Signal To Noise: Arctic climate change study tour 2020

While Australia is experiencing unprecedented and devastating fires and drought as an immediate result of climate change, the melting of the polar caps has had a slow and continuous effect on the weather patterns of the world. The Arctic is warming at double the pace of anywhere else on Earth and, for this reason, is a leading indicator of global warming, from melting glaciers and permafrost thaw, to starving polar bears and growing homelessness in local communities. Its remoteness can cause us to overlook its critical relationship to the global environment.

Mid 2020, ten of Griffith University’s brightest and passionate students will bear witness to climate change impacts in the Arctic, documenting how melting polar ice caps lead to cataclysmic effects around the world.

Travelling with Nobel co-Laureates and expert arctic guides, Adjunct Professor John Rodsted and Mette Eliseussen, 10 passionate students will fund their own travel to Svalbard, Norway to embark on a 12 day sail (June 26 - July 7, 2020) through the Earth’s northern seas. Two lecturers from communication/journalism and photojournalism will represent the university and round out the teaching team.

Our focus is not an investigation of the sciences of climate change, but rather how we can most effectively communicate its impacts. We consider the Arctic the climate change signal that is drowned out by the noise of competing politics, industry, and misinformation.

This trip highlights the connectedness of climate change around the globe.

Donate to Arctic in-field

Donate to assist students attending the Signal To Noise Arctic climate change study tour 2020

Interdisciplinary

We are students from a variety of disciplines including environmental science and engineering, photography, journalism, communications and the arts. In collaboration with local communities, we aim to tell stories of the Arctic in ways that raise awareness, understanding and action on climate change, using our emergent skills and expertise in ways that are meaningful and effective.

Your impact

Join a global chorus of voices telling human stories about climate change that challenge the distance between ourselves and our ecologies.

We need your help to cover travel costs. In return, we will engage in rubbish clean-ups in the Arctic, as well as commit to off-setting carbon emissions related to our travel.

The cost for students is approximately $13,500 per student. These costs include flights, accommodation, food, the ship and the crew and while the students are utilising their networks and skills to source funds  there is still a crucial shortfall of approximately $6,000 per student.

Donate to Arctic in-field

To discuss your part in this important environmental project through a tax deductable contribution please contact Dee Rennie, Development Manager, Queensland College of Art and Griffith Film School, Griffith University

Join our Artwork Auction 14 February 2020 in the Project Gallery at QCA, Griffith University South Bank. See details for donating work below.

Meet the team

Signal To Noise: Arctic climate change study tour 2020

Listen to the podcasts

Signal to Noise: Messages from the Arctic podcast episodes

Artwork auction

Call for print donations towards Signal to Noise: Arctic In-Field Study Trip 2020 print auction and crowd-funding campaign launch

Students, staff and alumni: support our students by donating your prints, drawings, paintings or jewellery items

We are seeking support from students, staff (past and present) and alumni to support Signal to Noise, the first ever Griffith Arctic in-field.

We will hold a print sale and auction on the launch night of our crowd-funding campaign on 14 February 2020 in the Project Gallery at QCA, Griffith University South Bank. The event has a strong environmental theme.

If you have ever benefited from an in-field experience, you will know that these are very much one-of-a-kind opportunities for students to develop their understanding of the world while developing skills necessary to propel them into their future professional aspirations.

How to submit your work:

Digital Images as JPEGS:

  • 2500 pixels longest side
  • 300DPI
  • AdobeRGB
  • Caption information under File Info in Photoshop (artist name, image title, number in series)
  • File naming: STN_Your surname_ image title_number.jpeg (For example: STN_Smith_cbd_1.jpeg and if you are submitting more than one image, STN_Smith_cbd_2.jpeg etc.)
  • Upload your file(s) to https://liveimage.wetransfer.com/
  • Then write a message for the team that you are submitting work for the Signal to Noise Fundraiser (please make sure to do this so we can find your work!). Press Transfer and wait for your files to send.

Prints/Drawings/Paintings

  • No more than 21 cm on longest edge
  • Unframed
  • Able to pin or Blu Tack to wall
  • A sheet attached with your name, image title and series number if necessary.
  • Secure your work in an envelope or suitable casing and hand it in to the friendly staff at LiveImage on the 3rd floor of S03, Queensland College of Art, South Bank campus.

Jewellery and Small Objects

Please discuss your contribution with J&SO Signal to Noise crowd-funding coordinator Vanessa Scott at vanessa.scott2@griffithuni.edu.au

All prints will be priced at $75 AUD and artists will be revealed after the item is purchased.

Jewellery and small objects should be suitably priced for the event.

An auction of an image donated by Adjunct Professor and Nobel co-laureate, John Rodsted, will also be held.

All proceeds will go towards off-setting student costs for the trip.

Deadline for artwork donations: 10 February 2020

Study tour background

This study tour will provide students with:

  • A critical introduction to the roles, responsibilities and challenges of media in contemporary climate change initiatives
  • An understanding of climate change science and impacts in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region
  • An understanding of the Arctic Region, climate change impacts and the similarities and differences to Australia and our region
  • Exploration of climate change politics, including human and food security, climate migration and geo-politics
  • Examination of various governance, legislation and policy contexts for climate change responses.

Focusing on Communication

Our focus is not an investigation of the sciences of climate change, but rather how we can most effectively communicate its impacts. We consider the Arctic the climate change signal that is drowned out by the noise of competing politics, industry, and misinformation. The Arctic is warming at double the pace of anywhere else on Earth and, for this reason, is a leading indicator of global warming, from melting glaciers and permafrost thaw, to starving polar bears and growing homelessness in local communities. Its remoteness can cause us to overlook its critical relationship to the global environment.

Bringing it Home

We will deliver a monogram, podcasts, an exhibition and symposium to engage with Australian public when we return. We are especially excited to engage with those who will be faced with tough decisions - school children. We will be asking them for special assignments and involvement from Australia to engage their criticality and imagination around the impacts of, and creative responses to, climate change.

Applications for this study tour are now closed. If you would like further information, please contact Heather Faulkner.

Eligibility and costs

This is a 20CP course that will entail crowd-funding, training and research prior to departure dates. Students and staff will set sail on the HLSS Linden, a 3-masted schooner, for a 12-day trip around the Arctic off of Svalbard, Norway.

The cost will be approximately $12,000 per student, with OS-Help and IEIS grant support available. Students must have completed at least 80CP by the end of T1, 2020 to be eligible for OS-Help loan and have at least 10CP to complete in your degree by T2, 2020.

All Griffith students are welcome to apply.

Application criteria

Eligible students can submit an application addressing the criteria by 10 September 2019. Apply using the online form below.

  • 750 – 1000 words explaining why you should be involved
  • What you can contribute and how you will benefit
  • Your career intentions – why is this trip likely to support /inform your professional development
  • Copy of current academic transcript
  • Portfolio (written and/or visual)
  • 3 references: 2 academic and 1 personal character reference.

Interviews will be held with 15 students shortlisted for this in-field. The final selection will be moderated by the Heads of School for QCA and HLSS.

Apply now

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750 – 1000 words

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