Here Be Dragons

400 Years of Icy Exploration in the Hudson Strait

400 years (and a little bit) ago, Arctic Explorer Henry Hudson set out from England on one of the most lavishly financed expeditions of his time.  He was seeking a shorter trading route from England to the gold and spices from Asia — a Northwest Passage through Northern Canada's harsh Sub-Arctic glaciers and sea-ice.

Today, another Arctic Explorer is on a mission in the very same place — to answer the great questions of our time. That 21st century Arctic Explorer is Fiamma Straneo, an oceanograher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Last year, Straneo travelled to the Hudson Strait to measure water salinity, water velocity, and temperature — the three elements she needs to understand climate change in the Arctic.

Who are these two explorers, and what could drive them to one of the most untraversed, inhospitable places on earth?

This piece was produced by Emily Corwin for Mind Open Media, with funding from a grant to Fiamma Straneo from the National Science Foundation. It aired on Living On Earth in February, 2012.