North Pacific 2018

The challenging voyage of three thousand nautical miles between Hawaii > Vancouver > Seattle will take over a month as we journey through the densest ocean plastic accumulation zone on the planet, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and explore remote coastlines for plastic pollution on board 72ft exploration sailing vessel Sea Dragon.

The Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest ocean and is home to incredibly diverse plant and marine life including six endangered species. The North Pacific Gyre is the largest ecosystem on Earth. Our journey from the tropical islands of Hawaii to the wild coastlines of British Columbia and the Pacific North West will inspire action to protect these great places of outstanding natural beauty and importance.

eXXpedition All-female research expeditions to investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution

Hawaii – Vancouver – Seattle

Meet the Crew: Leg 1

Mission Leader

Emily Penn

Emily Penn

United Kingdom

Director and Co-Founder

As co-founder of eXXpedition EMILY has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in our ocean. She has spent the last decade exploring the high seas from the tropics to the Arctic – enabling scientists, filmmakers and interested individuals to gain access to the most remote parts of our planet.

She has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for micro-plastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts.

Emily splits her time between running eXXpedition and developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. An experienced public speaker, Emily gives talks around the world at conferences, universities and global companies about her adventures and issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society.

You can find more information on Emily’s projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.

Emily is sponsored by:

Learn more about Emily's journey here:

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Guest Crew

Kristine Marie Berg

Kristine Marie Berg

Norway

Circular Economy Advisor

Kristine [M. Berg] works with upstream solutions to the issues of litter and ocean plastic. She is a Circular Economy Advisor at TOMRA, which is the leading provider of technology-led solutions that optimize resource recovery in the food, recycling and mining industries.

Kristine grew up by and out on the deep Norwegian fjords, but she has also lived on the tropical islands of Hawaii and Bali where she experienced first-hand the devastating impact of plastic pollution. Following her degree in Industrial Ecology, and having studied particularly human impacts on the environment, her passion for the ocean turned into a passion for sustainable infrastructure on land to make sure plastic does not end up in the ocean in the first place. Working in the recycling industry, Kristine shares her experience from eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 to inspire active change within and beyond the industry – advocating for upstream solutions, circular economy and change of mindset to tackle plastic pollution.

Siri Østvold

Siri Østvold

Norway

Designer and Storyteller

SIRI spent a lot of time on sailboats while growing up – she loves being on the ocean and in the surf. As a designer based in Oslo, she is enjoying the long coastline of Norway. Her work involves developing brands, concepts and completing identity processes.

Siri believes in a starting point in research, insight and a curious mind, which might lead to pleasant surprises and sustainable solutions. Driven by personal motivation, she wants to use her expertise and experience within design and storytelling to contribute to a cause that’s close to her heart and affects us all.

Jennifer Russell

Jennifer Russell

United Kingdom

Filmmaker

JENNIFER is a short filmmaker, who has been based in Hong Kong for the past 7 years. She produces short-form content, predominantly for distribution across social media. Jennifer is increasingly teaming up with brands who prioritise sustainability, as well as working for charities & NGOs to tell the stories that matter. As she’s become aware of the sheer volume of plastic in our seas, both in HK and globally.  As a child she was exposed to sailing by her parents and loves being on the water, whether on a boat, stand-up paddleboard or surfboard.

Eleanor Church

Eleanor Church

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and Photographer

A documentary filmmaker, photographer, mother, adventurer, environmentalist and swimmer, ELEANOR been making films for over 15 years, in challenging conditions all over the world. Her work has always focussed on the environment and people, and the impact that they have on one another. Often her work has been linked to the sea – from illegal fishing in West Africa and human rights abuses in the Thai fishing industry, to fish sustainability and pollution. Eleanor’s mission over the years has been to find the most effective and creative way of putting these stories across, to nudge people to see things differently and to bring about change.

Eleanor is currently making a documentary, X Trillion, about the North Pacific expedition.

Emily Duncan

Emily Duncan

United Kingdom

Scientist

EMILY is a PhD researcher at University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The research focus is on the Impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles in research sites in the USA, Cyprus and Australia. Her area of expertise is the scientific background and consequences of plastic pollution on marine organisms and environments and sample collection for investigating plastic pollution in the marine environments, in particular large marine vertebrates (specialising marine turtles). During the eXXpedition North Pacific sail, Emily is planning to consider plastic pollution levels in the context of important development sites for post-hatchling marine turtles; a critical stage in development and recruitment in potentially vulnerable sub-populations.

Michelle Byle

Michelle Byle

United States of America

Designer

MICHELLE is a multidisciplinary designer and art director based in San Francisco, California. She loves to help shape the way people experience the world through design, and believes in the power of visual communication to help educate and expose us to new things. In her career, Michelle has created educational exhibits for museums, and developed branding and corporate identities. She is currently working in marketing and packaging design as a creative lead at People Against Dirty, the parent company of the brands Method and Ecover, which have pioneered using plastic recovered from the ocean in their packaging.

Michelle’s first exposure to the problem of plastic debris in our oceans was as a volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, where sea lions, elephant seals and dolphins afflicted by entanglements are treated and rereleased into the wild. Her goal is to bring people who aren’t able to join the crew on the boat into the North Pacific, to see the problem first hand through the power of visual storytelling. She aims to use her design skills to raise awareness about what we each can do to reduce the use of plastic in our day-to-day lives, and to use what she learns onboard to influence the packaging industry in a positive way.

Rowan Henthorn

Rowan Henthorn

United Kingdom

Scientist and Communicator

Growing up on the Isle of Man, ROWAN was immersed in the marine environment from an early age. At the age of five, she learnt to dive and snorkel in the waters around the Island. These early experiences created an inherent interest in the seas and led to her study a degree in ocean science and a masters in applied marine science at Plymouth University. Now working as a marine scientist, Rowan is passionate about the health of our marine environment, and is excited to be part of a team of inspiring woman that want to spread the word about plastic pollution to a global audience.

Rowan is a UNESCO Isle of Man Biosphere Ambassador.

Karine Therrien

Karine Therrien

Canada

Teacher and Educator

KARINE is a mother of four, sailor, stand-up paddler and yoga instructor. Passionate about environmental sciences, water protection and having fun in water, she is a strong believer in healthy lifestyles and following our bliss. Having lived along the St-Laurence River and the Great Lakes, Karine is an avid advocate of sustainable agriculture. After her masters degree in agro-environmental engineering deepened her interests around water protection, she advised established farmers on soil management best practices and the future generation by teaching in college.

Education of science (learning and teaching) has always been, for Karine, the best way to bring awareness to people to change their actions. She’s passionate about scientific research, environment protection (mainly water), health, education (teaching and learning) and sailing. Karine is particularly motivated by the post voyage: educating people around the plastic issues in water, the link to our health and the impacts of our actions. She is planning to start by talking directly to children in schools.

Ana Jarc

Ana Jarc

Slovenia

Engineer

ANA is a final year student of Water Management and Environmental Engineering at University of Ljubljana. Coming from Slovenia, she spent all of her summers sailing the Adriatic sea with her family, where her love of ocean and sailing began. Ana is passionate about traveling, because it enables her to experience different cultures, ways of living and take on new adventures. She can’t wait to experience this voyage with these inspiring women from which she says she’s sure that she’ll learn so much.

Sally Earthrowl

Sally Earthrowl

United Kingdom

SALLY is a keen environmentalist, adventurer and ocean advocate. When living in Bali, she saw first-hand the devastating impact and upstream issues around plastic pollution in a developing country. This propelled her to take action, working closely with the local community to educate and raise awareness to bring about change in local waste management systems and behaviours. In 2018, Sally sailed through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on eXXpedition North Pacific gaining first-hand experience of the extent of plastic in our oceans and contributing to ‘science at sea’.

Prior to joining the eXXpedition team, Sally had a 12-year career as a Geography teacher, Head of Department and whole-school Teaching and Learning Coordinator. Sally values the importance and power of education as a key contributor to the sustainable management of global issues. As a teacher, Sally has always been student-focused; nurturing a creative learning environment allowing students to flourish and succeed. Under her charge students have achieved impressive levels of academic progress but most importantly to Sally, they have developed a passion for the planet they call home and a confidence to take action to protect it.

Swapping her classroom for S.V.TravelEdge and the school environment for the planet, Sally is excited about the opportunity to learn and raise awareness amongst crew and in the communities we will visit.

Meet the Crew: Leg 2

Mission Leader

Emily Penn

Emily Penn

United Kingdom

Director and Co-Founder

As co-founder of eXXpedition EMILY has seen first hand how much plastic ends up in our ocean. She has spent the last decade exploring the high seas from the tropics to the Arctic – enabling scientists, filmmakers and interested individuals to gain access to the most remote parts of our planet.

She has organised the largest ever community-led waste cleanup from a tiny Tongan island, trawled for micro-plastics on a voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage, rounded the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace, and worked on a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts.

Emily splits her time between running eXXpedition and developing upstream solutions to the ocean plastic issue with corporate partners, scientists and government bodies. An experienced public speaker, Emily gives talks around the world at conferences, universities and global companies about her adventures and issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society.

You can find more information on Emily’s projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.

Emily is sponsored by:

Learn more about Emily's journey here:

Read more

Guest Crew

Bimadoshka Pucan

Bimadoshka Pucan

Canada

Anthropologist

Bimadoshka is Saugeen Anishinaabe and is a recent PhD graduate in Anthropology.

She is a mother to three sons, based in Ontario and is very active within her indigenous community. She is particularly concerned about environmental issues impacting Lake Huron and the rapid changes to the water quality in recent years.

By joining eXXpedition North Pacific, Bimadoshka welcomes the opportunity to bond with other like-minded women. As she has never been to British Columbia, she believes that the educational and spiritual experiences on the voyage will be countless.

Bimadoshka is an exxpedition bursary recipient.

Sarah Michler

Sarah Michler

United States of America

Filmmaker and Teacher

SARAH is a film and commercial producer, who is using film and the arts to teach children about the environment. In the past few years, she has traveled all over the world to produce commercials for big brands such as Gatorade, Apple and Google. She aims to create a partnership between brands and filmmakers to help raise awareness on environmental issues and how the brands can make a change. After she finishes her feature film in March 2018, she is partnering with RedBull to create a film in virtual reality that follows the journey of a plastic bag from a child’s school lunch to the stomach of a whale. Sarah believes that film has the power to shock people into action.
In the fall, in order to deepen her knowledge in science, Sarah will be pursuing her graduate degree in Environmental Education. Sarah grew up racing 420s and lasers in Connecticut. She is so excited to get back on the water this summer and is eager to meet and to get to know the incredible women crew.

Meg Tapp

Meg Tapp

United Kingdom

Communicator

MEG is a PR Officer encouraging the public to be more conscious of the food they eat and waste, protecting our planet from harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

Her area of expertise is in communications and marketing, using a variety of platforms to communicate messages to a wide customer base. Meg is joining eXXpedition North Pacific to gain first-hand knowledge of the extent of the plastic pollution problem, and take this experience with her into her future work.

Laura Leiva

Laura Leiva

Honduras

Scientist

Honduran Marine Biologist

LAURA is a marine scientist and conservationist. Growing up in Honduras her passion since a young age was the constant exploration of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Throughout the years, Laura witnessed the ongoing deterioration of this beautiful but fragile ecosystem due to irresponsible fishing and plastic pollution, and pledged to be part of the solution by becoming a biologist.

Her area of expertise is marine benthic communities and she’s currently working as a research assistant for marine sponge molecular studies. Laura is interested to explore how nano plastics and micro plastics bioaccumulate, and how toxics biomagnify across the marine food web. Her main goal is to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in the ocean and the threat it poses to marine life and human health. Additionally, she is keen to know how much plastic is floating in the water column and, thus, reaching marine bottom-dwelling organisms. 

Laura Leiva is an eXXpedition bursary recipient.

Nikkey Dawn

Nikkey Dawn

Canada

Storyteller

Nikkey is a freelance creative who lives on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, she can often be found in the kelp forests near her home.

She uses her work as a tool to connect people with the environment and has spent many years working in and with clients in the eco-tourism industry. She sailed as part of the eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 crew and started volunteering as eXXpedition Social Media Manager at the end of 2018.

Beccy Finlayson

Beccy Finlayson

United Kingdom

Filmmaker and TV Researcher

BECCY is an a researcher in television production with a specific interest in environmental conservation. While studying physical geography at university, she gained a greater understanding about the natural world and threats to it. She felt compelled to work towards spreading the environmental message and currently works in factual broadcasting, which involves finding incredible stories and people.

Beccy has always been at home near or on the sea and has crewed aboard various boats, including a square-rigged tall ship from Ireland to Holland. She is taking part in eXXpedition North Pacific because she wants to find out more about how plastic is impacting upon the health of our oceans and ourselves, and aims to broadcast this message through various means – from writing to social media or a short film. On a personal level, she wants to keep up her sailing experience.

Victoria Fritz

Victoria Fritz

United Kingdom

Broadcaster and Journalist

Working Mum & Environmental Champion

VICTORIA is a BBC News journalist and television presenter with a personal interest in environmental affairs. She is a member of Global Women In News (GWIN) and a mentor to school children interested in journalism through the BBC’s School Report program. Victoria is looking forward to getting to know her fellow crew members better and learning about the journeys that have led them to Sea Dragon.

Imogen Napper

Imogen Napper

United Kingdom

Marine Scientist

IMOGEN is a PhD student at Plymouth University researching ‘The Sources and Fate of Plastic in the Marine Environment’. Her research has influenced the ban of microbeads in cosmetics internationally and was also the first to estimate plastic contamination into the marine environment from washing clothes.

Imogen has been mostly lab-based during her PhD, so she is intrigued and eager to see the impact plastic can have both at sea and to coastline communities. She is passionate about science communication and is looking forward to using this North Pacific expedition as a platform to encourage positive change.

Ellise Chappell

Ellise Chappell

United Kingdom

Actress

Ellise is an actress, most known for her leading role as Morwenna in BBC1’s Poldark. She has enjoyed filming by the sea in Cornwall for the past two years. During that time, she has become more and more aware of the issues surrounding plastic pollution, and it has now become a deep-rooted passion of hers. Keen to take a step further in her involvement and eager to become more proactive, Ellise is thrilled to be joining Leg 2 of the eXXpedition North Pacific voyage. She can’t wait to challenge herself, gain new skills, become better informed of the problem, and learn from a group of inspiring, like-minded women from different backgrounds.

Soraya Abdel-Hadi

Soraya Abdel-Hadi

United Kingdom

Sustainability Professional and eXXpedition Operations Manager

SORAYA is a sustainability professional and advocate for women’s rights, who is passionate about creating a holistic approach to improving our planet. After graduating with a law degree, she worked as an equestrian journalist and then as a marketing manager, before returning to university to achieve her One Planet MBA. This business course with a focus on sustainability cemented her desire to integrate sustainable processes into organisations and demonstrate her values through her own actions. But Soraya believes that there is more to sustainability than the environment, it also encompasses culture and diversity, which is why she focused on women in leadership for her final project.

She joined the eXXpedition team in 2016 and was part of the land-based crew for eXXpedition Round Britain 2017. She sailed on leg two of eXXpedition North Pacific in 2018.

Learn more about Soraya's journey here:

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