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FortWhyte Alive

Arctic Science Day 2020

FortWhyte Alive collaborated with the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Earth Observation Sciences to host the 11th annual Arctic Science Day this past Thursday, March 5th

Arctic Science Day is a free educational experience with the goal of inspiring youth to consider post-secondary education and future careers in Arctic environmental science. Each station at Arctic Science Day was connected to learning outcomes in physics, chemistry, and biology, and gave scientists the opportunity to share their understanding of the diverse impacts of climate change on the Arctic – and our Earth overall.

Over 60 high school students from 15 schools spent the day visiting research stations on FortWhyte’s Lake Cargill, learning about sunlight reflection and absorption through sea ice, remote sensing of ice thickness, and how to take ice cores. Students learned how to age a narwhal by counting the growth lines on its tusk, and about technology used in marine mammal research. Other topics included impacts of ocean acidification and contaminants, such as methylmercury and the interaction between freshwater and saltwater in the Arctic Ocean.

At the Interpretive Centre, over 100 grade 6-8 students from three schools learned about the challenges of oil spill cleanup in the Arctic. They learned how ice, water, and warming temperatures affect life in the Arctic Ocean, and used a model to observe the impact of different human activities on global temperature. 

A big thank you to Dr. John Iacozza, Executive Director of University of Manitoba’s Centre for Earth Observation Sciences, and the team of more than 20 graduate students and research scientists who took time away from their busy schedules to inspire the next generation.  

In the words of some inspired high school students:

“I learned how many different branches of science are present in Arctic research!..A wide variety of careers”


“Environmental science must be studied from different angles (biology, chemistry, physics) to gain a full understanding.”


“I realized that Arctic research is going to be forever on-going and with the research we are doing today, we can use it to determine how we should be acting or supporting actions [around climate change].”

Thanks to our generous sponsors, Boeing and Honda Canada Foundation, for supporting this year’s Arctic Science Day.

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