…
Intergenerational Cross-cultural Immersed in nature Innovative Interdisciplinary
“SOI has opened up a whole new world of possibility, inspiration and curiosity in me that will be present in my life for as long as I shall live. I am inspired to change my lifestyle, and I will fight for our planet and those who live in it in my new endeavours, whatever they may be.” — Erica Jacque, Postville, Newfoundland and Labrador
THE GREATEST CLASSROOMS ON EARTH The polar regions are essential parts of our planet. They illuminate our history and are cornerstones of our global ecosystem and our future. They are a homeland, wilderness, frontier, laboratory and classroom. We often refer to the polar regions as the greatest classrooms on Earth. But over the past two decades, these classrooms have changed. Warming at three times the rate of the rest of the world, the Arctic and Antarctic are the frontlines of climate change. Our work to educate and engage sustainability-focused leaders is more important than ever. Our immersive journeys to the polar regions give youth the knowledge and leadership skills they need to address the most urgent issues of our time. Guided by a team of scientists, Elders, educators and visionary leaders, participants engage in intergenerational learning about the Arctic and Antarctic. Together, they learn from one another while developing a deeper understanding of these important regions, their histories and complexities, and foster a commitment to climate action, building healthy communities, and environmental stewardship.
OUR PROGRAMS ARE... INTERDISCIPLINARY IMMERSIVE Place-based learning engages all the senses and is rooted in the history, environment and culture of a particular place. Students learn about the vastness and fragility of the Antarctic while standing on top of a glacier, studying ice core samples and listening to the thunder of calving ice falling into the sea, or connect to the land of the Arctic through the sounds of an Inuit drum.
On expedition students develop a holistic understanding of a place or a topic by learning from multiple perspectives. For example, they will listen to a scientist teach glaciology and what climate science tells us about the impacts of the melting cryosphere, then later hear an Inuit elder illustrate how this impacts their ability to hunt.
INQUIRY-BASED Youth have no shortage of curiosity. With a diversity of workshops to choose from and a low educator-to-student ratio, there are many opportunities for student-led, in-depth learning. For example, a student might come across an interesting plant during a hike. This could begin a conversation with a botanist about plants as indicators of climate change.
Diverse youth, educators & visionary leaders.
The greatest classrooms on earth: the Arctic, Antarctic & places in between.
Programs that challenge and engage youth in pressing global issues.
Changed lives and inspired leadership for a sustainable future.
20 YEARS OF MILESTONES We began with nothing but a vision for a better future. Since the first expedition to Antarctica in 2000, SOI has led 35 more to the Arctic, Antarctic and places in between. Each journey raised the bar on our mission to engage youth, further build their knowledge of the polar regions, increase diversity among participants, and encourage cross-cultural collaboration to support a healthy and sustainable future. SOI is now recognized globally as a leader in youth engagement, with a legacy focused on changing lives and the world. The vision is executed through passion and action. Here are key milestones along the way.
“To our amazement, a bowhead whale surfaced metres away from the floe edge and observed us quietly, as if to say goodbye.” — Geoff Green
“After all the planning, it was finally happening. I remember pushing off: throwing the lines off, getting everyone up on the top deck. It was a beautiful, and windy, evening.” — Geoff Green
First Floe Edge Expedition Team visited by a bowhead whale Blue Whale Research Expedition
Students on Ice is founded First Expedition to Antarctica
First Arctic Expedition
Students call thenMinister of Environment, David Anderson to support Antarctic treaty ratification
SOI Foundation created
SOI participates in the International Polar Year Four alumni present a declaration at COP 11 in Montreal, Quebec
“It was within a few months that it was actually ratified and it blew our minds,” says alum, Sonya Bell. “It was definitely a moment of, ‘oh we can make a difference,’ and that was kind of a turning point for me knowing that being involved with politics would be a worthwhile pursuit.”
SOI patch travels aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor to the International Space Station
Youth Declaration to the Arctic Council
1st university-accredi expedition to Antarct
The Saavittut program (Inuktitut for â€œtaking off from the shoreâ€?) links circumpolar youth with fellow Inuit students and staff before expedition. It helps staff and students connect and learn how to share their cultures and homelands with youth from all over the world.
SOI patch reaches geomagnetic pole Microgrant Program initiated
celebrates 10 years!
Pre-expedition programming for Northern Youth begins
TedX Talk in Antarctica by an SOI alum
Alumni advocate for the Antarctic to become first carbon-neutral continent
Alumni delegation attend Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, met with heads of state & government officials
(later named the Saavittut Program)
Board of advisors meeting in New York
Canada C3 expedition
(Read more on page 16)
Open Channels Exhibition
Arctic Tern I vessel launches
Launch of the E2C Program
First (virtual) Alumni Summit
Climate Action Cohort members participate in COP25 in Madrid
Arctic expedition capacity doubles on MS Ocean Endeavour Arctic Youth & Partnerships Program launch Alumni Program launch
All Canadian provinces and territories and all circumpolar countries represented on the 2019 Arctic expedition.
BY THE NUMBERS 36 EXPEDITIONS 21 ARCTIC 15 ANTARCTIC
3272 TOTAL ALUMNI
SCHOLARSHIPS In 2011: 68% of students were fully funded In 2019: 87% of students were fully funded
We strongly believe in providing opportunities to a diverse group of deserving youth. This means doing what we can to remove financial barriers. We are proud to say that 47 funders provided 114 scholarships in 2019.
Fully funded in 2019
INDIGENOUS REPRESENTATION In 2009: 31% of students were Indigenous In 2019: 52% of students were Indigenous We bring youth from around the world together, including many youth from different Indigenous identities, such as Inuit, Métis, First Nations, Sámi and Iñupiaq. While travelling in the Arctic, many Inuit youth and staff onboard help engage participants in learning about their homeland, providing unique perspectives and Indigenous knowledge.
BROADENING OUR REACH SOI reaches and impacts youth beyond those who participate in these life-changing expeditions through inspiring multimedia content, conferences and events, presentations, and workshops. SOI’s digital and outreach initiatives connect more than 250 million people every year to the knowledge, experiences and impacts that our youth on expeditions gain.
Youth from all Arctic circumpolar countries participate on expeditions
ALUMNI FROM 52 COUNTRIES
ALUMNI FROM 434 COMMUNITIES ACROSS CANADA
Including alumni from every community across Inuit Nunangat
Our programs are transformational because they harness the power of connections. Connections change hearts and minds. Connections drive us to build a better tomorrow.
CONNECT TO OURSELVES
CONNECT TO EACH OTHER
CONNECT TO NATURE
CANADA C3 In 2017, the Students on Ice Foundation led its largest expedition to date, Canada C3. A signature project for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation, Canada C3 was an epic 150-day sailing journey from Toronto, ON to Victoria, BC via the Northwest Passage. The journey connected Canadians from coast to coast to coast and inspired a deeper understanding of our land, our peoples and our country’s past, present and future. The expedition was divided into 15 legs and included a cross-section of Canadian society, including scientists, artists, Indigenous Elders, historians, community leaders, youth, journalists and educators. They connected with communities, conducted research, created art and music and celebrated Canada together. Through the power of multimedia and digital platforms, SOI shared the stories of people encountered en route and engaged the voices of all Canadians in discussions of key themes: diversity and inclusion, reconciliation, youth engagement and the environment. The legacy of Canada C3 lives on through an internationally screened documentary, a multimedia exhibit called Open Channels, scientific research, digital classroom resources, partnerships and numerous alumni projects. Learn more here.
Open Channels is an exhibition featuring the works of visual artists who took part in our Canada C3 expedition. The exhibition is the perfect vessel to share C3 with the general public. Aboard the C3 ship, artists drew inspiration from Canada’s ever-evolving environmental, social and cultural landscapes, as well as from dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The resulting exhibition was open to all in the Canada Council for the Arts’ Âjagemô exhibition space from June 2019 to January 2020. The exhibition launched online in fall 2020 and will soon travel to other communities.
23 science projects conducted by 13 institutions over 150 days have created unprecedented datasets that will have a huge impact on Canadian science. Many of the C3 Science Program projects will provide a greater understanding of biological diversity in Canada. These projects include Trans-Canada eDNA Biodiversity Mapping to provide the groundwork for a panCanadian database of coastal marine biodiversity; a record all of the plants, lichens, mosses and liverworts that live in Canada’s Arctic; a pan-Canadian collection of bottom sediments from the intertidal zone; and much more.
“A single ship captivated millions of Canadians and captured Canada’s promise. I want to thank the Students on Ice Foundation for organizing this remarkable journey, amplifying the voices of youth and Indigenous peoples, and connecting Canadians and communities all across the country.” — The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
WAYS WE SUPPORT ALUMNI An expedition, however eye-opening, is only the first step in a lifelong journey of growth and empowerment. As soon as participants step off the vessel, the SOI Alumni Program welcomes them with support to translate inspiration into action. We launched the SOI Alumni Program in 2000. Today, we offer more than nine avenues to engage alumni in leadership development and build their professional capacity.
CLIMATE ACTION COHORT
The Climate Action Cohort develops climate leaders by bridging the gaps between policy, community action and youth engagement. “CAC pushed me to challenge my goals and understand issues more deeply. Professionally, it helped me rethink what I want to spend my time doing and gave me experience that will translate into future careers and opportunities.”
William Sanderson, 2014 Antarctic alum
Over three days, we connected 465 participants (65% were youth!) with 50 sessions and 90 speakers. The Alumni Summit brought alumni together virtually to celebrate the past 20 years of Students on Ice and learn from one another.
MySOI is an online portal where alumni can connect and share opportunities and news about mentorships, activities and anything else on their minds.
Our Alumni Council focuses on connections to kindle engagement and collaboration, share opportunities and provide support and mentorship.
Alumni Chapters help alumni in specific cities and regions stay in touch with their local networks. Chapters meet, share news and information, attend events and more.
The mentorship program connects mentors with mentees for guidance on personal, professional or project development.
Travel grants support alumni to attend conferences, events and training for professional development. “I was able to get hands-on interaction with research that’s going on in my Arctic home on issues like food insecurity, infrastructure development and environmental change due to global warming.”
Jukipa Anrango Kotierk, 2018 Arctic alum
Microgrants provide seed funding for alumni-led initiatives worldwide so youth can take the inspiration and knowledge they gain on expeditions and give back locally and globally. To date, we have provided alumni 36 microgrants worth a total of $150,000.
In our most recent alumni survey
82.4% of alumni said their SOI experience influenced their career choice.
of alumni said it changed their attitude toward other cultures.
SOI supports youth-led Alumni Delegations at national and international conferences including the annual Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland, the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4) in Chile, the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, the World Parks Congress in Australia, Arctic Futures 2050 in the United States and more. These opportunities provide professional skill development and industry knowledge. “I instantly felt like I belonged….I was able to share a part of Inuit culture with a fellow Inuk. It empowered me and assured me of my Inuit identity.” Heidi Lucas, 2019 Arctic alum
90.5% of alumni said it affected their decision to act on causes they are passionate about. *Hehir, C., Stewart, E., Maher, P., Ribeiro, M.A., (under review). Pathways to real-world impact: A transdisciplinary approach to explore the impact of youth experiences in the polar regions on pro-environmental behaviour.
FROM MEXICO TO THE ARCTIC
WE MUST PROTECT NATURAL ENVIRONMENTS AND TRADITIONAL CULTURES “We were on a family trip to the cenotes in Yucatán, and I noticed some scientists searching for a species of small blind fish, and started asking them questions,” Tao Hernández Arellano says. “Most didn’t pay attention to me, but one biologist explained what they were doing. That was enough to inspire me.” Years later, Tao’s continuing interest in all things science led him to join an SOI polar expedition. “I was terrified at first,” he admits. “It wasn’t easy being on my own with so many new people. But I loved being able to talk to experts and other youth about everything from human rights to Indigenous knowledge, science, art, culture, anthropology and more. I can’t even explain how happy I was by the end.” Tao returned to Mexico with a new appreciation for ecological issues. The Mexican climate is
nothing like the Arctic’s, but the underlying urge to understand and protect the natural environment and traditional lifestyles are the same. In 2018, Tao received an SOI microgrant to lead a project designed to illustrate the ecological importance of the Zoque Jungle, one of Mexico’s largest. His aim was to document plants and animals, including their availability as resources for isolated communities. “This kind of information can help protect the land in the area, support (eco) tourism, identify food resources, and contribute to a better quality of life,” he explains.
“There’s nothing I love more than learning alongside other individuals with a common goal.” Tao joined the SOI delegation to the Arctic Futures 2050 Conference the next year. “There’s nothing I love more than learning alongside other individuals with a common goal,” says Tao. “I appreciated the opportunity to talk to diverse scientists about Mexico’s fight against climate change.”
Tao’s expedition was made possible with support from Scotiabank.
INUIT YOUTH ADVOCATE
INUIT IN THE ARCTIC DESERVE A STRONGER VOICE As a teenager, Ruth Kaviok wanted to explore the world. When an ad about SOI’s 2015 Arctic Expedition went up on her school’s billboard, she saw her chance. With support from her guidance counsellor, this dream became a reality. “The expedition was an eye-opener,” says Ruth. “One key thing I realized was that Inuit who live in the Arctic need a stronger voice. They are more aware than anyone of the realities of life in the Arctic.” There were moments of culture shock during her journey, but working in pods helped her build connections. Returning home inspired, she got involved in an entrepreneurship program that involved bringing
a hydroponics greenhouse into her Nunavut community. The high cost of food and other necessities in the North creates food insecurity, so growing fruits and vegetables makes sense. Her plan was to sell the items to the community for affordable prices.
“I hope that one day, some of my students will have their own lifechanging SOI experience.” After high school, Ruth attended Nunavut Sivuniksavut, where she became involved in fighting climate change and the hardships it creates for Inuit youth. She became president of the Nunavut Inuit Youth Council and represented Inuit youth internationally. She went on to volunteer with Canada World Youth in Peru and attended COP24 as President of the National Inuit Youth Council. Today, she is a teacher at the elementary school in her community.
Ruth’s expedition was made possible with support from WWF-Canada.
LEADS TO CONNECTIONS AND CHANGED COMMUNITIES When a last-minute spot opened up on the Students on Ice Arctic 2007 expedition two days before departure, Bobbi Rose Koe got a call. She had five minutes to decide whether or not to go. More than a decade later, she has seen at least half of Canada, and in part, it has shaped who she is today.
“Every opportunity: Take it.” Bobbi Rose watched orcas, listened to inspiring educators and saw a mother polar bear and her cub feast on a walrus. “Nunavut was so different to me, I learned so much and after that I just encouraged other youth to get out and learn more about other cultures, because you never know what you could bring back.”
One thing she didn’t expect to bring back was the confidence to talk to a crowd. “I used to get really shy when I had to speak in front of everybody, and after that I started learning how to speak in public.” It was a gradual process, but it’s a skill she’s been exercising ever since. In 2019 Bobbi Rose hosted the Indigenous Women’s Drum-Making Workshop in Whitehorse, funded by an SOI microgrant. Additionally, Bobbi Rose recently wrapped up her term on the SOI Alumni Council, contributing to the further development and connection of the alumni community around the world. From guiding on the traditional lands of her people, the Tetlit Gwich’in, to participating in programs like Indigenous Women in Community Leadership, to starting the Youth of the Peel movement and more since her SOI expedition, Bobbi Rose has fully embraced her journey of lifelong learning. She is starting an outdoor adventure business called Dinjii Zhuu Adventures that focuses on tourism and programming in the North.
“It’s great to be able to have participated in these opportunities, and now I get to give back by making new opportunities.”
MOUNTAINEERING AND LGBTQ+ RIGHTS ADVOCACY Born into a family of explorers, Cason Crane had already visited more countries by the time he was a teenager than most people see in their lifetimes. However, it was his experience climbing to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro at only 15 years of age that led to his ambitious goal to be the first openly LGBTQ+ person to climb all Seven Summits. Cason’s Students on Ice Arctic Expedition in 2008 introduced him to a land and culture he had never before explored, students and educators from around the world, and many new perspectives. The expedition challenged Cason to reflect on how to leverage his goals, interests and passions to benefit others. “The SOI Expedition opened my eyes to one of the most compelling parts of the world (the Arctic) and taught me about the culture, about the environment, about climate change, and about advocacy. I was empowered to feel like not only was change possible but very achievable if each person individually stepped up and got together. All of these elements have continued to influence my life to this day. Whenever I think about making a difference, I think back to my SOI experience.”
A few short years later, Cason started the Rainbow Summits project. “I started the Rainbow Summit project with this goal of just trying to raise awareness and raise funds for suicide prevention and I was really lucky to have it take off and raise over $135,000 for charity and also get the opportunity to be the first openly LGBTQ+ person to climb the Seven Summits.” Cason was the first openly LGBTQ+ and fifth youngest climber to reach the highest peak on each continent – the Seven Summits. In spring 2013, he reached the summit of Mount Everest and flew a string of Tibetan prayer flags, on each one bearing a handwritten message from a LGBTQ+ youth who’d been bullied. Cason graduated from Princeton University with a degree in history in 2017. He is currently pursuing his own ventures, both in the the form of entrepreneurship and in the outdoors. He is competing in ultra-endurance races and adventures around the world. He recently founded a coffee company called Explorer Cold Brew. Prior to that, Cason served as a consultant at Bain & Company in New York. Cason plans to continue to make a difference in the lives of others, a core value that was reinforced during his expedition with Students on Ice.
GREENLAND’S FIRST ASTROPHYSICIST
FINDING SOLUTIONS TO COMPLEX PROBLEMS Ivalu Barlach Christensen is an Arctic 2012 alum from Sisimiut, Greenland. Her passion has always been science and science communication. Since her expedition, Ivalu has gone on to travel the world seeking educational opportunities. The 2012 Arctic expedition showed Ivalu the beauty of Greenland and the place she calls home. This opened her eyes to the climate crisis and the importance of science in finding answers to complex problems. Being surrounded by youth from around the world made her feel part of a global community. The sense of community that was built in such a short time is something that has stayed with Ivalu ever since. Early on in Ivalu’s academic journey, she knew that she wanted to study astrophysics. Several years, four countries and two continents later, Ivau is Greenland’s first astrophysicist!
Her pursuit of knowledge has rewarded her with incredible opportunities, including an internship at the Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian/ Greenland Telescope Project, located 750 miles inside the Arctic Circle. In her spare time, Ivalu works hard to educate people in Greenland about astrophysics. She volunteers at schools in her hometown to teach students about incredibly complex concepts such as how massive stars are formed and how they drive the chemistry of our galaxy. Ivalu’s future plan is to become a professor so that she may educate the next generation of astrophysicists and continue her own research.
“By understanding the basics of how galaxies are created we can gain a better understanding of how to fix problems in our own galaxy in the future.”
Ivalu’s expedition was made possible with support from WWF-Canada.
LIVES CAN CHANGE IN A MOMENT
FROM EXPEDITION TO EDUCATION & ADVOCACY Jasveen Brar (Antarctic 2014, Arctic 2016) fondly
recalls the time a minke whale breached next to her ship in the Antarctic for more than three hours. In the Arctic, she was awestruck by the grandeur of Greenland’s ice fjords. “But first and foremost, my best memories come from the incredible friendships I made on board,” she says. The Antarctic expedition motivated Jasveen to add environmental studies to her biology degree at Dalhousie University, and led to a string of other activities that have brought her to where she is today. For example, she spoke at the International Student Energy Summit (where a talk about her polar experiences netted her a place among Alberta’s Top 30 Under 30) and attended COP24 in Poland.
In 2017, she worked with fellow SOI alumni to launch a conference on the polar regions that reached 800+ youth. In 2018, she received the Governor General Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. After graduating from Dal, Jasveen hosted Ocean Month in her Alberta community to help youth understand their impact on the world’s ocean. She was named to the North American Association of Environmental Educators’ Top 30 Under 30 for her work.
“My passions feel front and centre, and I’m optimistic it will remain that way.” Today, Jasveen is a manager at Ocean Bridge, where she creates meaningful experiences related to ocean health and literacy for program participants. She is also working with fellow alumni on a research project with the Inuit Circumpolar Council about establishing an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area around Pikialasorsuaq.
20 more years of inspiring journeys When we launched SOI in 2000, we had passion, but little experience. Now we have plenty of both — along with ambitious plans to continue our development as an organization invested in building tomorrow’s leaders. Our vision for the future builds on SOI’s experience and success in experiential learning and youth engagement to develop new programs that include land-based, community-based, and virtual learning opportunities. In addition, SOI is growing its support of youth beyond the experiential learning phase to include new opportunities and resources for mentorship, professional development and community service. Our goal is to inspire sustainabilityfocused leaders throughout every phase of SOI’s educational and professional development programs. Here is a glimpse at current and future programs. Expedition to Community (E2C) is a youth-led service program that is grounded in, and supported by, community. Youth, aged 15 to 30, are co-creating unique activities that address the issues, opportunities and needs of northern communities. E2C supports their project skills and helps them grow their abilities to initiate and advance sustainable community service projects. Youth cultivate leadership skills, acquire entrepreneurial experience and develop an enhanced sense of community service.
E2C launched in April 2019. To date it has run in five communities across Inuit Nunangat: Makkovik, Kugluktuk, Pannituuq, Kangirsuk and Inuvik. Learn more here.
Launched in May 2020, The Bridge is an online platform created to engage our audiences in learning more about the polar regions and about pressing issues facing our planet. Similar to an SOI expedition, The Bridge brings together inspiring youth, scientists, Elders, artists, visionary leaders and more from across the Arctic and around the world.
New content is released monthly, focusing on a variety of social and environmental themes such as the importance of Indigenous knowledge in conservation; the emerging Sustainable Blue Economy, and opportunities for youth engagement in climate policy, to name a few. Since its launch, The Bridge has reached more than one million people. Explore The Bridge here.
The Arctic is a powerful and experiential learning environment, one that connects youth with the natural world in profound ways. SOIâ€™s annual Arctic youth expeditions have been a core part of the SOI program since 2001. Indigenous youth and educators from the circumpolar Arctic are an integral part of every SOI expedition, helping us to explore and understand the places we visit.
One of SOIâ€™s dreams is to establish an expedition research vessel as a platform for education, conservation, science and communication. Together with diverse partners, this platform would be an extraordinary opportunity for Canada, SOI and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
PROGRAMS IN DEVELOPMENT Students in Parks will bring together groups of diverse youth from across Canada to discover, understand and connect with national parks from coast to coast to coast.
STUDENTS IN PARKS
BLUE FUTURES PATHWAYS 32
These immersive and multidisciplinary programs will bring together youth aged 14-24 with Parks Canada staff, community partners, Indigenous Elders and knowledge holders, science experts, and industry and political leaders. Educational programming will focus on climate change and climate action; the Sustainable Blue Economy; and elements of Parks Canada’s Learn to Camp program. Read more about our partnership with Parks Canada on page 41.
Blue Futures Pathways will connect youth across Canada with education, employment and funding opportunities that inspire and support them in developing a successful career in the emerging Sustainable Blue Economy. The scope includes ocean and freshwater, and at the heart of SOI’s mandate, a focus on Canada’s under-represented, remotely located, and Indigenous youth. Phase II launches in 2021 with education and workforce development in partnership with ECO Canada, the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE), and with funding from Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and Mitacs. Learn more here.
CLIMATE ACTION LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
The Climate Action Leadership Program is a national program to inspire a generation of climate leaders who will be positioned to tackle the most pressing climate issues of our time, including Canada’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Hosted in partnership with research centres, national parks and Indigenous communities across Canada, the program begins with Climate Action Field Camps, followed by the development of initiatives and capacity building to deliver climate action initiatives in communities across the country. This is a five-year initiative that will include 900 youth participants, with the potential to engage more than 45,000 youth across Canada with climate action initiatives.
Climate change. Ocean health. International collaboration. These are the three pressing issues around which we’ve built an ambitious, globally minded youth expedition to Antarctica. A group of 50 youth will partake in a journey that will build global understanding, collaboration and action. The expedition will be open to youth from all over the world, who will join not just a three-week expedition, but a yearlong communications campaign to inspire action. These global youth leaders will collaborate to share experiences, insights and messages, and develop local, national and international initiatives. Our goal is to reach the world with a clear message about the vital importance of international collaboration to achieve sustainability—and to inspire leaders to take concrete action. Now.
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS The Students on Ice Foundation is proud to work with a committed group of Canadian and international public and private partners. Hundreds of partners provide funding for SOI programs and initiatives including expedition scholarships for youth and staff; professional development opportunities; and more. This page is dedicated to the supporters who believe in SOI and continue to make it possible for us to deliver educational and transformational experiences for youth leaders around the world.
OUR FUNDING PARTNERS PLATINUM Beatrice Snyder Foundation Government of Canada Leacross Foundation Tarek Sherif & The Sherif Foundation
GOLD Adventure Canada Canada Goose Don and Gretchen Ross Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco Sophie Nicholson
SILVER Alcoa Arctic Co-operative Limited Assembly of First Nations Nova Scotia/Newfoundland and Labrador Birch Hill Equity Partners CFFI Ventures Clearwater Community Foundations of Canada Ducks Unlimited Canada Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board Fednav Government of Nunavut Greg Dalton - Climate One Groupe Media TFO Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Kakivak Association Kativik Ilisarniliriniq
Kativik Regional Government Kitikmeot Inuit Association Nunatsiavut Government Nunatsiavut Harvesting Compensation Committee Oceans North People to People Peter Poole Power Corporation of Canada Research & Development Corporation Scotiabank SSi Micro Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation The Lawson Foundation The Schad Foundation U.S. Embassy World Wildlife Fund Canada
INTEGRAL SUPPORTERS Air Borealis Air Inuit Air Labrador Antarpply Expeditions Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Balsillie Family Foundation Beauâ€™s Brewing Co. Calm Air Camp Fortune Canada Council for the Arts Canadian Coast Guard Canadian Geographic Canadian Heritage
Canadian Ice Service Canadian North - First Air Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency Canadian Rangers Canadian Wildlife Service Chlorophylle Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Cyan Solutions Earth Rangers EMBARC
Embassy of Denmark Embassy of Finland Embassy of Iceland Embassy of Russia Embassy of Sweden Employment and Social Development Canada Embassy of Denmark Environment and Climate Change Canada Facebook Fisheries and Oceans Canada Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
BRONZE Ahoora Foundation ArcticNet Ashbury College Atuqtuarvik Corporation Baffinland Brentwood SRI Inc. Bruce & Vicky Heyman Canada-UK Foundation Canadian Executive Service Organization Canadian War Museum Catherine Moore Claudine & Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Conseil des ecoles catholiques Delegation of the EU to Canada
Gwich’in Tribal Council Health Canada Inuit Circumpolar Council Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Indigenous Services Canada Kicking Horse Coffee LATAM Airlines M&C Travel Business Marine Expeditions Martin Bergmann Memorial Fund Métis National Council National Research Council Canada Native Women’s Association of Canada
Durham School Board Edmonton Community Foundation Glen DeVries Government of Newfoundland Granny B. and P. Foundation Insurance Bureau of Canada Island Research & Education Initiative Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board Keith Purchase Kivalliq Inuit Association Labatt Brewing Memorial University - Fisheries and Marine Institute Mike McCabe and Family NCC Investment Group Inc. Ottawa Carleton District School Board Polar Knowledge Canada Project North Qikiqtaaluk Corporation
Natural Resources Canada Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Nunavut Research Institute Nunavut Sivuniksavut Pacific Coastal Airlines PAL Airlines Parks Canada Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP Polar Knowledge Canada Power To Be RMBMU Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Randall Howard Reiss Family Foundation Robert Cudney Royal Bank of Canada Foundation Royal Norwegian Embassy S & A Inspiration Foundation Sea to Cedar - Tides Canada Initiatives S.M. Blair Family Foundation Stantec Sven Lindblad The Children’s Home - Uummannaq, Greenland The Gainey Foundation The Keg Spirit Foundation Tim MacDonald Westeinde Capital WWF Denmark
Royal Canadian Navy Sony of Canada Ltd. The Explorers Club The Globe and Mail Transfrontier International Yellow Pages Group Youth Climate Lab Welch LLP
BEATRICE SNYDER FOUNDATION The Beatrice Snyder Foundation is a long-running supporter of Students on Ice. The relationship began when New York resident Harold Snyder encountered SOI founder Geoff Green at a presentation on a cruise ship in Antarctica, and wondered how much it would cost to finance one student’s journey to Antarctica. Harold ended up funding two students from New York City shortly after that encounter. Soon enough, Harold’s family was sending five students from New York to Antarctica annually, one from each borough. This support grew to include students from Rhode Island and Tennessee. On two occasions, the foundation funded students from Israel and Palestine: Harold’s idea was to take students from one of the most conflicted parts of the world to the Antarctic, one of the most peaceful parts of the world, both to make a statement and for the exposure it would offer them. To date, the Snyder family has fully sponsored more than 100 students. Harold Snyder was also instrumental in helping to set up the SOI US charitable foundation.
RÉSERVE MONDIALE DE LA BIOSPHÈRE MANICOUAGAN-UAPISHKA RMBMU is a nonprofit organization that works to create a positive social impact on the ManicouaganUapishka community and beyond. Recognized as a UNESCO world biosphere reserve, RMBMU implements a large range of projects to inspire high standards in sustainable development. As part of this mission, RMBMU, with the help of Alcoa Sustainable Communities Fund, has provided full scholarships for two or three youth from the Manicouagan-Uapishka area, including from the Innu community of Pessamit, to participate on SOI expeditions since 2015. “We have noticed a remarkable effect in the youth of our communities who participated in SOI expeditions over time,” says Jean-Philippe Messier, Founder and General Manager of RMBMU. “Participants return home with a renewed sense of the world challenges and often become key contributors to sustainable development, global citizenship and climate change mitigation in their community.”
MAKIVIK CORPORATION Makivik is a leader in building and developing the vibrant region of Nunavik. Its mandate ranges from owning and operating large profitable business enterprises and generating jobs to advancing socio-economic development, improving housing conditions and protecting the Inuit language and culture as well as the natural environment. Makivik has been a proud partner of Students on Ice since 2007. Thanks to its generosity, more than 80 youth from across Nunavik have joined SOI’s expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, sharing their culture and perspectives with youth from around the world. “It’s with pleasure that the Makivik Corporation partners with the great work of Students on Ice. I can’t think of a more rewarding way to spend time than out on the land and at sea, absorbing the wealth of information the adventure brings with it for our young people,” says former Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik.
POWER TO BE Power To Be is a non-profit organization that creates access to nature for youth, families and adults living with cognitive, physical, financial and social barriers. Based in Victoria and Vancouver, Power To Be believes everyone belongs in nature. The organization works to remove barriers to the outdoors, supporting participants to explore who they are and what they are capable of with the support of our staff, volunteers and each other. Over the past few years, Power To Be has made it possible for youth living with barriers to participate on SOI’s Arctic expeditions and benefit from the lifechanging opportunities that SOI offers through its journeys. “Students on Ice has provided life-changing experiences for participants in the Power To Be program. Through stories and connections, they have in turn provided inspiration, education and hope for fellow participants, volunteers and staff. The ripple effects of their experiences are immeasurable. We are truly grateful for our ongoing relationship with the Students On Ice team.” Sylvia Storry, Youth and Family Adventure Lead, Power To Be.
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF NATURE The Canadian Museum of Nature has been a valued partner in the success of Students on Ice since the inaugural expedition to Antarctica in 2000. Together, we build on a shared mandate: to foster a greater connection to nature and an understanding and appreciation for the natural world. Museum scientists have participated in expeditions every year. These experts have led hands-on research with students, inspiring a passion for science and a better understanding and appreciation for the area’s unique and changing environment. Beyond teaching during the expedition, the museum has collaborated with SOI on special projects such as a virtual online expedition called Expedition Arctic; a national speaker series and panel discussions during International Polar Year; and leading a coast-to-coast-to coast national research study to better understand the health of ecosystems across Canada’s coastline. “We congratulate Students on Ice on 20 years of inspiring young people about the environment and the polar regions,” say Meg Beckel, President & CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. “Our partnership benefits both of our organizations, and we will continue to share our expertise with SOI through hands-on discovery and interpretation of the diversity of the polar regions.”
INUVIALUIT REGIONAL CORPORATION The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) was established in 1984 to implement the Inuvialuit Final Agreement with Canada, which includes managing responsibilities for private Inuvialuit lands and harvesting rights as well as representing and improving the economic, social and cultural well-being of Inuvialuit. IRC has been a proud partner of Students on Ice since its beginning, providing opportunities for youth from all Inuvialuit Settlement Region Communities to develop their personal capacities and educational goals; to experience more of Canada’s vast Inuit Nunangat and Arctic territories; and to share important cultural experiences while learning together with their circumpolar peers. “Inuvialuit Regional Corporation has been proud to consistently fund Inuvialuit youth participation in Students on Ice as well as youth delegations attending national and international forums,” says IRC Chair and CEO Duane Ningaqsiq Smith. “Participants recommend the program and have since found success in key leadership areas. These include harvesting and providing food for their Elders and in their communities; taking on roles with IRC’s Regional Youth Advisory Council; presenting at a recent UN Climate Conference; promoting language revitalization; advocating for mental wellness among their peers; and coaching Northern Games to younger generations. IRC appreciates the opportunity with SOI and is proud to contribute to our Inuvialuit youth.”
THE LEACROSS FOUNDATION The Leacross Foundation has sponsored five young women from across Canada on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions every year since 2010. “For every young woman who has ventured upon an SOI ship, I have received a warm thank you, in so many different forms,” says Roslyn Bern, President of the Leacross Foundation. “Some of my recipients have discovered qualities within themselves that allowed them to venture beyond their normal boundaries. Again and again I received notes saying that they didn’t believe they were worthy of the scholarship, or didn’t deserve it. I hope to set an example for every young woman who is interested in making a difference in her world. One of my students said, ‘I will never be able to live my life “before” icebergs again.’ She knew that her life had changed forever with the trip, and that somehow, she was going to make life on this planet a little bit better for everyone. “Having been a teacher, I understand the need to stimulate young minds to become more aware of their environment. Students on Ice is truly a floating classroom, and offers opportunities both environmentally and socially to the inquisitive mind.”
PARKS CANADA Parks Canada protects and presents significant examples of natural and cultural heritage in Canada, and fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of these places for present and future generations. Since the early days of SOI expeditions, Parks Canada has provided an opportunity for youth to experience northern national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas in Canada, and Inuit homelands through guided visits and sharing of Inuit culture and knowledge. More recently, the partnership has expanded to include scholarships for Canadian youth to participate in SOI expeditions; support of youth ambassadors at global conservation conferences; connecting Canadians to special places across Canada’s coastline during the Canada C3 expedition; and connecting Canadians to Parks Canada’s work through SOI’s virtual engagement platform, The Bridge. “Parks Canada shares Students on Ice’s passion for connecting youth to nature through this unique experience to discover the Canadian Arctic,” says Ron Hallamn, President & CEO, Parks Canada. “The exceptional educational experiences of Students on Ice help inspire our leaders of tomorrow to become environmental stewards and encourage them to share the stories of Parks Canada administered places in northern Canada as well as the stories of the people who make up these special places.”
BOARD OF ADVISORS We would like to thank the members of our advisory board for their time, commitment and invaluable guidance. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Honorary Chair, Students on Ice Foundation
Gigi Brisson Founder & CEO, Ocean Elders
Captain Don Walsh, USN (RET), PhD Oceanographer, marine policy specialist and former submarine captain
Isabella de la Houssaye International lawyer, philanthropist and endurance athlete
Dani Reiss, C.M. President & CEO, Canada Goose
Mary Simon, O.C., O.Q. Celebrated Inuit leader & advocate
Don Ross, O.C. Chairman of Leede Jones Gable, Inc.
Peter Mansbridge Former chief correspondent, CBC News and anchor, The National
Eira Thomas President & CEO, Lucara Diamond Corporation
Tarek Sherif Chairman & CEO, Medidata
“For the past 20 years, Students on Ice has benefited
the Arctic, its people, and youth worldwide in profound and unique ways. SOI reminds each of us that we must get involved for the sake of our planet.” — H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Honorary Chair of the Students on Ice Foundation
AWARDS & RECOGNITION Students on Ice has been recognized with a number of awards over the years, including: The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal U.S. Congress acknowledgment of outstanding and invaluable service to youth and education Citation of Merit from the prestigious New York City Explorers Club for outstanding feats of exploration and service The Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, which honours outstanding contributions to the promotion of science through activities that encourage popular interest or develop science abilities (NSERC award) Geoff Green, founder of Students on Ice, has personally received a number of recognitions, many of which stem from his work with SOI. Along with being invested into the Order of Canada and Order of Quebec, he has received an honorary doctorate of Education, been named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, was named one of Canada’s 100 Greatest Explorers, and been named one of the Top 25 Transformational Canadians. He is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In 2009, the Commissioner of Nunavut bestowed him with an Inuktitut name, “Pitsiulak.”
“I see hope. I see change. I see challenges. I see
opportunities and possibilities. I see struggle. I see the chance to learn from our past and make the right decisions in the future. I see beauty, awe, wonder and inspiration that needs to be valued, cherished and protected. I see competing interests and the need for leadership, balance, peace and understanding.” — Geoff Green, SOI Founder
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
We invite you to get involved! Please visit our website for more information about h join an expedition, make a donation or become a partner. The world needs youâ€”and studentsonice.com @studentsonice
how you can volunteer, d so do we.
After many months of research, writing, and design we are happy to share with you our 20 Years of SOI impact report. This report provides an...
Published on Dec 18, 2020
After many months of research, writing, and design we are happy to share with you our 20 Years of SOI impact report. This report provides an...