Taking a break from field work in Jones Sound, Nunavut.

Welcome to our Q & A series with staff meant to help you get to know us better. Ann Eastwood is a Field Scientist with Oceans North and works with Arctic communities to help develop environmental monitoring programs. She has a master’s degree in environment and geography from the University of Manitoba and is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Q: How long have you worked for Oceans North and what does your job entail?

I joined the Oceans North team in late 2018 to take on the role of Field Scientist. One of my main focuses in this position is to bolster relationships between academic institutions and Arctic coastal communities, working to build trust and support Inuit self-determination.

I wouldn’t say I have a “typical” day, and I am grateful for it! The hard work, dedication, excitement and joy of working in the Arctic with such passionate and friendly people has gifted me with a lifetime of wonderful memories. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the field from Hudson Bay up to the high Arctic, collecting water and sea-ice samples, observing beluga whale behaviour, studying Arctic Char in their habitat, training new team members in sample collection and learning from our northern partners how to stay safe in the field.

Q: Describe your job in three words

Dynamic, Innovative, Invigorating.

Q:  What do you like most about your job? What are the biggest challenges?

What I like most about my job is meeting new people, learning about the many ways to connect with your surroundings, getting out in the field to collect samples with teammates, and more!

One of the biggest challenges in my job is staying warm! Over the years, I’ve learned from working with local hunters that keeping a warm air pocket around your body and feet is key, and to make sure you always have a designated pair of dry mitts—especially when sampling water and sea ice in the winter.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

My friends and family mean the world to me, and I love cooking for them. It’s an easy way to bring the people you care about together. It’s also an excuse to make a meal that includes gravy! Once I cooked a brunch for 40 people, including fried chicken, falafels, gluten-free pancakes—something for everyone.

Another way I enjoy time away from work is adventuring outdoors with my friends. We are out in every season. From cross-country skiing to multi-day canoe trips, being able to immerse myself in the boreal forest or prairie vistas is enchanting.

Q: Where’s home?

I am a Winnipegger—born and raised. Although my work has allowed me to travel to some amazing places, it’s always comforting to come home. It’s the people who make this home. And I like the familiarity of knowing a place so well. Although Winnipeg isn’t the largest of cities, there’s always something new popping up—like biking routes, bakeries and boutiques.

Q: What is something surprising about you?

I’ve played on the same curling team for nine years. We’re called the Sweeping Beauties and we play every Friday night during the winter season. Our team enjoys winning, but more importantly we enjoy having fun playing out on the ice together and catching up on life.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for the long haul?

My inspiration stems from spending time with my nieces. They’re growing so quickly and adapting all the time. I love learning with them about the world and it gives me a new lens on how to be a part of change.

Ruth Teichroeb is a regular contributor to Oceans North and is former communications director. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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