A community can raise a child, but the Peninsula is going one better — sending a teen on an arctic expedition.
Jamie Hargreaves will spend two-and-a-half weeks on board CCGS Amundsen this September, due in large part to the support of neighbours and businesses on the Saanich Peninsula.
The 16-year-old Parkland student is already spending her summer on the water, sailing for both pleasure and work, in ways she has for the last decade of her life. The family moved to the island when she was five and the first thing they did was buy a boat. The straight-A student currently envisions a career in marine biology or veterinary.
“My summers are filled with sailing and boating,” said Hargreaves, whose many athletics also includes rowing. “The wildlife in the water amazes me. It’s so abundant and adaptive.”
The eight students selected from across Canada will be immersed in the activities of the ArcticNet science team aboard Amundsen.
“It exposing young people to research methods so they get to see what scientists do … it gives them an opportunity to see what real researchers do,” said neighbour Susan Simosko, who’s taken on the role of business and community liaison for Hargreaves’ fundraising campaign.
They board the ship off shore near Kugluktuk, Nunavut on Sept. 22 and return to Kugluktuk Oct. 5 where the Amundsen will be supporting ArcticNet mooring and oceanographic sampling operations in the Mackenzie Shelf/Amundsen Gulf region.
“I’ve been on this water my entire life, and it would be really cool to see what it’s like up there,” Hargreaves said. “It has everything to do with climate change, and I’m really passionate about the environment.”
Passion aside, Hargreaves still needs to raise about $4,400 to cover expenses for the scientific trip.
“I’m super-impressed with the support from the community,” she said. Already donations have come in from large entities like the Victoria International Airport and Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.
“The people we’ve got involved are really excited about it,” said Simosko. And it’s more than just monetary support. Once she returns, Hargreaves plans to do an Arctic and Us Day at the aquarium; Tanner’s Books will do up a display from mid-September to mid-October covering all things Arctic and climate change; and the airport will host a display Hargreaves will put together on her return.
The application Hargreaves made to Schools on Board included the proposals to reach the broader community.
“The school got accepted because of the community value,” Hargreaves said.
The teen looks forward to learning “just how the climate affects the Arctic and how it reflects here … anything that happens in the arctic is shadowed here.” And she anticipates sharing a youth’s perspective with others after the experience.
“We’re in the generation of climate change,” she explained.
On Aug. 20, Hargreaves will get wet washing cars at Spelt’s Shell in Saanichton to raise funds. She’s also slated a fundraiser for Sept. 16 at Parkland secondary, where The Archers will perform and Hargreaves will talk a little about her upcoming expedition.
To learn more or donate call, Hargreaves at 250-655-6707.