The team will journey across Baffin Island through Auyuittuq National Park. Their travels will take approximately two weeks, depending on the weather and the conditions of the snow and ice. The team will begin their journey in the community of Qikiqtarjuaq and travel on skis over 100 miles across a stunning landscape of ice, rock, and sheer granite mountains to the community of Pangnirtung. All the while, they will be pulling their gear and food in pulks that, when loaded, weigh several hundred pounds each.
Established in 1976, Auyuittuq - an Inuktitut word meaning "land that never melts" - protects 19,089 square kilometers of glacier-scoured terrain. Located in the eastern Arctic, on southern Baffin Island, the park includes the highest peaks of the Canadian Shield, the Penny Ice Cap, marine shorelines along coastal fiords, and Akshayuk Pass, a traditional travel corridor used by the Inuit for thousands of years. Wildlife in the park is scarce due to a low vegetation supply, but the team may encounter lemmings, arctic hares, ermines, arctic foxes, barren-ground caribou, or polar bears during their journey. We hope, of course, that any polar bears we see are only from a very great distance!
- Pulk from Qikiqtarjuaq to Pangnirtung, through Auyuittuq National Park, providing real-time online field and media updates about the natural environment and culture in the region, and sharing what it's like to live on the land there.
- Visit schools and community centers in both Qikiqtarjuaq and Pangnirtung, and share with and learn from teachers, administrators, students, community members, and elders.
- Meet with North of Sixty° participating teachers and students in the region and learn more about their educational experiences and needs.
- Create a North of Sixty° documentary that helps educate the world about the Arctic and about climate change through the lens of these communities and this region of the Arctic.
Aaron Doering, PhDExpedition Leader; Project Investigator; Associate Professor, Learning Technologies; Co-Director, LT Media Lab
With a passion for the Arctic, the environment, and education, Aaron has a long history of traveling within and working with communities in the circumpolar Arctic, including dogsledding expeditions through Canada, Russia, Alaska, Fennoscandia, and Greenland. He has completed education-related expeditions in the Arctic at least annually since 2004, tied to issues such as climate change, sustainability, and Arctic culture. Aaron is an associate professor in the Learning Technologies program at the University of Minnesota, holds the Bonnie Westby Huebner Endowed Chair in Education and Technology, and is a co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab. He is also a laureate of the prestigious humanitarian Tech Awards, and a fellow for the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. Aaron believes our personal actions have a huge impact on our environment and that we need to be cognizant of how we're all interconnected and what impacts we are making not only locally but worldwide. Aaron's academic writing focuses on how adventure learning impacts the classroom experience; designing and developing online learning environments; and K-12 technology integration. He's published over 60 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, and is co-author of the bestselling textbook Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching, and co-editor of the forthcoming The New Landscape of Mobile Learning: Redesigning Education in an App-based World.
Brad HosackNew Media Developer, LT Media Lab
Chris RipkenCentennial High School Geography Teacher, Centennial Lakes, MN
Jeni HenricksonPhD Candidate and Graduate Research Assistant, LT Media Lab
Icecap 200 Pulk from Snowsled
Each team member will pull their own personal belongings and gear along with some of the shared communal gear and food in one of these pulks. Each pulk is 6.5 feet (200 cm) long, 2 feet wide (61 cm), and can carry up to 330 pounds (150 kgs)!
Warm feet are a must in the Arctic, and Mukluks are proven Arctic expedition footwear that will fufill that feat.
The team will be on skis as they pull their pulks. The goal is to ski 15-20 miles per day over about two weeks' time.
Hilleberg Keron 4GT Tent
Aaron swears by the Hilleberg tents for Arctic travel, as do many other seasoned Arctic explorers. Our team will be sleeping two to a tent. Our cooking will be done in our tents too, with safety of utmost consideration, of course.
Coleman 2-Burner Stove
These stoves are used for cooking and for heat. That's especially welcome when the temp outside is -40°F!
Canada Goose Parkas
The team will dress in layers, saving the big parkas for wearing around camp and in the coldest temps.
Ice Screws & Snow Anchors
We need little gear too, like ice screws and snow anchors, which help keep the tent anchored in strong Arctic winds.