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General News · 13th September 2015
Tara Warkentin
Narwhals, The Amundsen and Climate Change - a student research challenge.

In October, my head full of questions, I embark on a trip to our planet’s far north. Along with eight other high school students and two teachers from Canada, I will be immersed in experiential learning. Through Schools on Board a program run by the University of Manitoba and ArcticNet, we will travel to Resolute, Nunavut, where we will board the Coast Guard vessel The CCGS Amundsen. Along with leading Arctic scientists, we will head east, through Lancaster Sound, conducting oceanographic sampling operations, then north, between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. The trip will conclude with a community visit in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

While experiencing the Arctic in all of its elements, we will learn through lectures, workshops and laboratory experiments. There will be an emphasis on social and environmental issues so that the understanding we gain will be both a microscopic and a broad view of the ecosystem.

Schools on Board is an opportunity for learning as a whole. If an ecosystem is a collection of relationships, being in the midst of those interactions and experiencing them with all of our senses is crucial. I hope to come away with a deep connection to Arctic life, and an understanding of human impact upon it.

When each participant flies back to his or her home community, they will continue to spread their experience of the North. I plan on bringing back what I have learnt to both of my communities. In Campbell River, I will share photos, videos, and stories through the Carihi Earth Club and the science department. I am in the process of arranging visits to museums, elementary schools, and community centers in Campbell River and on Cortes Island.

I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity. The Arctic as we know it is changing more rapidly than anywhere else on earth. It is crucial for my generation to learn about our role in the biosphere.

The costs of getting there are large, so I have launched a crowdfunding campaign. Visit: to learn more about the trip, and to find out how you can get involved!

I will also have a blog while I’m away. You can subscribe by email here:

Thank you for all your support!