2008 Ellesmere Island Expedition

Expedition News-Official Website

From 15.03.2008 to 01.06.2008 - Status: ongoing

International Polar Foundation

International Polar Foundation

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In March 2008, six emerging leaders, ages 21–28 from four countries, including the US, Norway, Great Britain and Canada, will join Will Steger on a 1,400 mile dogsled expedition across Ellesmere Island, in collaboration with National Geographic Society, the International Polar Year, Extreme Ice Survey and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Will Steger is continuing with his series of education-based expeditions. After Baffin Island last year, this time around the American explorer is tackling Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Far North. He will be accompanied on his mission by six young men and women from 4 different nations (USA, Canada, Norway and Great Britain).

Ellesmere Island is located on the fringes of the Arctic Ocean and is generally considered to be on the geographic front line of global warming. It is here that a number of giant ice-shelves have disintegrated in recent times. One of the most interesting features of this area is that glaciers have been melting faster than normal, providing a characteristic view of the warming climate. It is also one of the regions of the world (one of many, of course) where the major changes being observed in polar climates have been most noticeable.

Will Steger will be accompanied in his adventure by the following outstanding young men and women:

  • Sam Branson (21, English, son of Sir Richard Branson),
  • Sigrid Ekran (26, Norwegian, student at the University of Alaska and a specialist in sled dog racing),
  • Ben Horton (24, USA, expedition photographer),
  • Eric McNair-Landry (23, member of the prominent McNair family),
  • Sarah McNair (21, film student and sister of Eric),
  • Thorleif Tobias Thorleifsson (28, Norwegian, writer and lecturer).

They will all visit by dogsled these warming locations to witness the dramatic melting of the Arctic ice and the loss of wild habitats.

As they cross the fjords and mountain ranges along the way, venture out onto the pack-ice and descend glaciers, the Global Warming 101 team will record the impact that global warming is having on the third largest island in the Canadian Arctic and on the northernmost lands of North America, situated just 490 miles from the North Pole.

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