85 students, including two from Ottawa, have returned home after two weeks of learning about climate change, exploring and encountering wildlife in the Arctic and western Greenland.

The two-week expedition put on by “Students on Ice” allowed students to be immersed in local culture and learn about the challenges facing the Arctic.

“It’s a critical time right now in the Arctic. It's changing so quickly,” said expedition leader Geoff Green. “I really think engaging our youth at this early stage in their life is important for all of us."

A homecoming event in Ottawa was a chance for students to share what they learned.

“I just learned how climate change is affecting these people, not being able to fish as much in the winter, go out on the ice, it's more dangerous and so I’m hoping to bring that back and let my friends and colleagues know about that,” said Micah May from Nelson, B.C.

Students also saw a number of polar bears along the way.

“We saw 11 in one day and they're just so beautiful and so majestic,” said Ottawa student Madison Mackey. “They just love the land and I don't want to see it going away.”

“No photograph, no song, no poetry, no image, no book can possibly describe the Arctic,” said Kieran Shepherd, a paleobiologist at the Museum of Nature. “You have to go there, you have to see it and experience it.”

With a report from CTV’s Katie Griffin