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From tundra to classroom

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Baker Lake (Mar 15/04) - The six members of the Arctic Transect 2004 expedition arrived in Baker Lake this past week after more than 60 days on the trail.

The expedition is the most comprehensive on-line adventure learning initiative to date, and has become a huge hit with Kivalliq students.

The six members of the expedition will visit schools in the eight Nunavut communities they stop in on their trek from Yellowknife to Qikiqtarjuak (Broughton Island).

The members, Aaron Doering, Paul Pregont, Will Steger, Eric Dayton, Millie Porsild and Hugh Dale-Harris, are using 31 dogs to reach their destination.

Steger says the expedition is as high-tech as possible to enable the members to daily update their Web site, www.polarhuskey.com, with pictures, video clips and information.

He says visiting classrooms and answering questions put forth by the students is a real highlight of the journey.

"The kids don't need to be told why we do this," Steger said.

"They realize it's all about the adventure and the freedom of being out on the land.

"Kids are more likely to ask you questions about how you go to the bathroom than anything of a practical nature, and of course they just love the dogs."

Steger says the expedition will help educate many Canadians and Americans on the culture of the Arctic, as well as global warming and its effect on the Arctic environment.

He added, the expedition members are well rested after their stay in Baker and are excited about completing the next leg of their journey to Kugaaruk.

"The people of Baker were very kind to us and we really enjoyed our stay in the community," he said.

"We attended a feast, were given a translator to answer questions on local radio and enjoyed our visit to the school.

"A group of women in the community presented Millie (Porsild) with a pair of mitts they made for her, which is something she will always remember."