A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Canadian politician Eva Qamaniq Aariak was elected in the 2008 territorial election to represent the electoral district of Iqaluit East in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. She was subsequently chosen as the second Premier of Nunavut, under the territory's consensus government system. She was the fifth woman to serve as a premier in Canada. Prior to her election, she was the first Languages Commissioner for Nunavut. In her capacity as Languages Commissioner, she was asked to choose an Inuktitut language word for the Internet; she settled on ikiaqqivik, which literally means "traveling through layers" and refers to the traditional Inuit concept of a shaman traveling through time and space to find answers to spiritual and material questions. After stepping down as Languages Commissioner, Eva went on to teach Inuktitut at the Pirurvik Centre in Iqaluit, and later owned and operated Malikkaat, a retail store in Iqaluit which sold Inuit arts and crafts. She has also served as coordinator of the Baffin Divisional Education Council's Inuktitut language book publishing program, as president of the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce and as chair of the Nunavut Film Development Corporation. Eva will travel as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker.
Dr. Kathryn Sullivan is a distinguished scientist, renowned astronaut and intrepid explorer. Her expertise spans the frontiers of space and sea. An accomplished oceanographer, she was appointed NOAA’s Chief Scientist in 1993, where she oversaw a portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation and marine biodiversity. She was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. Kathryn flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. She was confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator in 2014. Kathryn has also held the positions of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator, and also performed the duties of NOAA's Chief Scientist, a vacant position. As Assistant Secretary, she played a central role in directing Administration and NOAA priority work in the areas of weather and water services, climate science and services, integrated mapping services and Earth-observing capabilities. She also provided agency-wide direction with regard to satellites, space weather, water, and ocean observations and forecasts to best serve American communities and businesses. She is the United States Co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), an intergovernmental body that is building a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to provide environmental intelligence relevant to societal needs. Kathryn will travel as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker.
Born and raised in Canada, Karen Copeland received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Waterloo and an M.D. from the University of Western Ontario. She interned at McMaster University in Hamilton. Detouring from hospital hallways, Karen soon became a whitewater guide and a published photographer, fulfilling a passion for knowledge that began with botany and led to geology and ornithology.
Karen has worked as a full-time naturalist for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1991. She recently published a paper on the foraging behavior of gentoo penguins. Karen is intimately familiar with the seas and the shores of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Baja California and Mexico, and Central and South America. She has traveled the far reaches of the world from Iceland, Svalbard, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, the British Isles and the Baltic in the north, to the Azores and Mediterranean at mid-latitudes and Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula in the south. She loves sharing the joy of adventure and the natural world with others. Throughout 2018, Karen is acting as a National Geographic Year of the Bird Ambassador.
During the past 25 years, Phil Schermeister completed more than 40 major assignments for the National Geographic Book Division, National Geographic magazine and other National Geographic publications. He has photographed on assignment in more than 40 National Parks around the United States and has published six single-photographer books with National Geographic, including Range of Light, Our National Parks and America's Western Edge. Some of his other assignments have included coverage of Quechua Indians in the Andes of Peru, Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Native Americans across the Western United States.
Phil is drawn to high-latitudes, and has photographed all types of natural landscapes from National Parks, Seashores, and Recreation Areas to Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Wildlife Refuges. In his search for “decisive moments” in nature, Phil seeks to find drama in the changing light and seasons as the forces of nature continue to sculpt an unfinished natural landscape.
Wildlife photographer, cinematographer, and author Matthias Breiter has spent most of the past 30 years researching the daily lives and habits of black, brown, grizzly, and polar bears. He was made a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and a fellow of the prestigious Explorer’s Club in recognition of his contribution to our scientific knowledge of bears and the Arctic. Matthias is also a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), and remains deeply involved with conservation efforts involving the American and Canadian Arctic and Subarctic. He has authored nearly 20 books, and his articles and photography have appeared in National Geographic, GEO, BBC Wildlife, Terre Sauvage, and numerous other publications worldwide. Breiter's most recent documentary, Polar Bear Summer, was nominated for an Emmy. He has also been involved with Nat Geo WILD productions like Grizzly Empire and The Wild West. Biologist-trained, Matthias frequently lectures at universities, zoos, and research facilities on bear biology and arctic ecosystems, and he also enjoys teaching photography. He looks forward to sharing his photographic and regional knowledge with travelers on this expedition.