The Sedna Epic Expedition: Bringing the Ocean to Eye Level for Inuit Youth in the Arctic
The multi-year Sedna Epic Expedition is comprised of a volunteer team of women ocean explorers, scientists, photographers, videographers, artists, historians, educators and scuba divers from Canada, the USA and Mexico. The Sedna Epic’s mandate is to scout, record and document disappearing sea ice in the Arctic (Labrador, Nunavut and Greenland).
Sedna’s dive and snorkel expeditions to the Arctic (in the summers of 2014, 2016 and 2018) involved bringing the ocean to eye level for more than 1,000 Inuit youth, girls and Elders living in remote northern communities. Sedna’s ocean knowledge mobilization program also engages K-12 students—through school visits and via Google Hangouts—in Canada, the USA and Mexico.
Sedna’s sea women bring the ocean to eye level for Inuit youth, girls and Elders via mobile touch aquariums that temporarily house sea critters and by running workshops to build underwater robots equipped with video-cameras. Taking the concept one step further, Sedna’s sea women equip Inuit girls and Elders with dry suits, masks, fins and snorkels, leading them on snorkel safaris to explore what lies beneath the waves in their own back yards.
Through its unique ocean mentorship program, the Sedna Epic aims to inspire and empower Inuit girls and young women of the Arctic—the next generation of leaders in this matriarchal Indigenous society—who will combat not only climate change but societal change in Canada’s remote northern communities.
Subject to vessel availability and funding, Sedna’s sea women will mount an epic snorkel relay of the Northwest Passage—all 3,000 kilometers of it—during the summer of 2020, conducting oceanographic research and delivering their ocean knowledge mobilization program in Inuit communities along the way.
Twitter & Instagram: @SednaEpic
Susan R. Eaton,P. Geol., P. Geoph., M.Sc., DIC, B.J. (Journalism) Hon., B.Sc. Hon., FRCGS, F’11
A geoscientist, journalist and conservationist, Susan R. Eaton studies the interplay of plate tectonics, oceans, glaciers, climate and life in polar regions.
A Fellow International (FI’11) of the Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (FRCGS), Susan explores the world’s oceans—from Antarctica to the Arctic—in the snorkel zone, a unique land-sea-ice-air interface where charismatic animals and snorkelers comingle.
In 2018, Ocean Geographic named Susan one of the “Ocean’s Best” 18 most influential women leaders in ocean conservation.
In 2015, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society named Susan one of Canada’s top 100 modern-day explorers and trailblazers. A year later, the same organization named her one of Canada’s 25 greatest female explorers.
In the past decade, Susan has participated in seven science-based dive and snorkel expeditions focused on climate change in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the Western Antarctic Peninsula, Labrador, Nunavut, Greenland, Svalbard, Spitzbergen and Iceland.
Susan is the founder and leader of the multi-year Sedna Epic Expedition, which is comprised of women ocean explorers, scientists, artists, educators and scuba divers from around the world. Sedna’s sea women scout, document and record disappearing sea ice in the Arctic. In consultation with Inuit team members and advisors, Sedna’s sea women deliver ocean knowledge mobilization programs to Inuit youth, girls and Elders in Labrador, Nunavut and Greenland.
Susan holds a B. Sc. Hon. degree in geology and biology from Dalhousie University, and a M.Sc. in petroleum geology (geophysics specialization) from Imperial College’s Royal School of Mines, University of London. A graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism, Susan began her media career in as an on-camera news reporter with CBC-TV. Today, as a freelance writer, she reports on science and technology, business, energy, the environment, space, geotourism and adventure travel.
Instagram & Twitter: @SusanREaton_Geo