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Offered in partnership between Adventure Canada and The Explorers Club since 2016, the Young Explorers is a unique and innovative outreach program that supports the personal and professional growth of young explorers.
Young explorers apply with specific, place-based project proposals that demonstrate significant potential, then travel on board one of Adventure Canada’s selected expeditions to conduct their research or complete a creative or cultural project.
The purpose of the Young Explorers Program is to encourage and facilitate the spirit of exploration through the pursuit of science, art, and conservation. The program aims to encourage personal growth for young people who will benefit from direct experience, academic study, cultural exchange, and connecting with The Explorers Club and Adventure Canada communities. The Young Explorers Program Alumni will lead the next generation to thoughtful policy, action, and communication.
Shams is a watercolour artist, sea kayak guide, and educator who enjoys facilitating meaningful experiences that connect us to ourselves, each other, and the world around us.
Shams grew up between Montreal and Tunisia, speaks five languages, and has backpacked extensively throughout five continents. This could explain her fascination with how people make a place feel like home. Her artistic practice and research interests are grounded in connection: how people form a community, connect to themselves, each other, and where they are. This generally means learning a couple of different languages at the same time but letting silence speak the loudest, harvesting colours from her environment to make inks, and listening to what the linden tree has to say.
As part of the Young Explorers program, Shams will be harvesting roots, industrial waste, and food scraps on board the ship and at stop points in Greenland and Nunavut to create watercolours with a strong sense of place. She’ll be painting what she sees, with colours from where she is.
She works during the summer as a sea kayak guide with Outward Bound and currently calls the north home. In Whitehorse, you can find her in her spare time building a new shelf, upcycling inner bike tires into pencil cases, or looking at clouds.
Captivated by the interweaving of ecology and society, Allison utilizes questions and cameras to document lived experiences at sea and explore sustainable and just management.
Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, attending university in Seattle, and going to graduate school in Vancouver, British Columbia, Allison knows the Salish Sea as home. She is trained as a social ecologist and has been investigating the oceans, with a focus on small-scale fisheries, since 2015. While conducting scientific research, Allison lived in five coastal communities and witnessed many ways of knowing the sea. Such experience has led her to pair scientific and local knowledge with visual storytelling to understand and communicate human-ocean relationships.
As part of the Young Explorers program, Allison will be cataloguing the variety of ways people see the sea and drawing connectedness through a shared ocean. Her approach is interdisciplinary and participatory. Her aim is to serve as a bridge between perspectives and support ecologically sustainable and socially just management and policy.
Allison works as a research assistant at the Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia and collaborates with Casa Congo sustainability hub in Nicaragua. She is a 2019 National Geographic Explorer and 2020 OceanX grantee with The Explorers Club, through which she became connected to Adventure Canada’s Young Explorers program. When not at sea, she can be found surfing in waves, biking on trails, wandering on photo walks, and experiencing films with friends.
Michelle is a British-American filmmaker passionate about creating innovative media to communicate biodiversity and climate change.
Always seeking a good adventure with purpose, Michelle is passionate about creating media that communicate biodiversity and climate change in unique and innovative ways. A British-American filmmaker currently living in London, United Kingdom, Michelle has worked on environmental topics around the world—from the tropics to the Arctic.
With a master’s degree in biodiversity and conservation from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in environmental anthropology from New York University, Michelle has dived on the Great Barrier Reef to understand changing tourism practices, studied foragers’ perceptions on the future of food, and led a sailing expedition around the coast of the United Kingdom exploring the practical applications of marine social science in the field.
Her film work has included researching for Netflix’s Tiger King, filming underwater for Fujifilm and Aquatech, and creating social media content with climate action groups around London. Recently, she has worked on the Protect The Arctic campaign, a multimedia project to protect vital ecosystems in Arctic Alaska. Michelle has also directed short films on subjects ranging from ocean exploration to fungi foraging. Her work has been shown at a number of film festivals.
Monique is a wildlife criminologist who loves going on adventures close to home or to the farthest corner of the globe.
Monique is a wildlife crime and security specialist who merges her hands-on experience in crime analysis and prevention with field conservation efforts around the world. Monique focuses on integrating academic insights into practical field operations to ensure they are evidence-based and optimally effective. She has received grants for her work from the US Department of State, PEW Charitable Trusts, the National Science Foundation, and has been recognized by the by the UN as a UNODC’s Education for Justice Initiative awardee and as a UN Youth Representative.
Born and raised in Chicago, Monique moved to the UK to pursue her Master of Science in Global Wildlife Health and Conservation before moving to New York City to complete her PhD in Criminal Justice, specializing in the assessment of wildlife crime and its prevention. Today, she is based in New York and is starting as a tenure-track professor at SUNY Farmingdale.
Monique joins Adventure Canada as a representative of The Explorers Club. Her work on board will focus on investigating wildlife trade and use in the High Arctic region. When she isn’t exploring wildlife issues, Monique loves doing yoga, going on adventures with her dog and partner, and being active.
YOU ARE A YOUNG EXPLORER BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 and 30 CONDUCTING FIELDWORK IN THE ARCTIC FOCUSING ON SCIENCE, ART, CULTURE, AND CONSERVATION.