About this project
This July and August, expedition photographer Lauren Farmer and geologist Alex Cowan will be expedition staff on board nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 let Pobedy. During four return trips from Murmansk, we will break through 1-3 meters of sea ice to take 520 adventurous travelers to stand on top of the world at the Geographic North Pole.
Our aim with this citizen science project is to prove to the polar tourism industry that we can be more than just visitors to the most remote and fragile environments of our earth. With our extended access to these areas, we are in a position to collect and deliver extensive sea ice data to institutes and organizations who desperately seek it.
Our desired data set will include a record of melt pond coverage using aerial photos and video taken from a helicopter, visual observations of ice type, coverage and thickness from the bridge of our ship every 2 hours and down on the ice, measurements of melt pond depth and salinity, as well as the depth of any deteriorating ice layers.
Why Is This Important?
The Arctic Ocean is seeing dramatic changes in its sea ice coverage. Rapidly melting sea ice is not only an indicator of climate change but has potentially disastrous effects for polar bears and other creatures who make their home in the ice. The sea ice is as important to the health of the Arctic Ocean ecosystem as trees are to a rainforest; the ice provides a habitat for the algae that are the ocean's primary producers, converting sunlight to energy and supplying the rest of the food chain.
Why a Kickstarter?
Alex and Lauren are currently self-funding the equipment required to collect these data, and this Kickstarter Campaign is an opportunity to recoup those costs. But more so, this is a chance for YOU to join the growing citizen science movement. Science does not need to be the reserve of governments, universities and laboratories. EVERYONE can play a part in furthering our knowledge of our planet and doing what we can to protect it.
In addition, this project is a proof of concept. Our partners and advisors are very excited about the prospect of having access to tour vessels as research platforms, and we hope that success in this project will encourage other tour companies and scientific institutes to fund further projects themselves. This one Kickstarter could lead to numerous future projects and a huge increase in Arctic Ocean knowledge in the future.
What's The Money For?
The $3,750 we are trying to raise covers our equipment costs. This equipment includes:
- GPS Altimeters & rechargeable batteries
- Salinity and Temperature Sensor
- Waders to make sure we don't freeze while standing in melt ponds
- GoPros for video recording, mounts & batteries
- Lacie Hard Drives
- Weatherproof Notebooks
- Titanium melt pond measurement tools
The Official Expedition Patch & Sticker
If you are able to donate at least $15 or $25, you will receive this exclusive expedition sticker and patch.
If you are able to donate $250, among other rewards, you will receive this 50 let Pobedy pin, only sold on board the nuclear icebreaker.
If We Reach Our Goal
100% of anything raised over our funding goal and expenses will go to Polar Bears International, in support of protecting polar bear habitat and building awareness for the Arctic Ocean's role in global climate.
Special Thanks to
- Jenny Hutchings and Alice Orlich of the International Arctic Research Center's Ice Watch Program
- Professor Bruno Tremblay of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University
- Dr Don Perovich of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ERDC Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
- Illustrator Thyra Heder
- Expedition Leader Jan Bryde (Poseidon Expeditions)
- Musician Greg Thomas
Risks and challenges
The only risk of not completing the data collection would be due to equipment failure or loss, including cameras, GPS altimeter, refractometer and measurement tools. To minimize this risk, we will be prepared with back-ups of all necessary equipment required to collect the desired data.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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