Expeditions 2019-2021

Hearts In The Ice


    Expeditions 2019-2021

    Hearts In The Ice


      The Adventure of a Lifetime 2019-2020

      Making History In The High Arctic

        In 2019-2020 Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm became the first women in history to overwinter in the Arctic without men. They spent the winter isolated at the 78th parallel in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, in a small uninsulated trapper’s hut called “Bamsebu”, with no running water or electricity, and subjected to one of the harshest climates on earth, surrounded by polar bears and total darkness.

      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 our ocean 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 Strøm

      But after a long, dark, polar night came the pandemic, which gave a new meaning to their expedition, and forced them to recalibrate the compass. Thus their decision to extend their engagement for another winter.

      “Climate change does not take a break so neither are we. Our work is more relevant and vital during the pandemic with reduced field research being done.” says Sorby.

      Extreme events triggered by climate warming are increasing exponentially around the world, resulting in incessant wildfires, monster hurricanes, enormous species loss, and massive human displacement.

      No place in the world will escape the impacts of climate change. It is a global crisis. Promoting more effective public engagement with climate science so people can actually take steps in their everyday lives to make themselves more secure is a critical moral imperative. As the pandemic has forced many to be isolated and disconnected from each other, Sorby and Strom aim to provide meaningful content and inspiration to reconnect all of us back to the natural world around us, to be curious and to protect it.

      Svalbard – a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean


      Location of Bamsebu


      2020-2021 Expedition

      Return to Bamsebu

         Life at Bamsebu, from October 2020 to May 2021, was broadcast via Iridium provided by their satellite connectivity partner Marlink and published in social media to scientists, school children and interested citizens around the world.

      Hosted video chats connected schools globally. Hilde and Sunniva engaged students and teachers from around the world with twice monthly live video hangouts.

      Hilde and Sunniva continued to serve as citizen scientists to build on their 2nd year of data collection for the Norwegian Polar Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UNIS, NASA Globe Observer and BCIT. 

      Due to their combined 46 years of observations and experience in the Arctic and Antarctic, Hilde and Sunniva are uniquely qualified to be of service in this way.

      They continued to test cutting edge technologies, including solar and wind equipment from Power Controlls, infrared drones from Indro Robotics, and remote satellite communication, including a Telemed Kit from Marlink.


      Taking Ice Core Samples 

      Bamsebu Hut

      They have woven together a handpicked web of experts that are Sponsors and Partners to help us understand the rapid escalation of climate change and why all of our voices and participation are needed, today!

      They invite everyone to get involved and to be part of Hearts In The Ice team.

      Hearts In The Ice

      Watch The Video


      In this five minute video trailer, Hilde and Sunniva share the what and why of their now historic citizen science expedition. Filmed on location in Svalbard where the Bamsebu trapper’s hut is located – the place they called home for 1 year through the Arctic winter 2019-2020 and again in 2020-2021. 

      What They’re Saying

      “As a polar explorer and educator, I support the Hearts in the Ice project which aims to collect important scientific data and raise broad public awareness about the Arctic.”

      Will Steger

      Explorer, educator, author, entrepreneur, and eyewitness to the effects of climate change. Founder of Climate Generation Climategen.org

      “I wholeheartedly endorse and applaud the Hearts in the Ice project and salute the heroic expedition leaders.
      They are not only gathering valuable scientific observations and insights; they are going beyond to inform and inspire others, especially students, who receive their messages from the field in classrooms globally.”

      Sylvia A. Earle

      National Geographic Explorer In Residence and Founder of Mission Blue.org

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