Free or low cost Community Events and college courses are intended to provide background on the yearly topic and to touch on areas related to the February Conference that may not be covered in its three-day format. The views of our presenters are their own and may not represent those of the Camden Conference.
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Hearts in the Ice: The Bamsebu Project-Zoom conversation with Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sorby
October 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
The Camden Conference will host a Zoom conversation with “Hearts in the Ice” polar ambassadors and citizen scientists, Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm, on October 21 at 1pm. Sorby and Strøm will be speaking from Norway as they prepare to depart for their second year of living above the Arctic Circle in Svalbard as active data collectors for global field research. This event is open to all and students are especially encouraged to participate.
Sorby and Strøm are the first women in history to have overwintered in Bamsebu, a small uninsulated trappers’ hut on the 78thparallel in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. There, without running water or electricity and subjected to one of the harshest climates on earth, the constant threat of polar bears and in total darkness, they began their experiments in August 2019. Their self-imposed isolation has had tremendous outreach: together with “Exploring by the seat of your pants,” a global network for teaching across continents, they engaged with students worldwide in areas of science, exploration and education on topics that ranged from the aurora to global weather patterns. They also collected valuable data as citizen scientists on northern lights, marine plastics, cloud formations, ice, ocean water, phytoplankton, and wildlife. “We jumped in with our hearts in the ice last year to self-isolate, immerse in the cycles of change in the Arctic for 12 months, to observe, record and share stories,” says Sorby and Strøm. For more information on this incredible project, visit https://www.heartsintheice.com.
Strøm, who was fascinated by stories of polar explorers as a child, moved to Svalbard more than 23 years ago. She has experience hunting, dog sledding, skiing, has lived for months at a time in remote huts and has had 200 polar bear encounters. Sorby is an experienced expeditioner, who has spent more than two decades working in Antarctica as a guide and historian. She has skied across the Greenland icecap, across King George Island and was among the first all-women team to ski across Antarctica to the South Pole in 1993.
Photo credit: Hearts in the Ice