homeward-bound-icon_planet60PROJECTS

The Homeward Bound Projects came out of both a desire from the participants and the faculty to start collaborating together and working towards group goals together. Participants chose their groups and started working together at the start of 2016. 

  1. Education outreach
  2. Engagement of organisations involved in research and/or business activities making a positive environmental and/or social impact on the world
  3. Engagement of a selection of organisations that have a significant global foot print and a low representation of women in leadership
  4. A Longitudinal Study on the Leadership Experiences, Skills and Networks of Women in Science: A Case Study of the Homeward Bound Faculty
  5. Climate Science Communication
  6. Managing contributions of participants to the film
  7. In country or regional projects of concern
  8. Contributing to the leadership content; leadership of women with a science background
  9. The influence of women in climate change policy
  10. Engagement of Family
  11. Developing and leading transdisciplinary science programs to address global change priorities
  12. Carbon Offset

Project Update – October 2016


Project 1: Education outreach

Members: Dyan de Napoli, Shelley Ball, Sandra Kerbler, Joana Correia, Betty Trummel, Colleen Filippa, Joanna Young, Kathleen Patrick, Merryn McKinnon, Lauren Dubois and Tracey Gray

The Education Project Group aims to encourage students of all ages to develop leadership skills through mentoring and scientific programs. Structured learning and hands-on experiences are used to equip students with leadership and strategy skills needed to succeed in all careers, with a focus on inspiring interest in science and its importance in ensuring an environmentally sustainable future. Programs emphasise the education and mentorship of women and underprivileged children, however involve students of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Driven by these central goals, the Education Project Group has developed a number of programs, outlined below. A curriculum resource in science engagement, leadership and strategic thinking skills, based on the Homeward Bound experience, will be developed after the voyage in December 2016. It will be freely available to support education and leadership development programs around the world.

Adopt-A-Scientist Program

The Adopt-A-Scientist program, developed by Green Learning Canada, Biosphere Environmental Education (Dr. Shelley Ball) and Pinegrove Productions, will connect students from around the world with the women on the Homeward Bound expedition. During the journey to Antarctica students can explore a variety of science careers, understand what these women in science do and how they got to where they are in their careers. For more information, visit the Adopt-A-Scientist website: http://www.incredibleworld.ca/index.php/incredible-adventures 

The Domino Project

Lead by Dr Merryn McKinnon, The Domino Project will provide mentoring and leadership training for women at all levels of education, from primary school through to PhD. The project uses peer-to-peer learning, where female scientists mentor and train university students, who mentor high school students, who in turn mentor primary school students, creating a network of females engaged in leadership and science.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Mentoring Program

Joanna Young will host a two-day leadership skills workshop for early career female scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The program will foster confident, capable leaders who can make an impact in science and decision-making for a more sustainable future in Alaska and the Arctic.

The Science Roadshow

A veteran educator with over 35 years of teaching experience and founder of The Science Roadshow, Betty Trummel is working with learners of all ages on initiatives at schools and other venues. She is broadening the reach of the outreach activities by ensuring that all geographies of the Homeward Bound participants are linked to women on the expedition.

University of Western Australia – Presbyterian Ladies College Mentoring Program

Sandra Kerbler has initiated a mentoring program between the University Western Australia and Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC). The program currently focuses on primary school students and tries to build their interest in science through presentations and practical sessions run by PhD students.

School Science on the Ice Program

Kathleen Patrick will be working closely with Australian schools to design and implement science investigations in Antarctica.  Students will have the ability to track the trip online via satellite GPS.  The opportunity for students and teachers to engage with scientists in the field undertaking their experiments, will allow for a greater understanding of the application of science in our world and its vital role in shaping effective decision-making and policy around our environment.

Environmental Connection Project

Joana Correia’s project focuses on environmental issues through the lens of womens’ collaborative work. The project aims to develop stronger connections within and between educational institutions and their local communities and examine the current and future implications of climate change, particularly on the lives of women.

‘The Janes’ – Web-based Interaction Project

Colleen Filippa aims to inspire, inform and ignite a passion and a connection to STEM in a unique interactive web-based platform.  The platform is set to engage students (11 – 15 years old) in digital space to learn about STEM, develop ideas, work collaboratively, inspire, share and connect.

Penguin Lady and Penguin Watch Project

In her role as The Penguin Lady (http://www.thepenguinlady.com/), penguin expert and educator Dyan deNapoli will introduce students in multiple classrooms to the Homeward Bound project, climate change in Antarctica, and Penguin Watch – an established citizen science project in the Antarctic region. Penguin Watch (https://www.penguinwatch.org/) utilizes volunteers around the world to help count penguins in photos taken by remote cameras, which helps scientists determine the impact of global warming on those populations.


Project 2: Transformation and the Role of Change Makers in Organisations 

Members: Samantha Hall, Amanda Sinclair, Aimee Bliss, Raeanne Miller, Robyn Lucas, Deborah O’Connell, Niina Kautto and Carol Devine

Project update: https://deborahoconnellnet.wordpress.com/2016/12/22/homeward-bound-artsci-update-15-december/ 

It is often assumed that organisational leadership is signified by senior or executive positions. However, in a world which is facing unprecedented rates of novel change and complex challenges, our idea of leadership is that we will need effective ‘change makers’ operating in a range of roles across a set of ‘change pathways’In Project 2, Transformation and the Role of Change Makers in Organisations we focus on transformational leadership and the role of women as change makers in organisations making a positive environmental and/or social impact. We have shared the technical expertise that we have within our group, and familiarised ourselves with some of the literature around Theory of Change, organisational change and development, and societal adaptation and transformation. We know that effective change may require influencing Values (what people care about, and thus whether they want to do something about it), Knowledge (providing scientific knowledge and evidence, but also recognising other ways of knowing), and the Rules (formal and informal rules including policy, legislation, cultural norms etc). We have used this understanding to define some generic change pathways in our Theory of Change.

We have developed a set of semi-structured interview questions, we have started interviewing select women across various professions, career stages and organisations. We plan to add a preamble to the interview summaries with our observations, and also answer the interview questions ourselves.

We combine the approaches to gain insight.

  • Internally, for each of us as individuals within the context of the systems that we work in, to explore our personal theories of change and draw change maker maps based on our own personal skills, interests and strengths to understand the pathways by which transformational change can be effected in the systems we work in. We have used the personal insights gained from our various emotional intelligence and strengths assessments (MSCEIT and LSI) to help build our understanding of how we might influence change
  • Externally, by interviewing other change maker women, and understanding how they might map onto the pathways of change that we identify.

We will also connect our change pathways to the Homeward Bound Strategy.

To share on the ship and beyond, we aim to bring

  • the poster summarising our work
  • a ‘zine’(low-circulation magazine we make for the voyage) highlighting some key interviews we did with change makers
  • aSciArt ship component that communicates science through art and integrates with one of the most critical change pathways – connecting with the way people feel, which strongly influences values, and therefore the capacity for transformational change.
  • a draft Project 2 blog we will populate to share interview summaries, resources and other related items: https://homewardboundtransformation.wordpress.com/.

Project 3: Engagement of a selection of organisations that have a significant global footprint and a low representation of women in leadership

Members: Sarah Brough, Melinda Fitzgerald, Elanor Huntington, Christina Kirsch, Andrea Robinson and Lauren Sandon

Global organisations have a significant impact on our world yet women are often under-represented in leadership groups responsible for high level decision making. In 2015, Ernst & Young revealed that global energy companies are failing to take action on gender diversity in leadership, with Origin Energy being the only Australian company to be ranked in the top 20 companies. This is despite well-documented evidence revealing a link between female representation on boards and increased profitability, return on investment, and innovation. Board diversity also leads to better performance in areas such as problem solving, flexibility and decision making providing economic and social benefit to all employees, female and male. Hence women in leadership is a performance issue with bottom line impact!

In line with Homeward Bound’s mission to align women in leadership with a sustainable world, this Project aims to provide the Renewable Energies Sector with a bespoke gender equity toolkit to facilitate self-reflection and enact strategies to increase the proportion of women in leadership roles. This is an enduring, long term project which aims to influence policy and high-level decision making whilst building strategic alliances with industry.

The first phase of the Project has focused on examining gender equity across the Renewable Energies Sector. Resources including toolkits and policies currently available to the industry sector have been evaluated and direct consultation with industry and the Clean Energy Council has facilitated an improved understanding of best practice and the sector’s needs for achieving gender equity. In the second phase of the Project, the team will liaise with social scientists to generate an improved equity toolkit, in the form of a survey, to incite company self-reflection, identify areas for development, and encourage feedback. Survey questions will probe i) organisational structure, culture and/or attitudes that exist which currently lead to under-representation and/or exclusion of women, ii) examples of successful strategy implementation (short, mid and/or long term) which have led to positive change, iii) the identification and role of champions within the workforce to drive gender initiatives, and iv) resource needs to achieve gender parity. Towards this end, the Clean Energy Council has been consulted on what they would find useful and will be consulted in identifying a small number of companies (5-10) willing to beta-test the equity toolkit.

Post-feedback and refinement, we anticipate that company engagement with the disseminated Homeward Bound-generated equity toolkit will lead to greater understanding of the value of women in leadership roles and the barriers they face in reaching these positions. This Project also aims to encourage more organisations within the Renewable Energies Sector to create and invigorate strategies which encourage and support female staff into leadership roles to drive towards gender parity. This in turn will equip participating companies with greater resilience to disruptive and transformative change within their sector.


Project 4: Leadership for women in STEMM

Members: Amanda Davies, Meredith Nash, Sarah Connolly, Amanda Blyth and Nina McLean

The main aims of Group 4 are to explore how HB participants define leadership and invest in leadership training, and to identify participants’ reasons for applying to the HB programme. Group 4 is exploring these areas through a research study (administered by the University of Tasmania) and via public communication. Group 4 met in Perth, WA in Feb 2017 to develop the group’s aims and purpose as well as the framework for a study comprising an online survey to capture participants’ beliefs about leadership before participating in HB. This survey data contributes to a larger, ongoing mixed-methods research project about HB led by Meredith Nash.

Research study

Title of investigation: How do HB participants define leadership and invest in leadership training?

Key research questions include:

  1. What are the socio-demographic characteristics of HB participants?
  2. How do HB participants define leadership?
  3. What are their reasons for applying for the HB leadership development programme?
  4. What are their perceived social and economic barriers to professional development in their fields?

All 76 HB participants were invited to complete the pre-programme survey in March 2016. The survey was distributed via email and was open for one month. Sixty-one participants completed the survey – a response rate of 78%. The 17 question survey consisted of closed and open-ended questions. Closed questions were used to gather socio-demographic data. Open-ended questions were used to gather data on participants’ perceptions about leadership. Amanda Davies and Meredith Nash used content analysis to analyse the survey data with the aim of understanding how the data aligns with the nine factors in the Full Range Leadership Model. Pearson’s chi square test was then used to identify any significant patterns in how participant’s selected various FRLM factors to define leadership and their own leadership styles. To examine if there were any significant groupings of factors within the definitions of leadership and leadership styles, we conducted hierarchical cluster analyses. An article reporting on the study results has been prepared for an organisational studies journal.

Public communication

Amanda Davies, Meredith Nash, and Nina McLean wrote an article for New Matilda in June 2016. This communication was based on data compiled by Nina McLean with regard to how HB participants have been funding their HB participation.


Project 5: Climate Science Communication

Members: Glenna McGregor, Elvira Poloczanska, Anne Christianson, Ashton Gainsford, Alison Davies, Johanna Speirs, Claire Hindle, Nicole Hellessey and Ida Kubiszewski  

Coming soon


Project 6: Film Project

Members: Sarah Charnaud, Marianne Harvey, Tracey Gray and Jennifer Woodgate

Leadership has traditionally been defined by men, in male roles.  It is considered the status quo, so how do we change this – what is the evidence for the benefits of change, to include more women?  We set out to find out how women are represented in society, academia and in particular STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) and how this translates to the media.  And also, importantly, how does having gender equality in leadership impact on companies and countries?

GOVERNMENT

We found that the number of women in parliaments worldwide is now 22%, up from 11% in 1995.  Some people may not know but Rwanda has the highest number of women in parliament. Women’s representation in local governments has made a difference. Research on panchayats (local councils) in India discovered that the number of drinking water projects in areas with female-led councils was 62 per cent higher than in those with male-led councils. In Norway, a direct causal relationship between the presence of women in municipal councils and childcare coverage was found. http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/leadership-and-political-participation/facts-and-figures

BUSINESS

In companies “women hold 9.5% of ASX500 board positions.  47% of companies have women representatives on the board leaving 53% of companies with no gender diversity”. Yet “Companies with women on their board deliver a significantly higher Return on Equity (ROE) than those without women on their boards.” http://www.reibeyinstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ASX500_Women-Leaders-2011.pdf. Also, groups perform better on complex tasks the more women they have, and not due to the combined IQs. what-makes-a-team-smarter-more-women  Social sensitivity is actually what leads to collective groups.

STEMM

As in most areas women in STEMM earn less than men for the same job (30% less in the 2010 census), despite or perhaps because scientists pride themselves on rational non-biased thinking.  Unconscious bias exists in marking and hiring – identical applications were given to faculty members with name changed to be male or female.  Female named applications were rated as less competent and less hireable, offered less mentoring, and 10% less pay regardless of the sex of the person judging them.  On top of this there are fewer women on journal boards and grant review panels which can lead to slower career progression.

Tangible examples where having female researchers may have avoided deaths:

  1. Air bags were tested with a male dummy, but were not safe for women who died at low speeds perhaps due to the presence of breasts! Crash test dummies
  2. Women are more likely to die from coronary heart disease as they present with different symptoms than men.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1761670/

  1. Women react differently to drugs in clinical trials but are rarely involved. In 2006 eight out of ten prescription drugs were withdrawn in the US due to ‘womens issues’.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/308/5728/1517.long

WOMEN LEADERS IN THE MEDIA

As technology has advanced in the past decade so has the influence on society. With the internet, social media and micro blogging the mass populace is having more of an impact in society that previously.  The media coverage of the Olympics shows that there is still significant sexism in the media, with female athletes being defined by who they are married to.  This is also occurring with the first female presidential nomination in the USA.  A Pew research study concluded that Americans believe it is due to women being held to higher standards than men and the country “just not ready” to elect a woman.  We’ll see if that changes in November.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/07/30/about-one-in-ten-of-todays-world-leaders-are-women/


Project 7: In country or regional projects of concern

Members: Heidi Steltzer, Lucy Forde, Kerry O’Brien and Cristina Venables

Coming soon


Project 8: Contributing to the leadership content; leadership of women with a science background  [Alternative title: Leadership lessons for women in science: the power of storytelling]

Members: Christina Schroeder, Renate Egan, Ruth Luscombe, Andrea Fidgett, Nancy Auerbach and Sea Rotmann

Description: “Once upon a time, there was a group of 78 women scientists from all over the world. Every day, they went about their business, doing great science while fighting against a system that disadvantages them and makes it hard to get their voices heard. But then, Fabian Dattner a vision, called ‘Homeward Bound’ and decided to challenge this bias and empower these women to become the leaders they are. Because of that, these women were chosen to be the first of hopefully many to go on a life-changing expedition to Antarctica where they will network, share stories and learn from the world’s top leadership and strategy experts. Until, finally they become the change agents that the world needs so much and their voices and stories are heard loud and clearly.”

This is the story of Homeward Bound, an all-female collective of current and future scientific leaders, who see a world of hope for our planet that is informed by science. This project seeks to recognise the leadership qualities of all women in scientific fields by promoting the unique and inclusive way that women lead. We are gathering our leadership experiences and success stories in a way that promotes women in bringing about positive changes in our society and helps us develop our leadership capabilities. With Antarctica as a backdrop and the future of our planet in mind, we will tell the many intriguing, exciting and heart-breaking stories of women in science leadership and their journey to become the agents of change the world needs.

Outcomes: Project 8 collated personal leadership stories from 45 out of 78 participants (57% response rate) using a set of guided questions to form a story spine. The project team identified key words and themes from the leadership stories and produced two word clouds; one for positive leadership themes and a second for leadership hurdles. The latter included many well-known problems that restrain women, i.e. lack of role models, unconscious bias, discrimination, bullying, everyday sexism and unwelcoming environments.

The storytelling exercise provides unique insight into the experiences and aspirations of Homeward Bound participants. The word clouds and leadership stories have been shared with the leadership faculty to help guide them to address specific issues and interests that were raised.

Future iterations: In future iterations, we would consider a different sentiment analysis and broader distribution of the contributed stories. Word networks have been identified as an alternative to word cloud and may provide deeper insight to the links between different ideas. The story consent waiver would need to be amended to provide for broader story distribution, e.g. with the film faculty or an HB participant book.

Positive Leadership Themes

positive leadership traits.png

Leadership Hurdles

leadership hurdles.png


Project 9: The influence of women in climate change policy

Members: Briony Ankor, Belinda Fairbrother, Wynet Smith, Deborah Pardo and Danielle Medek

Women are more attuned to, and more vulnerable to climate change.

Women are also different leaders; more collaborative, better listeners. On average, only 20% of national parliament seats are held by women. We are identifying the need for more female voices in climate change policy, then exploring how to improve this disparity.

We find that countries with better female economic, political, educational and health attainment have better environmental performance. Grass-roots movements, many driven by women, can shape a country’s environmental perspective and policies. We invite you to a participatory mapping project identifying female “top-down” and “bottom-up” change-makers in environmental policy. We aim to reinforce the HB vision, find role models and policy models to strive torwards, inspire and drive change.

Findings so far

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”spreadsheets/d/1H71GY5kw_yNuVSX1q8pu0bjVfqODOj6yUN7rqOQ95jE/pubchart” query=”oid=32916114&format=interactive” width=”600″ height=”371″ /]Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has been developed by Yale [link to http://epi.yale.edu/], and measures a country’s performance relative to national or regional targets, with an ideal score of 100. 

Gender Gap Index (GGI) developed by the World Economic Forum [link to https://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2015/] combines scores for gender equality in economic, political, educational and health attainment, with ideal score of 1.

When these scores are plotted against each other, especially when considering higher income countries, there is a close relationship between EPI and GGI. While environmental performance index relates well to Gross Domestic Product per capita, GGI is independent of GDP per capita, so this is not purely a situation where richer countries can afford to both look after their environment better and afford greater opportunities for women.

This relationship might suggest an improved gender gap leads to an improved environmental performance. Indeed, if you introduce a time lag of one year, the relationships are at times even tighter (suggesting that gender gap improvements later translate to environmental performance improvements).

Our Map

We are developing a map of inspiring women who transform environmental perspectives, from community, national and international stages. We aim to show how these approaches interact. We encourage others to include their role models and inspirations.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1-2kJGk1wzLZDEGgqBvCqivObxoA&w=640&h=480]

Project 10: Engagement of Family

Members: Holly North, Kate MacMaster, Sharna Jamadar, Denise Hardesty, Phoebe Barnard, Cathy Moir and Molly Christensen 

The purpose of the project is to increase engagement of family, friends and communities in the lead up to, as well as during the voyage in 2016 to Antarctica, spreading the word of HB and gaining an understanding of how important family and community support is to success of Homeward Bound and the ongoing leadership journey of its participants.

During this project the project team developed a letter for HB participants to then forward on to special and important people in their communities and families. This letter acknowledged the amazing commitment that the HB participants were making and the important role that families, friends and/or communities play in supporting women in their endeavours. We offered some options for family, friends and communities to engage with the Homeward Bound journey of the participants. These included:

·         engagement through our Homeward Bound Community Facebook page (facebook.com/homewardboundprojects);

·         preparing a ‘love from home parcel’ for each participant to open on the boat;

·         or to engage through participant blogs which could be posted whilst on the expedition.

The project team is continuing to develop some other ideas that will continue engage the participants and broader communities and hopefully provide a small memento for the participants to take away with them.

By the time we are farewelling the HB participants at the end of December, we anticipate that the broader HB community will have a better understanding of just how important family and friend support is to success of women in leadership.  The project team also hopes to share some insight into the importance and role of families, with future cohorts of Homeward Bound women.


Project 11: Developing and leading transdisciplinary science programs to address global change priorities

Members: Karen Hawke, Melissa Haeffner, Fern Hames, Margaret Barbour, Sam Grover, Ghislaine Platell, Lindsay Stringer, Nicole Webster and Jessica Reeves

Project 11 Purpose: The key area of focus for Project 11 is to understand how developments in the social, physical, chemical, biological and computational sciences can be bought together to tackle the scientific challenges posed by climate change. The rationale for this is that climate change is a global issue, rooted in the physical and chemical sciences with complex biological impacts and feedbacks as well as significant social consequences. Most stressors to biodiversity, ecosystem health and social services are concurrent and cumulative- highlighting the need for integrated transdisciplinary approaches. In addition, many of the changes needed for environmental protection and food security require transdisciplinary research planning and implementation. By considering and documenting the interactions between these disciplines we expect to gain unique insights into both the scientific challenges but also the opportunities for reducing climate change.

Climate change targets people unevenly[1]. Evidence from all over the world demonstrates that women experience more vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change[2]. Empowering female voices in climate change policy and research is necessary to address this challenge. Climate change is inherently transdisciplinary – it will not be solved by business-as-usual silo thinking but from collaboration. We will investigate what makes women well suited to working in transdisciplinary teams, the key attributes that women can bring to leading and communicating transdisciplinary science and explore how to encourage greater female participation in transdisciplinary research generally and particularly within the field of climate change science.

[1] O’Brien, Karen L., and Robin M. Leichenko. “Double exposure: assessing the impacts of climate change within the context of economic globalization.”Global environmental change 10.3 (2000): 221-232.2 Denton, Fatma. “Climate change vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation: why does gender matter?.” Gender & Development 10.2 (2002): 10-20. 

Multifaceted Approach:

  • To explore the opportunities and challenges for transdisciplinary science and provide greater insight into how women can effectively lead transdisciplinary research, project 11 have each provided 10 key words related to ‘opportunities’, 10 key words related to ‘challenges’ and 10 key words related to their personal experience of participating in Project 11. These keywords have been collated into 2 word clouds that can be used to identify synergies and difficulties associated with transdisciplinary research.  In addition, to capitalise on the transdisciplinary membership of the project 11 team, we have each provided the 3 most relevant research publications pertaining to climate change adaptation spanning our respective fields.  A word cloud of these abstracts will be used to identify complementarity and transdisciplinary opportunities that can help address the wicked problem of climate change.
  • As part of the ‘Symposium at Sea’ we will also be asking participants to broadly consider how they, their field or their organisation contributes to the climate change conversation. As part of their response participants will be asked to consider whether their field contributes to a better understanding of climate change impacts on the environment, or human health, by building knowledge around resilience / adaptation etc.  We will also request that participants consider how their field contributes (i.e. through communication/ engagement, tool development or some other mechanism?).  Results will be collated post-trip and used as the basis for an article in The Conversation.
  • Project 11 will also present each participant with a small reflection booklet made of waterproof paper which they can individually sign with the Homeward Bound logo during the voyage. We will request that people reflect on their level of stress/anxiety/expectation at the start and end of the trip, and at some point whilst in Antarctica to identify what they see/ hear/ feel/ smell/ taste, and a reflection on how they feel and whether they have formed personal and professional synergies with participants from disparate research fields.  The content of these books will be collated to provide an understanding of the importance of the ‘richness’ of a natural environment contributing to our responses.  Participants will be able to keep their individual reflection booklets to spark new ideas about how to integrate perspectives for the goal of transcending disciplines within science and beyond.

Current Understanding:

Opportunities (blue) and Challenges (orange) for Transdisciplinary Science

 team 11.png

Homeward Bound Project 11 Developmental Process

 team 11 2.png

Transdisciplinary Analysis of Climate Change Adaptation

team 11 3.png


Project 12: Carbon Offset

Members: Nancy Auerbach, Holly North, and Danielle Medek

The Antarctica component of the Homeward Bound journey is a big drawcard for many female scientist applicants. However, a trip to Antarctica easily doubles the personal annual carbon footprint of one person. We are joining the growing adventure travel industry which impels people to experience parts of the world even as they are irrevocably being impacted by climate change.

Antarctic travel for tourism and research contributes to the mechanism that is driving climate change through its use of fossil fuels as its energy source. For example, carbon emissions from Antarctic travel can impact on krill and plankton populations through ocean acidification, thereby adversely affecting the very core of the ecosystem that tourists and scientists are coming to see and research.

Carbon offsets are generated from activities that prevent, reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere. Rather than individually offsetting carbon emissions from our air and sea travel on the Homeward Bound voyage in December 2016, the HB carbon offsets team aims to collectively implement a carbon sequestration project which offsets emissions for the entire Homeward Bound project team.

In 2016, we put our efforts into creating a Homeward Bound forest in Australia which will sequester carbon over its lifetime. A forest connects HB participants to a tangible project that will mitigate the impacts of our journey and provide habitat connectivity for threatened fauna. Importantly this project will connect landholders with other like-minded local community members who wish to prevent local extinctions of threatened plants and animals. The plantings are planned to help prevent the decline of an endangered local population of koalas in northern NSW, Australia.

We have estimated:

  • carbon emitted by all team members for travel to/from the ship embarkation point in Ushuaia, Argentina and the ship’s environmental footprint over a 20-day voyage in Antarctica
  • carbon offset potential of a forest through mixed species environmental plantings with area required to offset our estimated collective carbon emissions (1300 tCO2e)

Forming partnerships with, and providing in-principal support to, land management agencies (state and local government) and NGOs can be effective in establishing ongoing funding applications which extend forest habitat regeneration in the longer term. With our partner, the Byron Shire Council, we are targeting funding for our carbon offsets project through:

  • The Green Army
  • The Environmental Trust
  • 20 Million Trees

We have agreed to provide presentations on our Antarctica voyage, leadership training, and conservation experiences to stakeholder groups upon our return from the 2016 Homeward Bound Antarctica expedition. Audiences will include Green Army and local Landcare members, participating landholders and renewable energy NGOs.

We want to engage all HB participants by communicating the significance of contributing to global stewardship through carbon offsetting by our habitat regeneration, restoration and rehabilitation project.

Carbon abatement projects that prevent CO2 from entering the atmosphere are as important as those that remove CO2. Projects benefitting indigenous women’s health are also a priority. We recommend consideration of such alternative carbon offsets to future HB expedition team members.

Resources for carbon offsetting consulted:

www.15trees.com.au

https://www.coolearth.org

http://www.penguinoffset.com/our-calculator.html

http://www.thesouthpolegroup.com/why-spg

FullCAM: https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/c9547241-6714-485f-8f1e-de75db952e52/files/fullcam-guidance-ep-mallee.pdf)

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