On the Expedition
Help show how much and how fast climate change is affecting the Arctic - and what that means for the entire planet.
In this awesome landscape, you’ll study climate change by looking at its effects on Arctic wetlands and the frog, fish, and plant species that live in them. You’ll help scientists study water quality, install “Frogloggers” to monitor the lifecycles of wood and boreal chorus frogs in the area, measure air temperature and relative humidity, and help count (and maybe live-trap-and-release) fish, frogs, and tadpoles for further study.
Earthwatch Team Facilitator
An Earthwatch Teen Team Facilitator will join your team to provide additional guidance, supervision, and activity organization for the expedition. Your facilitator will be there to help from the time you step off the plane for the team rendezvous to the end of the expedition. He or she will encourage team spirit by planning events such as team building exercises, presentations, and recreational and cultural activities. If you have any questions or problems during your expedition, such as issues with another student volunteer, homesickness, or an emergency back at home, you should feel comfortable talking to your facilitator. You should also follow the advice and expectations set by your facilitator regarding safety and personal conduct. All Teen Team Facilitators have experience teaching and leading groups of teenagers and are familiar with the team dynamics necessary to make each expedition a success. Remember, your facilitator is there for you! (Teen: Facilitator ratio: ~6:1)
Meals and Accommodations
You’ll be based at the Churchill Northern Studies Center, featuring dramatic scenery and a dome for watching the Arctic sky, where you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. You’ll stay in single-sex dormitory rooms with up to eight beds in each, a quiet lounge for reading, and shared modern washroom facilities with hot showers. Meals will be provided by the Center’s cafeteria and will be varied, typically including a choice of salads, desserts, and a vegetarian alternative, along with fresh breads and evening snacks.
About the Research Area
Churchill is located at the northern edge of the forest-tundra near the geographical center of the North American continent. It’s on the coast and within the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the largest peatlands in North America, situated at the mouth of the Churchill River. Many different biomes can be found in the vicinity, including forest, forest-tundra, tundra, wetland/peatland, estuarine, and marine.
The land around Churchill is emerging from Hudson Bay as the earth’s crust rebounds from the weight of the last ice age’s glaciers at the rate of 80-100 centimeters a century. As land rises, raised beach ridges are formed and stand out in relief against the lowlands. Plant diversity is high for this latitude because Arctic, sub-Arctic, and Boreal species all meet in the region. Accordingly, Churchill is a favored area for the study of primary plant community succession.