Hearts in the Ice

“We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers; we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation.” – Thomas Berry, Theologian and Earth scholar

In June 2017, Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Falun Strom started Hearts in the Ice, a global platform for dialogue around our changing climate with a special emphasis on the polar regions. Both Sunniva and Hilde have close to 25 years of experience each in the Polar regions and are passionate Polar Ambassadors. Their shared love of these wild spaces and the fact that they have borne witness to tremendous change in the Antarctic and Arctic is what has motivated their venture- “Hearts in the Ice”

In 2019-2020, Sunniva and Hilde made history when they became the first women to overwinter in Svalbard solo. They spent 12 months at the remote trappers cabin called “Bamsebu”-located at 78’n and 140 km from the closest town of Longyearbyen in Svalbard. Climate change is not taking a break so neither are they. From Nov- May 2021 they head back to the 25 m2 ( 215 sq ft) “Bamsebu” with no running water or electricity relying solely on wind and solar for power.

Together with a team of 10 global partners “Hearts in the Ice” is a bridge between Science and Global Citizens to better understand Climate Change and why we all need to play a participatory role. They will continue to serve as Citizen Scientists to build on their 2nd year of data collection  for existing research being conducted in the Arctic. They have 7 projects in total including Polar Bear observation -their closest neighbor.

Communication is the heartbeat of “Hearts in the Ice” as they shine a light on the global impacts of climate change, building stories and sharing knowledge to inspire action. Together with Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants they will host several events each month with them calling in via Satellite and special guest experts. These events will tackle different topics each month like biodiversity, weather, climate change, microplastics, wildlife and much more.

“Hearts in the Ice is more than a project, more than two brave women managing to stay on their own during a polar winter. It is a model for how scientists, industrial partners, explorers, artists and other stakeholders can meet in a common action to focus on polar climate changes. They are following in the footsteps of other polar pioneers, but his time not hunting for fur and skins, but knowledge and wisdom” – Borge Damsgard – UNIS

Please join the conversations!

Monthly Themes

November 2020

Education: Weather & Technology (Weather and Technology Education Page)

Citizen Science: Drones & Science Apps 

Presented by MARLINK

December 2020

Education: Polar Bears (Polar Bear Education Page)

Citizen Science: Wildlife Observation 

Presented by Canada Goose

January 2021

Education: Mental & Physical Health     

Citizen Science: Nasa Aurora & Polar Night

Presented by Dewalt 

February 2021

Education: Global Women in Science  

Citizen Science: Ocean Plastics & FjordPhyto

Presented by Legacy Partner BRP     

March 2021

Education:  Power of Community 

Citizen Science: Wildlife Focus Arctic/Antarctic

Presented by Hyundai

April 2021

Education: Climate Change  

Citizen Science: Micro-organisms & Ice Cores Sampling 

Presented by Telus                       

May 2021

Education: Bio-Diversity/Sustainability

Citizen Science: NASA Clouds and Plastics

“As a polar explorer and educator, I support the Hearts in the Ice project which aims to collect important scientific data and raise broad public awareness about the Arctic.” – Will Steger – Explorer, educator, eyewitness to the effects of climate change, founder of Climate Generation

“We are so thrilled Sunniva and Hilde are bringing awareness to the poles and have partnered as Citizen Scientists with FjordPhyto! The polar regions are dynamic and changing fast. These changes affect the biology of the ecosystem, starting with the food source – phytoplankton. The power of monitoring change comes from data gathered week after week. Sunniva and Hilde are in the perfect position to be at the front lines, helping further our understanding of how these precious places operate.” Allison Cusick – FjordPhyto Project Lead Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Stay in touch with weekly updates from Hearts in the Ice and grab a copy of their book coming out late 2020: 

https://www.heartsintheice.com/shop/

Lead Sponsors- Legacy Partner BRP, MARLINK Exclusive Satellite Connectivity Partner, DeWalt-Black and Decker, Canada Goose, Hurtigruten, Tele-Communications Partner TELUS, Co-CoMat and Ellen Kvam Design.

Meet Our Sponsors

Legacy Partner

Citizen Science

Good news?

Awareness and discussion about climate and the environment is much more serious than it was 40 years ago. Most people also have some knowledge and thoughts about what they can do and maybe want / can do.

Coronavirus is not good news. But society’s response shows that we can make rapid changes. It is important to make people understand that climate and environment are as important as their own lives now. But it’s about the lives of children and grandchildren.

Hearts in the Ice is more than a project, more than two brave women managing to stay on their own during a polar winter. It is a model how scientists, industrial partners, explorers, artists and other stakeholders can meet in a common action to focus on polar climate changes. They are following in the footsteps of other polar pioneers, but his time not hunting for fur and skins, but knowledge and wisdom”  – Borge Damsgard, Director- UNIS

Citizen science exemplifies the power of community to effect change and power the cutting edge of science. Citizen scientists are ‘ordinary’ people who apply their own knowledge and expertise to work in tandem with professional scientists, bringing diverse perspectives and ground-truth data to some of the world’s most difficult problems.

Hilde and Sunniva serve as citizen scientists by collecting data for existing research being conducted in the Arctic. Due to their combined 46 years of observations and experience in the Arctic and Antarctic, they are uniquely qualified and inspired to be of service in this way.

Hearts in the ice allows for year-round observations that can strengthen and enhance scientists’ ability to utilize remote sensing data to evaluate that climatic state in the region.

What happened in 2019-2020?

First 12 months in Bamsebu have been fulfilled with discoveries and challenges, with a variety of collected data:

  • Over 50 close polar bear encounters/ 2 Poop samples
  • Over 22 pre-programmed drone flights – coldest temp flown in-27’c
  • 6 insect samples over 2 months
  • 16 ice core samples- longest one was 81cm/ 16 saltwater samples/10 phytoplankton samples
  • Over 21 NASA cloud observations
  • Over 60 NASA aurora time-lapse series- coldest temp -34’c
  • 1 NASA rocket launch photo capture
  • Wildlife observed: polar bears, Arctic foxes, belugas, minke whales, walruses, bearded seals, ptarmigans, reindeers , pink-footed gooses, barnacle/brent gooses, common eiders, king eiders, northern fulmars, sanderlings, purple sandpipers, red knots, skuas-long tailed/Arctic, kittiwakes, glaucous gulls, Iceland gulls, Arctic terns, Brunnich’s /black guillemots, little Auks, snow buntings, puffins & whooper swans!

All this precious data has been conveyed to our world-renowned science partners for analysis.

In 2019-2020, Sunniva and Hilde carried several citizen-science projects with the following partners and all of these will continue from November 2020 through May 2021.

Meet Our Science Partners

Past Events