In April, as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, eXXpedition opened applications for two bursary places on the second leg of our North Pacific 2018 voyage.
These two bursaries – one for a woman from a developing nation and one for a Female Indigenous Person of Canada – were made possible through the support of our title sponsor and recycling innovator TOMRA, gold sponsor and marine monitoring organisation Copernicus, and all our amazing partners and sponsors.
We were delighted to have applicants from so many different professional and personal backgrounds apply to join us, and it was hard to make the final decision, but we have chosen the final two members of our crew.

We are pleased to announce our two successful bursary participants for 2018;
Laura Leiva and Bimadoshka Pucan.

You can find out more about them below:

Developing Nations Bursary Participant: Laura Leiva

“I want to make the issue of the amount of toxics floating in our ocean a trending topic among my peers and I am looking forward to meet other women with my same ecological principles and passion.”

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. 


Female Indigenous Peoples of Canada Bursary: Bimadoshka Pucan

“I’m excited to share an Indigenous perspective with the rest of the crew and to bring ideas home from the voyage to my community”

Bimadoshka is a Anthropology PhD Candidate and 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.

Laura and Bimadoshka will be joining us for leg 2 of our eXXpedition North Pacific voyage. During this sail, from Vancouver to Seattle (21st – 28th July 2018), the crew will be exploring remote coastlines to survey for plastic pollution, and see the impact of plastic on the shoreline and local communities. This will give another perspective on the plastic pollution experienced by the leg 1 crew, who sailed from Hawaii to Vancouver through the North Pacific Gyre.

The North Pacific Crew will be sending us daily updates from Sea Dragon, which will be posted here on the eXXpedition website. You will also be able to see updates from the crew and ground team throughout North Pacific voyage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

North Pacific leg 2 starts on the 21st July. In the meantime, use the links above to catch up on what the leg 1 crew experienced in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!