Seasoned Explorer and Environmental Activist

In the true spirit of adventure, veteran expeditioner Jasveen Brar (Antarctic 2014, Arctic 2016) has dedicated her time as an alumni to building platforms for communities to voice their concerns about the environment through activism, education and outreach at local and international levels. She is interested in exploring the intersection between science, education and policy and how youth can better access these spaces. 

She is currently finishing her undergraduate science degree at Dalhousie focusing on Environment, Society and Sustainability, and is set to graduate in April 2017.

The Expedition Experience

For Jasveen, her fondest memories are split between both poles. On the Antarctic 2014 expedition Jasveen recalls a wildlife encounter with a Minke Whale that swam and breached next to ship for over 3 hours. During Arctic 2016, she was awestruck by the grandeur of Ilulissat Ice Fjord in Greenland, “It’s the most beautiful place that I have ever visited”.  First and foremost however, Jasveen says the best memories come from the incredible connections and friendships that were made on board.

Realizing Goals & Ambitions

After returning from the Antarctic in 2014, Jasveen decided that in order to fully understand how to make change, she needed to dive deeper into environmental studies by incorporating it into a double major with her Biology degree at Dalhousie. Taking this in full stride, she attended the International Student Energy Summit where she spoke about her polar experiences, garnering attention and landing her a spot as one of Alberta’s Top 30 under 30. Since then Jasveen has also been a Judge for Catherine Mckenna’s G7 Innovation Challenge, attended United Nations Climate Change Conference COP24 in Poland, and received the Governor General Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in 2018.

Making a Difference

In 2017 Jasveen worked with fellow SOI alumni to launch a multi-city conference titled Our Poles Our Planet reaching over 800 youth. This conference was an opportunity for Jasveen and her friends to provide other youth access to the topics they learned about onboard their expeditions. 

After completing her undergrad, Jasveen participated in the Ocean Bridge program, which really bridged her passion for the environment and community engagement. As part of the inaugural cohort, Jasveen learned about and led projects related to ocean health and ocean literacy. In her hometown of Medicine Hat, AB she hosted Ocean Month which worked to help youth understand their impact, even in land-locked southern Alberta, on the oceans around the world. Jasveen led 17 workshops, including a rivershed clean up, plastics 101, leadership training and more. Jasveen has been awarded the North American Association of Environmental Educators Top 30 under 30 Environmental Educators award for her continued work in this field. 

Looking Ahead

These days Jasveen is working as a Manager at Ocean Bridge, creating unique and meaningful experiences for the Atlantic cohort of the recently expanded program. In the program, youth spend a year working on ocean literacy, ocean health and conservation initiatives both in their communities and collaboratively over two learning journeys. Jasveen finds it rewarding to support youth in their passions while also tackling national and global climate and ocean issues. 

On the side, Jasveen has also been working with 3 fellow alumni on a research project with the Inuit Circumpolar Council about establishing an Indigenous Protected Area around Pikialasorsuaq.

Overall, Jasveen is happy to be in a position that is supporting fellow youth and sharing what she has learned over the past 5 years. When looking towards the future Jasveen is just happy to say that she is excited to currently be at a place where her passions feel front and centre and she is optimistic it will remain that way. 

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