A Port Moody city engineer will soon be on top of the world studying the way climate change is affecting communities in the high Arctic and helping students understand the consequences.
After two days of orientation beginning Aug. 8, Amelia Trachsel will head to the Ocean Endeavour for a 15-day voyage from Resolute Bay, Nunavut to Greenland.
While on the trip, Trachsel will mentor young people aged 14 to 24 who have been selected to participate in the 2017 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition (see below).
“I’m looking forward to having very impactful conversations in a unique environment that most people are not going to see, and to be able to transmit to others something that will inspire them to do more,” said Trachsel, a Coquitlam resident.
It’s second time lucky for the engineer, who is currently completing her MBA and is involved in a start-up company to help businesses keep track of their carbon footprint.
Trachsel told The Tri-City News she had hoped to participate in the expedition when she was a student at the University of Manitoba but, by the time she learned of the opportunity, she was disqualified by age.
Now, as a working professional, she hopes her varied background and expertise, including her research work in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, will stand her in good stead as she aims to encourage other young people to pay more attention to climate change and take action to prevent it or build communities that are more resilient.
“What I like about the expedition is that it is more immersive and there are opportunities for experiential learning,” Trachsel said.
Among the stops on the trip are the site of the doomed Franklin expedition, migratory bird sites, indigenous communities, Baffin Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Greenland noted for producing the most icebergs of all glaciers in Greenland, and the the Greenland ice cap.
She also will blog and take photos for talks she plans to give at local libraries and to Metro Vancouver.
“Sometimes, with reading reports and articles, it’s too distant, it’s not connected with where we live or decisions that officials make. Having a trusted emissary show you first-hand about the changes and communicate what other experts are saying makes it more emotionally powerful,” Trachsel said.
• For more information about the expedition, visit studentsonice.com.
A Coquitlam university student will be one of more than 120 from Canada and around the world attending the 2017 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition.
Zohreh Rezaiemanesh has a passion for the environment and will be attending UBC to study conservation and resource management. The Pinetree secondary graduate also won a Horatio Alger scholarship this year.
She will join an expedition team of students and staff from around the world, including Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Greenland, Micronesia, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Monaco, India and Malaysia.