Sunniva Sorby of Polar Latitudes and Hilde Fålun Strøm of Hurtigruten will participate in the Hearts in the Ice project in the Norwegian Arctic to monitor the rapid effects of climate change on the remote Northern environment, including polar bears and other wildlife.
The project, starting in August 2019 and lasting until May 2020, will see Sorby (based in British Columbia, Canada) and Strøm, two native Norwegians, live and work in a remote trapper’s hut in the frozen north for nine consecutive months. This expedition will see Sorby and Strøm as the first women ever to over-winter at the hut without running water, electricity, and the presence of any men.
Both Hilde and Sunniva are sponsored by their employers and have been given a leave of absence for this historic expedition.
“I feel so connected and at home here in the Arctic. Finding ways to protect this fragile, harsh land seems natural to me. We protect what we love,” Strøm said.
Their mission is to engage a global community in the climate change conversation and to provide actionable resources for kids, adults, and communities. They will be leveraging innovative technologies to facilitate research, capture data, and communicate throughout their expedition.
Their project has two main goals:
1. To be active citizen scientists by collecting data for researchers studying climate change in the Arctic. Partners include the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, NASA, University of Maine Climate Change Institute, Norwegian Polar Institute, and UNIS. They will be studying phytoplankton, density of salt water, micro plastics, and cloud cover, collecting plastic and snow samples, observing wildlife, and testing innovative technology (solar, wind, electric snowmobiles, infra-red drones, Iridium’s Mission Link, etc.).
2. To engage students globally through bi-monthly Google Hangouts and live video feeds from their location at Bamsebu (78’n) to classrooms around the world using Iridium’s Mission Link. To share resources with students provided by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, NASA, Norsk Polar Institut, and Canadian Geographic, among others.
“Creating conversation and accessibility to the events of the Arctic are absolutely essential to furthering our understanding of the impact of climate change. As citizen scientists on the front line of where change is felt the most, we know innovative, sustainable technology will play an important and essential part in our journey,” Sorby said.
Both will serve as thought leaders and citizen scientists at the Bamsebu Hut as they research and track their progress, live in action on social media throughout their expedition, sharing with a virtual community of followers from school classrooms to adventurers, science partners and environmentalists.
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