My childhood living amongst the Inuit of Iqaluit and Kimmirut in northern Canada was, in many ways, the defining period of my life – a run of years that helped shape the person I am today. Their society, steeped in culture and tradition, fostered my deep love of the Arctic, enabled my development of polar survival skills, and emboldened my creative mindset.
It was here I learned to survive in -49℉ (-45℃) temperatures and became enraptured by legends of Inuit ghosts like Qalupalik, the monster who pulled children beneath the ice.
When I turned nine, my parents trusted me to operate a snowmobile alone, and I ventured out on what was the beginning of a lifetime of exploration. To be cut loose at that age allowed me the opportunity to connect intimately with wild animals and their vast habitats. I slowly began to understand the weave of this great fabric of life, and it was illuminating – I fell in love.
Today, as we put the finishing touches on the SeaLegacy 1 and prepare to set sail on a new mission, I reflect on my origins and find it interesting that a career born to ice has ultimately swept me into the ocean. As the face of our planet evolves in response to climate change, so too, in a sense, have I – my foundation in science transitioned to art and matured into conservation. Over the years, I have discovered that getting out and working hard to give voice to the voiceless is the only way to battle anxiety regarding the state of our home. I’m grateful for every step in the beautiful journey that guided me here, and I will never forget that it has been possible in great part thanks to each of you reading this now.