Embassy Gives Two Students and One Researcher the Opportunity to Participate in the Students on Ice 2014 Arctic Expedition

U.S. Embassy Ottawa is helping to fund the participation of two American students and one researcher in this year’s Students on Ice 2014 Arctic Expedition. The Embassy has an ongoing association with the Students on Ice program. It is pleased this year, for the first time, to be able to offer funding for student and researcher participation.

The program offers students a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of the Arctic and engages them through scientific research, history, culture and the arts. It also provides them with life-long mentors.

Those being sponsored by the embassy are:

  • Students Ashley Rodriguez and Anna Zimmern
  • Explorer, oceanographer and lecturer Dr. Don Walsh

The students will be two of the 87 students heading up north and Dr. Walsh will be one of a team of 45 educators, scientists, artists, Inuit leaders and polar experts leading the trip.

The 2014 expedition will include:

  • Encounters with whales, polar bears and other Arctic wildlife
  • Workshops and discussions on Arctic history, policy and governance
  • Exploring the coasts, fiords and islands of the Torngat Mountains National Park
  • Visits with Northern communities and cultural events

To learn more and to follow the journey, visit studentsonice.com/arctic2014.

Note to Ottawa media — Interview and photo opportunities:

  • July 11: Expedition team to tour Canadian Museum of Nature’s national collections and research labs, 1740 Pink Rd., Gatineau
  • July 12: Departure from Ottawa Airport at 8:00am (arrive at 7:30am), First Air charter
  • July 24 at 10 a.m.: Welcome Home event at the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Young
Media Assistant, U.S. Embassy Ottawa
Tel: 613-688-5315 Email: youngjm1@state.gov

Ashley Brasfield
Media and Communications Manager, Students on Ice
Tel: 819-827-3300, cell: 613-859-8966
Email: ashley@studentsonice.com

Biographical information:

Ashley Rodriguez

Ashley currently lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She is a gold honor roll 10th grade student at The Secondary School for Journalism. Ashley is passionate about producing media, and plans to blog through this expedition. Ashley is a youth intern at Uprose, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization, and she is also an active film-maker through the BRIC program, also based in Brooklyn.

Anna Zimmern

Anna is a GR 10 student at Lowell High School in San Francisco. She co-founded the PAWS (Protecting Animals Without Shelter) Club at her school in addition to playing lacrosse and being a part of the crafts club. Anna has struggled with dyslexia since childhood and despite this, her reference letters speak to her passion, curiosity, desire to learn and how she never shies away from a challenge.

Dr. Don Walsh

Dr. Walsh is an explorer, oceanographer and lecturer. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1948, he graduated from Annapolis in 1954. During a 24 year naval career he spent 14 years at sea, mostly in submarines including command. At retirement he held the rank of Captain. Dr. Walsh’s polar experience began with trips to the Arctic in 1955 and the Antarctic with the Navy’s Deep Freeze in 1971. He has worked at both North and South Poles and is eligible to wear the Antarctic Service Medal. The Walsh Spur (near Cape Hallett) was named for him in recognition of his contributions to the U.S. Antarctic Research Program.

Dr. Walsh may be best known for making oceanographic history in 1960 with Jacques Piccard when they dove 35,800 feet down in the Navy Bathyscaph Trieste to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, deepest place in the world ocean. For this historic descent, only duplicated in 2013 by James Cameron, Walsh was decorated by President Eisenhower at the White House.

Dr. Walsh is the Author of over 150 articles and papers, and has been an advisor for the White House, NOAA and NASA. He was appointed by Presidents Carter and Reagan to the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, was a member of the Law of the Sea Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of State, and served as a member of the Marine Board of the U.S. National Research Council from 1990 to 1993. In 2001 received the Explorers Club highest award, The Explorer’s Medal.