UIC explorers set sail on Arctic science research expedition

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UIC students taking part in Arctic science research (from left): Cynthia Garcia, Theressa Ewa, Frances Crable, Humair Raziudin and Samira Umar.

Five UIC students — one Ph.D. candidate, one Ph.D. student and three undergraduates — certainly hope the third time is the charm as they take part in Arctic science research over 18 days and 2,000 nautical miles in the Canadian Arctic.

After failed voyages the past two summers, these students are latest UIC group to attempt the Northwest Passage Project research expedition led by the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center, with funding from the National Science Foundation and additional support from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Passengers will travel the Canadian Arctic aboard the Oden.

The UIC explorers, who are backed by funding from the College of Liberal Arts and Science and the Office of Global Engagement, are also partnering with the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and the Secretariat of Polar Research in Sweden.

Cynthia Garcia, a Ph.D. candidate in earth and environmental sciences; Frances Crable, a Ph.D. student in biological sciences; Theressa Ewa, a junior in biochemistry; Humair Raziudin, a senior pre-med student in biological sciences and psychology; and Samira Umar, a junior in chemistry and earth and environmental sciences; departed July 18 from the U.S. Air Base in Thule, Greenland, aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden.

This year’s expedition will take them through the Northwest Passage with a team of natural and social scientists and other students from the U.S. and Canada to collect water, ice, and air samples to improve understanding of the effect of warming trends in the Arctic on the environment and biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

The innovative voyage will include the first live, interactive broadcasts from the Northwest Passage.

Northwest Passage Project

Facebook Live broadcasts from the Oden are scheduled for 5:55 p.m. July 25 and July 30. The broadcasts can be seen via the Inner Space Center’s Facebook page, which also features photos and expedition updates. Follow the Inner Space Center on Twitter at @innerspacectr.

For daily highlight videos and blogs, as well as more information about the Northwest Passage Project, visit northwestpassageproject.org.

The expedition is scheduled to be the focus of “Frozen Obsession,” a two-hour television documentary scheduled for release next year and being produced and directed by Emmy Award-winning director David Clark.