Equitable Leadership and Critical Botany in the Antarctic
Plants can change the world, and so can you.
I have been selected for the ice-breaking opportunity to travel to Antarctica with distinguished fellow femmes in STEMM* leadership, and I need a large sum to voyage. But this mission is greater than one individual — as an early-career plant ecologist, I cannot simply reach into my deep coffers or a wealthy inner network. Therefore, I am seeking 100 people to invest $200 each in this life-changing project. Please help me get to the Antarctic here on GoFundMe or Venmo.
The Homeward Bound Project chose me for my past and potential positive impact as a leader in science and my community. For 20 days aboard the ship, my cohort will join forces to make great global change while deepening individual and collective understandings of our earth’s systems and fruitful leadership.
*STEMM is the acronym for the fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, and Medicine.
Great change, takes excellent initiative, and tremendous support. I believe that plants can change the world. To harness their power for global betterment, I have embarked on continuous efforts to progress research, my education, and work toward gender equity in science and leadership. Research shows this helps us all — plants included.
I received an opportunity to take my work to the next level. A life-changing opportunity to research, learn, explore, and collaborate with other like-minded leaders on the global stage to fight for the good of our planet.
I need 100 people to invest $200 in this project to set sail.
Continue reading for more project details.
The Homeward Bound leadership initiative (HB) has been underway for nearly two years. I have already undergone 12 months of intensive leadership strategy and personal development training. I am co-developing two public awareness campaigns within HB working groups promoting biodiversity and water resources. The capstone to this incredible experience lies at the end of the world in Antarctica. Learn more about my HB experience on my website at www.samanthaelie.com/send-samantha-elie-botanist-to-antarctica/
My journey to this remote and extreme landscape enables an immersive experience where I will build leadership, peer-coaching, problem-solving, and collaborative skills with program mentors, faculty, and alums' guidance. This once in a life-time opportunity will set off a vibrant cascade to positively impact countless individuals, research studies, plants, and ecosystems.
I need support to get to Antarctica and work towards great change through the power of plants and femme in STEMM.
The resource dedication it takes to get to Antarctica is immense. It is too enormous for one badass botanist to handle alone, but with my whole ecosystem in support, I can achieve this goal and research, learn, and collaborate for global good in the Antarctic.
I am asking you — please help me, help the plants to change the world. If you care about plants, human and wildlife wellness, leadership, gender equity, STEMM, education, global partnership, mountains, oceans, or — basically, the future of our world — I am someone, and this is a project to invest in.
When you support me, you support botany research that matters.
Support an optimistic future by investing in my vision here on GoFundMe, or Venmo.
Expedition dates: November 10, 2023 – December 1st, 2023
November 10th - 12th welcome in Puerto Madryn, AR
November 12th - December 1st at sea, studying at Antarctic research sites and stations
Expedition cost: USD$14,071 per person
The expedition cost is to be paid in USD. Expedition cost covers two nights’ accommodation before departure in Puerto Madryn, AR; a 19-night inclusive voyage to Antarctica; HB curriculum, conference, speaker and staff time aboard the ship.
Expedition cost schedule:
- Payment #1 $4,221.30 (30%) due by November 30th, 2022
- Payment #2 $4,221.30 (30%) due by February 10th, 2023
- Payment #3 $2,814.20 (20%) due by May 1st, 2023
- Payment #4 $2,814.20 (20%) due by July 15th, 2023
Out-of-pocket expenses: approximately USD$5,000 - $7,000
Out-of-pocket expenses are related to the Antarctic expedition and include but are not limited to airfare, travel insurance, and extreme cold weather gear.
Total costs range from $19,071 – 21,071 USD.
I need 100 people to invest $200 to progress great change for the betterment of our planet.
Outcomes and Impact
Investors will receive quarterly updates on the Antarctic expedition, steps in leadership, plant research, and other project goals. In addition, you will receive exclusive photos and live streams (service permitting) from Antarctica.
For group fundraisers, my Mycelium, I will schedule a coffee date for a continued relationship and sharing outcomes. These underpinning advocates influence ten members of their network to invest in my mission to help plants change the world. Contact Samantha for more information on empowering a fundraising group.
Social equity, diversity, and representative leadership are crucial for effective change at all scales. I will improve gender equity in STEMM leadership by setting an example of femme in Antarctica for upcoming generations. I actively send the elevator back down to uplift the following generations pursuing leadership roles in science as an educator, mentor, volunteer, and youth advocate. I am committed to a redefinition of leadership for global wellness that reflects the communities’ faces, voices, and needs for a greener, optimistic future.
An increasing body of research shows that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean exert significant influence over global climate. As a botanist who studies plant and disturbance ecology, I recognize the substantial worth of Antarctic flora research. I am eager to contribute in Antarctica and bring learnings back home to add resilience to local glacial and coastal communities.
I am setting an example of bold and bootstrapping scientific leadership for future generations by going to Antarctica. I am showing what can happen when grit, community vision, and plants unite to change the world.
In my opinion, there are endless reasons to visit Antarctica. However, the Homeward Bound community chose this setting for very intentional purposes.
- Antarctica is the continent for peace and science, yet women were not allowed to work on the mainland until 1969. Until then, femmes ventured to the Antarctic as wives and child bearers or were restricted to offshore and island work. Homeward Bound led the first all-female, international, working expedition to the Antarctic and together, we are making massive steps for humankind.
- Antarctica is a barometer for the rest of our planet, yet still little is understood about the roles it and the Southern Ocean play and how we are impacting them. There are endless questions to be addressed in all STEMM fields. Additionally, a non-male question-asker provides a novel lens as they set new queries. This diversity increases the impact of the whole body of research.
- Antarctica presents real challenges of isolation and teamwork for the collective to navigate, which cannot be workshopped or simulated in a conference environment.
- Engaging with one another in Antarctica will allow members of HB6 to share ideas and build trust in ways impossible remotely. Engaging with one another in person in such an extreme setting will allow HB6 to actualize how they are stronger together and forge dynamic solutions to the wicked problems surrounding our planet.
Who is Samantha Elie Botanist?
I am a badass botanist and relentless researcher who believes that plants can change the world. I am committed to impactful actions and devoted to the research that matters — the influential type that empowers and heals communities.
I aim to inspire legacy-minded community stewardship through accessible plant-based science. I educate on plants changing the world under the handle @SamanthaElieBotanist on social media, publish articles on my website www.SamanthaElie.com, and build community resilience as an avid volunteer and plant grower in the southern Salish Lowlands ecoregion.
To amplify these efforts, I applied and was selected for the Homeward Bound leadership initiative early in the spring of 2020. During this critical time, understanding that social equity, diversity, and representative leadership are vital for effective change at all scales is central to why I took action with the Homeward Bound Project.