In December of 2016, the largest all-women expedition headed to Antartica. From Ushuaia, Argentina, these women went on their way to spend nearly a month at sea. 20 days to be exact; from December 2-21. They all came back safely, and many of the women have expressed how wonderful an experience it truly was. However, why did they go? What was their objective? What did they hope to discover?
About the Program That Sent Them: Homeward Bound
In their words: “Homeward Bound is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica”. Fabian Dattner and Jess Melbourne Thomas collaborated on the Homeward Bound initiative for six months, collecting 76 women of all kinds of different scientific backgrounds. From doctors, to astronomers, and everything in between.
The project had several objectives. At the above link, you can see what they had wanted to accomplish in full. However, as a quick summary, the project hoped to improve leadership skills among the women, have a global focus, and to teach others about the science effecting the planet as a whole, but especially the effects humans are having at the poles.
Why women? Homeward Bound’s reason was because though more and more women are being encouraged to get into and participate in STEM fields, they wanted to increase this, and (as mentioned previously) help the leadership skills of this women become better and stronger, thus helping their careers in their specific fields.
They chose Antartica because regions of the continent are showing the fastest responses to climate change on the planet. This allowed the women to experience first hand the evidence of the climate change that humans are causing be released their greenhouse gases into the air on a daily basis.
This project isn’t just a one time thing. In January of 2017, you can sign up for the 2018 voyage.
How Did it Go?
As mentioned before, the trip ended safely. Above even learning about the poles and improving the leadership skills of the participants, that is probably the most important part. Thankfully, all 76 women are accounted for.
How did the women like it? You can see their tweets describing the trip below, along with a linked article on the expedition that one of the women wrote:
— Biosphere Env Ed (@biosphere_ed) December 21, 2016
— Homeward Bound (@HomewardBound16) December 22, 2016
— Alison Davies (@alison_d_davies) December 21, 2016