On my first full day at the conference I realized that there is no other place for me. The North is where I want to be. I met so many people these past couple days, and I’ve had interactions which I feel will change my life.
The opening ceremonies of the International Polar Year 2012 Conference (http://www.ipy2012montreal.ca/) started quite early Monday morning and we heard from a very wide array of speakers. I was quite excited for Gro Harlem Brundtland to speak after studying the Brundtland report religiously this past year in my sustainability class. She was a very small woman but she definetly captivated her audience. She spoke very eloquently and told us “IPY is but a stop on the road to Rio”. As she spoke she reminded us that the Earth Summit is but two short months away. She told us that we must put science at the center of sustainability and urged the market prices to vary depending on their ecological footprint.
As the day went on we heard throat singing and we saw traditional dance. I helped out at the Students on Ice booth and I was able to happily talk about my experiences and the program all afternoon. In the evening I helped fellow 2011 Arctic alum Yashvi Shah with her poster presentation. Yashvi and Joey Loi created a poster demonstrating the distance that there is between students and the natural world. Pictures of the Arctic are incredible but I would give anything to go back and to see those landscapes and sights again. They did a wonderful job on their poster and I think that it really spoke to people!
There are no words to express how truly blessed I am to be at the International Polar Year 2012 Conference here in Montreal. I get to see old friends, make some new friends and of course get to know other delegation members a little bit better!