Sailing into the Northwest Passage will provide a visually stunning and historically poignant platform from which the public will experience a dramatically changing Arctic. This project is designed to produce innovative scientific observations. The Icebreaker Oden will spend most of its time at sea, with stops on land along the way.
Why are we exploring the Arctic now?
“It is important for people everywhere on Earth to see and understand how this region affects all of us,” says NPP principal investigator and project director Gail Scowcroft. “The region’s meltwater, water circulation, and exchange of greenhouse gases between the ocean and the atmosphere are causing wide-scale environmental and climatic changes, which increasingly affect people and wildlife diversity around the world.” Scowcroft also serves as Associate Director of the Inner Space Center, which will be coordinating all science communications.
The Inner Space Center (ISC), an international hub for ocean exploration, will use advanced technologies such as telepresence to explore the Arctic. A warming climate and subsequent ice melting has opened up the Northwest Passage during the summer months, profoundly changing the Arctic, and increasing access to the area. There is unprecedented global interest in conducting research in this once inaccessible region and its pristine environment.
Explore the Arctic with us
The Inner Space Center’s live ship-to-shore video will make it possible for the public to experience the expedition in real time. Join the expedition via:
- Facebook Live: Real-time interactions from the research vessel at sea:
Saturday, July 20 at 5PM ET
Thursday, July 25 at 7PM ET
Tuesday, July 30 at 7PM ET
- Frozen Obsession, an ultra high-definition 2-hour documentary filming during the expedition;
- Live interactions with the expedition via museum partners, visit museums’ websites for times on July 23, 24, 25, 30, and 31 and August 1:
The expedition participants
Along with the ship’s crew, scientists, education professionals, and students will sail through the Northwest Passage. Students will receive science instruction as the ship is underway, participate in live broadcasts from sea, and work alongside ocean scientists as they conduct Arctic research. Learn more about the Northwest Passage Project expedition team.
Onboard participants will also include the ship’s crew, ISC education and operations staff, scientists, historians, journalists, and members of the David Clark Inc. film production team.
- July 17: Depart Thule, Greenland
- July 20: Arrive Pond Inlet, Canada
- July 21: Depart Pond Inlet, Sail through Lancaster Sound to Barrow Strait
- July 26: Arrive Resolute
- July 26: Sail west to Melville Sound
- July 29: Sail east to Barrow Strait
- July 31: Sail south into Prince Regent Sound
- August 4: Arrive Thule, Greenland
The history of exploration in the Arctic
Finding a “northwest passage” – a northern water route shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans – has been the obsessive quest of explorers and navies for at least 400 years. Thousands of mariners have sailed into the Arctic to probe its waters and trek its shores. These explorers lacked reliable maps, a firm understanding of Arctic conditions, and sophisticated scientific instrumentation. Today we can rely upon advances in all three areas.
Collaborating on Arctic exploration
The Northwest Passage Project is a collaborative effort between the University of Rhode Island (URI), Inner Space Center (ISC), the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), the film company, David Clark, Inc., and several other collaborators, including five U.S. universities that are classified as Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Learn more about us.