The Expedition Northwest Passage Project participants will sail into the Passage in the tradition of polar explorers, but with the capacities to carry out 21st century oceanographic research.

Commencing in August 2019, the Northwest Passage Project will embark on a 22-day expedition into the Passage aboard a state-of-art, ice-class research vessel.

Part of the Northwest Passage. Map from the Atlas of Canada, Northern Wall Map.

Finding a northwest passage, a northern water route shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, has long been the obsessive quest of explorers and navies. For over 400 years, more than one hundred ships carrying thousands of mariners sailed into the Arctic to probe its waters and trek its shores. A warming climate and subsequent ice melting has opened up the Northwest Passage during the summer months, and it is profoundly changing the Arctic. There is unprecedented global interest in this once impenetrable region and its pristine environment.

The Participants

The Northwest Passage Project is a collaborative effort between the University of Rhode Island (URI), Inner Space Center (ISC), and 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).

Along with the ship’s crew, there will be scientists, education professionals, and students sailing through the Northwest Passage. During the expedition, there will be 15 undergraduate students aboard. The 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.

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.