On March 26, 2019, Geoff joined two Monegasque youth who participated in the 2018 Students on Ice (SOI) Arctic Expedition in presenting highlights from the journey; SOI’s upcoming initiatives and impact in the areas of climate change and ocean conservation; and officially launched the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation scholarships for the upcoming 2019 Arctic Expedition.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco is the Honorary Chair of the Board for the Students on Ice Foundation, an award-winning organization founded and led by Geoff. Prince Albert II has generously supported SOI and Monegasque youth on SOI expeditions for more than a decade and it was an honour to celebrate SOI and the impact these expeditions have had on Monegasque youth over the years.
Arctic 2018 alumni Baptiste Crovetto and Morgane Puons did a wonderful job presenting and sharing their experiences with a crowd of 400 hopeful students and inspiring them to apply for the 2019 expedition! Underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta also shared some of his extraordinary images from the Antarctic, including the photos that earned him the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2017. It was a wonderful event, and we were proud to have it included as an official part of Monaco Ocean Week this year. Merci à tous!!
Interviews with Geoff and the Arctic 2018 students on Monaco Channel below (time: 06:05-09:00)
Geoff speaks on Monaco Channel TV about the Students on Ice program
Geoff presents a copy of the Canada C3 commemorative book to Ségolène Royal at the 11th Annual Students on Ice Launch Event hosted by HSH Prince Albert II in Monaco. She spoke passionately about the need for urgent action on climate change, and the important role of youth.
Geoff addresses students in Itilleq Fjord during the 2018 Arctic Expedition. Photo (c) Natta Summerky/SOI Foundation
July 23 –August 7, 2018.
The journey brought together 130 students and 90+ educators from 20 countries to explore the western coast of Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic.
This ship-based expedition connected participating students to pressing local, national and international Arctic issues including ocean conservation, climate change, truth and reconciliation, and sustainable development.
Immersed in the Arctic environment, the students connected to the land, ocean, communities, and to their peers while being led by a global cohort of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scientists, artists, experts, educators and visionary leaders. Daily excursions, research, workshops and events engaged and inspired the students and fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation for the changing Arctic and its peoples. This diverse group of students worked collectively and individually to create new ideas, partnerships, and initiatives addressing the many challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic and the Planet.
The expedition explored the communities, coasts and fjords of western Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait to Canada’s High Arctic and the Northwest Passage. Expedition activities included the collection of eDNA samples from the Arctic coastline to learn about the changing biodiversity of the area; exploring the land and gaining cultural and historical knowledge from Inuit Elders, scientists, archaeologists, and community members; hikes across tundra and glaciers in Sirmilik National Park; observing wildlife; working with climate scientists to understand the drastic changes being seen in the Polar regions and their impacts; and learning first-hand about important Arctic marine ecosystems such as Pikialasorsuaq (the North Water Polyna) and Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound).
“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 Expedition Leader Geoff Green. “This expedition is 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.”
The international expedition team represented students and staff from 20 countries: Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, Greenland, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Ecuador, Germany, Norway, Monaco, Russia, Singapore, France, Malaysia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Thousands of people around the world followed and shared in the expedition experience via the impressive outreach and media strategy, including daily updates, blogs, videos and more.
The expedition team included The Honourable Nellie Kusugak, Commissioner of Nunavut; Special Advisor, Foreign Affairs Department of the Government of Greenland Mira Kleist; scientists Jennifer Doubt and Glenn Poirier with the Canadian Museum of Nature; Olympic and World Champion kayaker Adam van
Koeverden; Indigenous Folk Duo Twin Flames; Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UCLA Daniele Bianchi, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand, and author & adventurer James Raffan.
Through the generosity of partner organizations, more than 80 per cent of the youth participants were fully supported to participate in this transformational, life-changing experience. The 2018 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition was made possible through partnerships with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Parks Canada, Canada Goose, Nunavut Sivuniksavut, Makivik Corporation, Kativik Regional Government, Leacross Foundation, WWF-Canada, the Government of Canada, the U.S. Embassy Ottawa, Adventure Canada, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, The Beatrice Snyder Foundation, First Air, the official airline of Student on Ice, Sony, Vistek, and more than 30 other generous supporters.
On March 28, Geoff and The Students on Ice (SOI) Foundation were guests of The Explorers Club for a fundraising dinner in support of the SOI Foundation.
It was a wonderful evening hosted by The Explorers Club President Richard Wiese, who also happens to be an alumnus of SOI’s 2003 Antarctic Expedition!
Geoff shared highlights from 2017 including SOI’s largest Arctic expedition to date and Canada C3, a 150-day expedition that sailed around all of Canada’s three coasts, connecting Canadians to the land and people that make up the longest coastline in the world.
The event included guest speakers Vicki Heyman and Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman (also SOI Arctic 2017 alum!) as well as a recent youth alumna, Kiara Caesar, and 2009 Antarctic alumnus Trevor Wallace.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman present on their experience onboard SOI’s 2017 Arctic Expedition and the important work the SOI Foundation leads for youth.
SOI Arctic 2017 alumna Kiara Caesar speaks about her transformational experience onboard the expedition last summer.
SOI Antarctic 2009 alumnus Trevor Wallace shares the impact SOI has had on his life and his career today as an adventure videographer and documentary film producer.
The audience was also treated to performances by the incredibly talented Canadian folk duo Twin Flames!
Award-winning Canadian folk duo, Twin Flames, captivate the audience with their performances.
Support from guests for the SOI Foundation was overwhelming! In addition to support from SOI’s educational and outreach initiatives, several guests pledged funding for full scholarships to enable deserving youth from around the world an opportunity to participate on SOI’s transformational Arctic expedition!
Guests at the SOI Foundation’s “To the Ends of the Earth” dinner fundraiser
Longtime SOI supporter Brian Snyder (Beatrice Snyder Foundation) and some of the many students his Foundation has supported to join SOI expeditions over the years. L-R Kiara Caesar, Brian Snyder, Fily Cisse and Kevin Huo.
Sven Lindblad (CEO and Founder of Lindblad Expeditions) was one of the many notable supporters in attendance.
All photos from the evening can be found on Flickr.