Sedna Epic's all-women Arctic Expedition

“Dear Jenny,

I’m writing to invite you to participate, in both the women’s leadership program and the live-aboard expedition where we’ll conduct scientific research and snorkel with orcas and humpbacks.

I believe that you would be a strong contributor to the team and that you’d benefit—academically and from personal growth perspective—working with Sedna’s amazing group of accomplished women scientists, educators and artists.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers, Susan”

This is the email that I received in January 2019 following an interview with Susan Eaton.

Susan  is the founder of Sedna Epic , a team of women scientists, artists, photographers, film-makers and journalists who take part in expeditions to the Arctic region. They aim to create citizen scientists in Arctic regions, empowering youth, girls and women to become the next generation of leaders in their communities to tackle climate change.

This year, the goals of the expedition are two-fold:

1.  During November 22-25, the Sedna Epic will run a leadership program in Tromso, Norway, discussing women’s growing representation in exploration and STEMM careers.  During the leadership program we hope to connect with Sami women, to better understand this part of the Arctic, its history, geography, and the culture and traditions of its Indigenous people and their relationship to the sea.

2.  Following the leadership program, Sedna's sea women will spend November 25-December 1, 2019, aboard the MV Freya, snorkelling with orcas and humpbacks and undertaking scientific research.   
39750386_156258691965197_r.jpegThis amazing photo is courtesy of expedition partner Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions and copyright of Jens Wikström - Wildlife Photography.

This expedition will be invaluable to my personal, professional and academic development. The team I will be joining includes experts from many fields including academia, exploration, science communication and journalism, art, photography, film-making and education. We aim to educate and be educated through our relationship development with the Saami and build strong foundations for future collaboration and cooperation. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to join a team of like-minded women to work for causes that are so close to my heart.

While I will get a chance to learn and develop so many skills and create connections for my future career, this will also be a great physical challenge, with water temperatures ranging from 4 to 7º celsius at that time of year. We will need the mental and physical resilience to withstand these challenging conditions while coming face to face with The top predator in the ocean, killer whales, and their cousins giants, the humpback whales.

Ultimately, this expedition is an incredible opportunity for me, the women onboard, the arctic region, the fight against climate change and for women and young girls around the world.

Sedna Epic is a non-commercial non-profit and the sea-women volunteer their time and are entirely self-funded. Any contribution to help me make this unprecedented (for me) challenge a reality would be incredibly appreciated!

The funds raised will go towards the cost of the trip: chartering a boat, crew, equipment, accommodation and flights in the high Arctic incurs considerable costs. The cost of this expedition will amount to over 4000€ for myself. As a PhD student in Dublin, I could not make it without your help therefore can honestly not put into words how grateful I am for the help.

Thank you!


You can read my reaction to the email above and what led to me applying here:

Read more about my work in ocean conservation here:


This is a video courtesy of our expedition partners Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions. Though our expedition will be run slightly differently to their usual cruises, this shows some of the conditions we will be snorkeling in and the animals we will be studying and filming.

Donations ()

  • Rose Boardman 
    • €15 
    • 3 mos
  • Colin Purves 
    • €40 
    • 5 mos
  • Sarah Gabel 
    • €20 
    • 5 mos
  • Louise Bellamy 
    • €10 
    • 5 mos
  • Floriane O’Keeffe 
    • €10 
    • 5 mos
See all


Jenny Bortoluzzi 
Dublin, Ireland
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more