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DAY 1 IPY 2012 Conference – “International Polar Year is but a stop on the Road to Rio”

By: Bridget Graham

April 23, 2012

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!


Bridget Graham
Bridget Graham 
Alum, Students on Ice 2011 Arctic Youth Expedition
Bridget is a first year sustainability student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is 18 years old and originally from Beachburg, Ontario. She is fluent in French and English and is currently attempting to learn German. She participated in the 2011 SOI Arctic Expedition, which traveled to Iceland, Greenland, Nunavik and Labrador. Bridget is a environmental youth group facilitator during the summer and is a provincial coach in Nova Scotia for Wheelchair-Basketball. She also coaches at a beginner level for sledge hockey and wheelchair basketball. In her first semester she pledged and joined the Alpha Eta chapter of the Alpha Gamma Delta women’s fraternity. She was named the most outstanding pledge and is currently the philanthropy chair for the chapter. She is very involved within her community and enjoys being a director of the Beachburg Fair Board, a 4H leader, a member of Junior Farmers and a past Queen of the Furrow. Bridget cannot wait for the Students on Ice Alumni Delegation and looks forward to meeting a new group of people with similar interests.


1 Comment

  1. Awesome post! Keep em comin :)

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