Over the duration of the trip, we hiked on glaciers and tundra, ventured into the pack ice in search of polar bears, witnessed a feeding frenzy with several fin whales and hundreds of kittiwakes, encountered walruses on land and at sea, and walked on pack ice. We also had excellent sightings of blue, sperm, and humpback whales, arctic foxes and reindeer, and sea birds such as puffins. Each day the naturalists on board offered lectures on the local flora and fauna, ice forms, and regional environmental pressures. These sessions were a wonderful chance for me to become a student again as I attempted to write down and soak up every bit of information our guides had to offer.
Although my time in the Arctic was limited, I am confident my memories will last a lifetime. I am deeply grateful for receiving a Holden Summer Study Grant to help me pursue this unforgettable experience. I look forward to sharing my photos, personal experiences, and new-found knowledge of this fragile ecosystem with my 7th grade life science classes.
|Pulling our zodiac onto an ice floe.|
|Excited to see a polar bear up close!|
|A pod of walrus on a small ice floe.|
|Feeding frenzy with fin whales, white-beaked dolphins, and kittiwake sea birds.|
|Heading into the sea ice on a foggy morning.|
|A polar bear investigates our ship.|