What’s this Arctic Expedition all about?

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Who are we? Team SEDNA is currently comprised of ten women, aged 25 to 55 years of age, from the US, Canada and New Zealand — scuba diving instructors, cave divers, National Geographic Explorers, a submersible pilot, a dive physician, marine biologists, underwater film makers, a retail scuba dive store owner, an earth scientist/journalist and an environmental lawyer (i.e., me!).

Why SEDNA? From Alaska to Greenland, Sedna is the Inuit goddess of marine mammals. Sedna will snorkel with us through the Northwest Passage — one day, she’ll take the form of a bowhead whale; the next day, a narwhal or a ringed seal…

Why am I going? As a kiwi woman with a passion for—and background in—global sustainability, I’m joining these dots even further, showing that the world is interconnected from the South Pole to the North Pole. Communities in the South Pacific, particularly New Zealand’s islands, are also experiencing climate change first-hand, just as the northern communities of the Arctic. As a citizen of the Southern Hemisphere, I’ll be translating these messages from the South to North.

Why are we doing this crazy expedition?! To focus attention on disappearing sea ice and climate change in the Arctic of course! Along the way, we’ll conduct science and archaeology, and reach out to Inuit Elders, women and girls. Team SEDNA will explore the impacts of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, documenting and exploring what lives in the snorkel zone.

What’s happening in July 2016? That’s the big one. The all-female SEDNA Expedition will embark upon a three-month journey, snorkeling over 3,000 kilometers through Arctic seas, from Pond Inlet, Nunavut, to Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The ten polar explorers —supported by a mother ship equipped with two Zodiac boats—will create world-wide awareness of rapidly disappearing sea ice, documenting the impacts of global warming on this fragile ecosystem and on the traditional way of life for the Inuit and Inuvialuit people of the North.

A lot hinges on the success of our 2014 trip. There we will test the water, literally at a frigid -2 to +2 degrees…, our gear and equipment and practice the science and outreach. In addition to snorkeling, I’m part of the Science team and we have 3 projects to run: Bird and mammal censuses; on board aquariums for Inuit people to come aboard and view; and a remotely operated vehicle filming and taking samples in the water column. We’ll also be filmed by Lemonade Productions who are making a documentary series about our 2016 expedition. This footage will be key in us securing permanent funds for the main expedition and the global recognition we need for such an undertaking.

 

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