On Tuesday, 32 guest explorers will be joining Vancouver Aquarium president John Nightingale on an expedition to Canada’s Arctic and Greenland to explore the region’s changing landscape.

Led by the Fathom Expedition, the group will visit isolated communities and will get up close and personal with local wildlife like narwhals and polar bears to bring their observations back to Vancouver.

Why are you going on this trip to the Arctic?
This is something the Aquarium does every year. It’s one large exploration trip. January of 2009 saw us in Antarctica and this is the bookend to that trip. We’re going back to connect (the issues there) with the Aquarium. The overall theme is one of exploration in a time when the Arctic is changing by the minute. The biggest change is climate change and its effect on animals (and) the culture.

Why is it important to meet with people who live in the Arctic?
Many of those folks are better at telling their own stories than we ever will be. You will see some of their stories on the display floor in the Aquarium, on our YouTube channel and on our blogs.

How will this trip benefit the Vancouver Aquarium?
My sense is that we are only slightly more Arctic literate than our cousins to the south. (We want to) acquaint people with the Arctic personally through awareness and familiarization. Everyone (on our team) is a reporter and an agent for us.

On a personal level, what are you most interested in?
I find the Arctic fascinating. The landscape is otherworldly. Parts of it are flat and boggy and others are hugely mountainous with gorgeous glaciers. The wildlife is amazing. And we learn about and are given perspective about where we live by going to some place to compare and contrast, and that’s a wonderful thing that still happens to myself. These people are very lucky to do something that for many is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m very lucky to get to go back to Canada’s Arctic. It’s truly an amazing part of our country.