Whaling Logbook Transcription in Schools finalist for 2018 Governor Generals History Award for Excellence in Teaching

This year, AINA piloted a new education program based on our project “Northern Seas: An interdisciplinary study of human/marine and climate system interactions in Arctic North America over the last millennium,” which is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This program brought copies of real logbooks from British whaling voyages in the Canadian Arctic to Grade 10 students at Robert Thirsk High School. Under the direction of AINA postdoctoral researcher Dr. Matthew Ayre and Warren Lake, Biology and Natural Science Teacher at Robert Thirsk, students transcribed the logbooks and recorded climatological information noted by the whalers, such as temperature, wind, ice conditions, and wildlife sightings. Through their efforts, the students contributed to our scientific study and helped build a hundred-year climate record for the Baffin Bay region. By participating in this citizen science program, the students learned about historical climatology, climate processes, and the historical and current impacts of climate change on the Canadian Arctic.

This project has been selected as one of 25 finalists for the 2018 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching.