21 July 2009

New Brunswick Museum Educator Arctic-Bound with Students on Ice


New Brunswick Museum educator, Dr. Tina Kieffer, is getting her sea legs ready for the excursion of a lifetime as she prepares to set sail with 75 students on the Students on Ice 2009 expedition to Canada’s Arctic.

The New Brunswick Museum is one of the 16 member institutions of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC). During International Polar Year, the ANHMC partnered with Students on Ice to present the highly successful, national Polar Perspectives 2008 Speakers Series and Youth Forums.

Kieffer has been selected for one of five fully funded education staff positions for the upcoming Students on Ice expedition. She is participating along with educators from four other members of the ANHMC – the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg, Biodôme in Montreal, and Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in Halifax.

Kieffer says that the trip represents “the opportunity of a lifetime”. A scientist with a Ph.D from Queen’s University, Kieffer develops and delivers public programming at the New Brunswick Museum and has taught science education at the University of New Brunswick Saint John. New Brunswick Museum Director & CEO Jane Fullerton commented that “As a member of the expedition team, Tina will apply her skills to play a critical role in the success of this journey.”

"This is a very exciting opportunity for five educators from our member museums" says Pauline Rafferty, ANHMC President. "These educators will be able to work on the team to engage youth in a unique, Canadian environment and bring this experience home to share with their own communities."

The 2009 Arctic adventure will see 75 students aged 14 to 19 participate in a unique ship-based expedition exploring southern Baffin Island and Nunavut. The group will also include 30 world-renowned scientists, environmentalists and polar educators. Joining them for a second year in a row as a scientific advisor is Dr. Julian Starr, botanist with the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

Prior to departure, the entire team of about 100 youth and adults will convene for the official expedition launch on July 30 at the Canadian Museum of Nature’s research and collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec.

“Once again, the Canadian Museum of Nature is pleased to contribute scientific expertise to the Students on Ice expedition to help educate and inspire youth about the Arctic,” says Joanne DiCosimo, CMN President and CEO. “Dr. Starr will help them explore the science and beauty of the Canadian North.”

Departing on July 31, from Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec aboard the vessel Polar Ambassador, the 2009 team will explore the northern reaches of Nunavik and southern Baffin Island, Nunavut for close to two weeks. The focus of the trip will be on the International Polar Year priorities. Students will focus on the role of the Arctic as the cornerstone of our global environment, learn from local Inuit and explore how the Arctic shapes Canadian identity. Key Arctic environmental issues to be examined include Arctic warming and its consequences for vegetation, species’ diversity and indigenous communities, and the impacts of development in the North.

“Seventy-five Canadian and international youth will have the chance to explore a part of the planet that very few ever get to experience – a place that is widely recognized as the planet’s early-warning system for climate change”, said Geoff Green, founder of Students on Ice. This award-winning organization has been taking students on educational, ship-based expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic since 2000.

Students on Ice is an award-winning organization offering unique educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic. The organization’s mandate is to provide students, educators and scientists from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the Earth and, in doing so, help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet. Students interested in learning more about Students on Ice and opportunities to participate in future expeditions can visit www.studentsonice.com

For itinerary details and to follow the expedition blog, visit www.studentsonice.com

For more information about the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, visit www.naturalhistorymuseums.ca

For information about the Canadian Museum of Nature’s activities and exhibitions, visit www.nature.ca

For information about the New Brunswick Museum’s activities, visit www.nbm-mnb.ca

Media contacts:

Vita Kipping
Community Relations
New Brunswick Museum
Tel: 506-643-2358
Toll-free: 1-888-268-9595
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Chris Ralph
Students on Ice Expeditions
Tel: 819-827-3300
Toll-free: 1-866-336-6423
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.studentsonice.com