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UC Riverside student is 1 of only 5 persons selected for challenging Arctic expedition
Date:8/19/2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. In less than two weeks, Amanda Cobbs-Russell, a junior majoring in conservation biology at UC Riverside, will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, requiring her to push herself to her physical and mental limits.

She is one of only five people two Americans and three Canadians selected from applicants across North America who will get to hike, eat, and sleep among sweeping glaciers, polar ice and jagged granite mountains in the heart of Canada's Arctic.

The international organization impossible2Possible (i2P), which focuses on raising awareness among youth for various social and environmental issues, made the final selections and is sponsoring the three-week trek.

Led by a team of elite adventurers, Cobbs-Russell and the others selected will set out Sept. 1 from Ottawa, Canada (departure date subject to weather conditions), on the expedition across the Akshayuk Pass on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada.

A challenging trek, the Akshayuk Pass was only traveled periodically by Inuit people. It has a rich and storied history, and has attracted attention recently due to the cultural and environmental significance of the Arctic in the face of climate change.

As a "Youth Ambassador" on the trek, Cobbs-Russell will have the opportunity to examine the history of the Inuit people, their survival techniques and adaptation to the land, and response to colonialism. She also will investigate the geology and climatology of the region, with an emphasis on the impact of climate change on the Canadian Arctic.

"I am very excited about going on the trek and am honored to be selected to participate," said Cobbs-Russell, 20, the only Californian selected for the expedition. "I know this experience will strongly impact my life. I look forward to working as a team member in this challenging project, and I look forward, too,
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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