Sedna expedition leader set to speak in Chilliwack

The Sedna Epic Expedition is a multi-year odyssey to study climate change and the disappearing sea ice by snorkeling and diving

Susan R. Eaton

Susan R. Eaton

It’s an expedition to the Canadian High Arctic with environmental, scientific, female empowerment, and North-South reconciliation aims.

Calgary-based Susan R. Eaton is the founder and leader of the Sedna Epic Expedition 2014-18, and guest speaker for the Chilliwack Field Naturalists’ event on April 19 at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre.

Eaton describes herself as a “geologist, geophysicist, journalist and polar snorkeler” who will mapping out some details of the multi-year odyssey during her Chilliwack talk.

The Sedna Epic Expedition, named for the Inuit goddess of the sea, will be studying climate change and the disappearing sea ice by snorkeling and diving this summer in Nunavut, with plans for a snorkel relay in the Northwest Passage during the summers of 2017 and 2018.

The team will face “formidable challenges as they snorkel the unforgiving and unpredictable arctic seas: hypothermia in -2 C waters, dynamically changing sea ice conditions, icebergs, gale force winds, stinging jellyfish, tusked walrus, predatory polar bears, pods of orcas, and the elusive Greenland shark.”

The project is as much about fostering cross-cultural dialogue as it is about delivering educational outreach.

“It is a project that involves an international team of female ocean professionals working with Inuit and Inuvialuit girls and young women in the Arctic with a focus on health, wellness, environment and empowerment issues,” Eaton said.

They’ll also be addressing the plight of Inuit who have never seen the sea creatures who live under the ice in their homelands because they do not swim. The Sedna team will be diving and bringing up fish and other critters to showcase in mobile aquariums, as well as recording on-the-ground climate change observations of elders.

“Snorkeling in arctic waters represents a huge step for the Inuit, given the fact that many people don’t swim due to a lack of swimming pools in their remote communities. Unfortunately, death by drowning is one of the leading causes of fatalities in the Arctic,” said Eaton.

They’ll be using underwater robots and dive masks with underwater communications systems to discover what lies below the waves in their backyards, so to speak.

“It’s never been done before and I think it will be exciting,” said event organizer Lee Larkin of Chilliwack Field Naturalists. The lecture is sponsored by the Chilliwack Field Naturalists and is part of the Valerie Whetter Speaker Series, with Garrison Village Envision Financial as co-sponsor.

“I think it’s just inspirational that a group of women would get together and create a project like this,” Larkin said.

Eaton was named one of Canada’s top 100 explorers and trailblazers by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She is only one of 18 female explorers on the list.

The all-female Sedna squad, who Eaton calls “sea women” will include scientists, underwater filmmakers, underwater photographers, journalists, educators, artists and professional scuba divers.

“The Expedition will serve as a call-to-action for citizens of the world, including youth, providing aboriginal and scientific knowledge to inform governments of the world on implementing science-based policies to mitigate global warming,” according to the Sedna website. “The Expedition will also serve to inspire women and girls to think big and to follow their dreams, no matter how crazy they may appear.”

Team Sedna will also run film camps for youth, enabling them to tell their stories using various media.

The hope is to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the matriarchal communities they visit, and, in the process, help them redefine their relationship with the ocean.

“Most of the Inuit’s food comes from the ocean which is in peril due to ocean change — disappearing sea ice, warming waters, changes in salinity, and acidification from absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Traditional knowledge will be combined with scientific knowledge to tackle climate change and ocean change.

The Sedna Epic Expedition talk by Susan R. Eaton, is April 19, 7:30 p.m. at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre inside Chilliwack Secondary.

See more at http://www.sednaepic.com

 

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read