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Get outside and connect to nature 🍃

Grab your sunscreen and sneakers because this issue of the Bridge is all about encouraging you to get outside and connect to nature. We all know that spending time outdoors makes us feel better. But experiential learning and being outside has many more benefits than we can start to imagine, even if it’s just in your own neighbourhood!
We asked SOI alumni around the world to take us on an adventure with them and show us how they connect to nature.

It is important that we find time in our daily lives to connect to nature. Not only is it beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing but those who feel a connection to nature are also more inclined to care about it and want to protect the environment.

Choose your adventure with SOI alumni from all around the world.

Have you ever seen something cool while out in nature, but had absolutely no idea what it was? By adding the Seek app to your phone, you point your camera at living things and identify the organisms around you. Not to mention every observation you make with iNaturalist contributes to biodiversity science.
Download iNaturalist and Seek today and identify nature around you!
We know that it is a difficult time for young people to find employment. We also know that Canada’s emerging Sustainable Blue Economy offers many opportunities for youth. That’s where we come in! We have designed an Internship Program that is customizable based on your needs as a youth, employer or partner organization working with youth.
If you’re interested in the internship program read more information here or check out our brand new job board!

When Katarina Kunert traveled with us to the Arctic in 2018, she was inspired by the people, lands and water to write this beautiful poem. Anyone who has travelled to or lived in the Arctic, knows that its beauty is difficult to capture in words, but Katarina does a pretty good job.
If you have four minutes, watch this video, listen to her poetry and take a virtual visit to the Arctic with us.

SOI Staff Tips: On connecting to nature when you don’t have a backyard

We’re aware that not everyone has a backyard to enjoy the outdoors in. With the current pandemic, this makes it tricky to get all the benefits that you gain when you connect to nature. Here are some of the SOI team’s tips for ways to connect to nature no matter where you live!

Alumni Making Waves: Youth Polar ambassadorship: why it matters for future pro-environmental behaviours.

We’ve always heard from our alumni that expeditions are life-changing, but thanks to two alumni we now have the research to back it up. Christy Hehir (2007 Antarctic) and Patrick T. Maher (2009 & 2013 Antarctic) conducted a study alongside other researchers (Emma Stewart and Manuel Alector Ribeiro) showing the long-term impact of youth polar expeditions on participants’ future lifestyle decisions and pro-environmental behaviours. Learn more about their findings!

What's on Deck!

June is Pride Month and to celebrate we will be highlighting folks in our network who are part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, their contributions, and the importance of representation in all aspects of society.

Did you know?

In our most recent alumni survey researchers found:

90.5% of alumni said their expedition experience affected their decision to act on causes they are passionate about.

82.4% of alumni said their SOI experience influenced their career choice.

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The Bridge is made possible in part with support from NSERC. Help SOI continue to make this educational platform available for youth. If you are interested in supporting The Bridge, please contact Jessica Freeborn at
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