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Mother Nature's daughters: Toronto scientist headed for Antarctica on unique mission

Carole Devine among 77 female experts from around the world meeting in Antarctica next month to strategize sustainable living

Carol Devine will be part of an expedition of science women heading to Antarctica next month to discuss problems and solutions affecting the planet.

Eduardo Lima/Metro

Carol Devine will be part of an expedition of science women heading to Antarctica next month to discuss problems and solutions affecting the planet.

Female scientists from around the world are headed to Antarctica next month to strategize about saving the planet, and one of them is from Toronto.

Carol Devine of Roncesvalles will join 77 other women leaders in science on a 20-day expedition in the earth’s southernmost continent. Under the tagline “Mother Nature Needs her Daughters,” they’ll hone leadership and scientific skills on how to combat climate change and ensure the sustainability of the planet.

It’s part of the Homeward Bound Project, a worldwide initiative whose goal is to promote the impact of women in science. This year marks the beginning of a ten-year program to build a 1,000-strong global coalition of women in science.

“Women are so underrepresented in so many parts of scientific research, it’s very unfortunate,” said Devine, whose background in health and social science has led her into humanitarian work and sparked her environmental interest.

She has previously led and participated in cleanup efforts in the Antarctica and the Arctic Circle, collecting debris to help promote better ecological practices.

During this expedition, the group will have a scientific faculty on the ship, studying earth systems, biology and climate issues.

The initiative comes at a time when scientists are warning of deteriorating climate conditions. Temperatures have been rising at a “worrying rate” in different parts of the world, affecting livestock, agriculture and water levels, said Devine.

 “We are in big trouble. No one likes bad news but it’s not looking good for the future of our planet,” she said, noting some islands in the Pacific ocean may start relocating their populations.

Even the Antarctica, which houses one of the world’s largest sheets of ice, has started melting, she said.

“The onus is on us to not only shine a light on these problems but also try to find solutions.”

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