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2015ArcticNet conference

DECEMBER 7, 2015

It's exciting to think that tomorrow we'll be in Canada, reunited with other NorthSTAR (formerly ISAMR) students and presenting our posters we've worked so hard on to other researchers. Tomorrow will be a long day for us Park kids- my alarm is set for 3:30 am. I can't wait to see what comes out of the research we'll listen to, the partnerships we'll form, and the brainstorming we'll do. For example, the name ISAMR itself was thought of in 2013 at an ISAMR meeting in Winnipeg while we were gathered for the Wapusk Symposium conference. As any day of ISAMR travel tends to be, tomorrow will be long, but I'm sure it will be worthwhile. Remember to check the blog throughout for updates, pictures, and (maybe) some vlogging!

Hopefully we'll get the Whisker Printing and DNA posters up soon as well.

- Alexis Hudes '16 Park School

DECEMBER 8, 2015

Our first day in Vancouver went really well. The morning was very interesting, we sat in on the first presentation, and learned a lot about different programs for students.  After the first presentation we decided to go to the Vancouver aquarium, to get to the aquarium we walked through Stanley Park and got to see some of the beautiful trees and scenery. Once we got to the aquarium we visited the exhibits, the most interesting exhibit was the jellyfish. After visiting the aquarium we walked along the sea wall back to our hotel just in time for lunch. We met up with everyone from Baltimore shortly after lunch to catch up and go over our posters before the presentations. Presentations of the posters went really well, as we got to see other peoples projects, as well as having many people come see what our posters were about. We went out for dinner at the Stanley Park Pavilion. After a nice dinner involving food and more catching up we made our way back to the hotel for either hot tubing, homework or sleep.

Today was a great way explore a small fraction of Vancouver, as well as reconnect with everyone on this trip.

- Leah Hicks '17 Kelvin High School

DECEMBER 10, 2015

This is a quick summary of what we did today. So when we woke up we went to the guys room, which is an amazing master queen bed room, we ate a quick breakfast, and then we went to the plenary program where we stayed for about an hour and listened to the speakers. It was really awesome and the one that I liked the most was FRCGS, Ikaarvik: Barriers to bridges. They were talking about the Inuit culture and how people say that they are not Inuit just because they like science, but they're trying to stand up for themselves, which I think is pretty cool. After that we had delicious lunch at the conference. After our amazing lunch we went to some sessions. The one that I went to, I think it was really awesome, was about caribou and bears I wasn't there for the whole thing, so I don't really know what its about. After the sessions we went to the guys room and had pizza for supper and then some people went to the sessions again and some of us stayed to talk about some ISAMR stuff. In the evening we all went for a walk to the olympic cauldron. And then we went to the grocery store and bought some food for the morning and went back to the hotel. We ended by going to the hot tub and the pool and now we are going to bed for another amazing day tomorrow. We are all leaving tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Today marked the end of a spectacular conference. This morning we had a filling breakfast of food bought last night at the grocery store. Afterwards we went to the last plenary session of our time at ArcticNet and heard a fascinating panel of scientists discuss safety in the field. It was amazing to see how ArcticNet had put such a large focus on safety by including this presentation in the plenary sessions. In the presentation a remarkable rescue was relayed in which a graduate student doing cliff research had a boulder fall on him. Scientists needed to get him out quickly, as he had broken ribs and a spinal cord injury. The communication effort between those on the cliff, those at the top of the cliff, and those in the rescue team was quite impressive. The graduate was lifted out 16 hours after the boulder fell on him and taken immediately to a hospital where he went immediately into spinal surgery. A year later he was back on track and working in the field. However, he had to fight insurance to get the health care he needed. It was a good reminder to be wary and prepare for the worst even when thinking the chance is too small to be worth the time and money to prepare safely.

            After the plenary session it was time to say our goodbyes to new and old friends, promising to stay in touch and continue the important work to be done. Ahead of us lay a long, exhausting day of travel.

            I think I can safely speak for all of us in saying the conference went extremely well. Our data was well received, and if everything works out we should have new WhiskerPrinting data from Assiniboine Zoo to analyze as well as stronger partnerships with those we saw at the conference. In addition it offered a chance to get more on the same page with work being done between Kelvin, Park and Junior Rangers. Overall the conference went very well and I think all of us learned a whole lot. Hopefully some of those ideas are things we can take with us to help continue to improve and grow ISAMR.

- Dania Meeko '18 Junior Canadian Rangers


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