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ANNOUNCEMENT

Dax Justin Inducted Into The RCGS College of Fellows

By ANNOUNCEMENT

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In November of 2019 I flew to Ottawa, ON, Canada for the first time in my life to become elected as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. RCGS Fellows are nominated based on their significant contribution to Canadian geography, culture, and their embodiment of the longstanding values and tenets of the RCGS: the determination to build, courage to explore and outstanding service to Canada.

by Dax Justin

I’m now officially a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society! Out of Canada’s estimated population of 37.59 MILLION, there are just 1,176 RCGS Fellows – and I’m proud to be one of them.

On November 20th, 2019, I was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (FRCGS). All RCGS Fellows are deemed to have distinguished themselves by directly contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geography, geographical exploration or allied sciences (i.e., archaeology, atmospheric sciences, marine biology, zoology, etc.). Such accomplishments are evidenced by published books, scientific publications or major mainstream media coverage documenting fieldwork, or exploration.

RCGS Fellows are nominated based on their significant contribution to Canadian geography, culture, and their embodiment of the longstanding values and tenets of the RCGS: the determination to build, courage to explore and outstanding service to Canada. Fellowship in the RCGS College of Fellows has, since its inception in 1929, represented the very best of Canada, and includes many of Canada’s most intrepid explorers, geographers, astronauts, actors, and even some former Prime Ministers.

 

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“The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s College of Fellows Annual Dinner is the standout event of the year for hundreds of people who share the Society’s passion for making Canada better known to Canadians and the world. But 2019’s event, held Nov. 21 at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., was even more special, as the Society celebrated 90 years of exploration, curiosity and storytelling. Read on for some of the highlights of the evening, as captured by those who attended..” Read more

Photo: Ben Powless, Canadian Geographic

Nominations to the RCGS College of Fellows can only be made by another Fellow and must be approved by the Society’s Fellows Committee before being presented for election during the RCGS Annual General Meeting. An RCGS Fellow is an individual who has demonstrated an interest in the mandate and programs of the Society and is willing to engage in efforts to sustain and expand its capacity to “make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.” Fellows agree to serve on committees, foster partnerships, provide opinions and expertise, organize events and contribute to fundraising efforts.

 

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Dax Justin, FRCGS, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Thank you to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for this amazing honour!

ABOUT THE ROYAL CANADIAN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY:

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is dedicated to promoting and enhancing public awareness for Canadian geography, and to strengthening the bond between Canadians and their diverse and vast geographical heritage.

As one of Canada’s oldest and largest educational, non-profit organizations, the RCGS, and its iconic publication, Canadian Geographic, has been our country’s most recognized voice for connecting Canadians with the land, culture and environment in which they live.

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Dax Justin is a Canadian explorer and adventure photographer, currently based in Calgary, AB. His photos and stories are focused on connecting humans back to nature. His work is concerned with ocean health, Indigenous rights and distinctiveness, and our environment, covering stories such as eco-tourism in the Great Bear Rainforest, the human impact of marine debris, and trekking with Polar Bears on the Hudson Bay tundra. Dax is a newly-elected Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (FRCGS), Contributor to Canadian Geographic, a National Geographic Certified Educator, TEDx speaker and creator of the the ‘Explore in School‘ (EiS) initiative. You can explore more of his images and adventures on instagram.com/daxjustin or facebook.com/daxjustin.

It’s Official⁠ — I’m a National Geographic Certified Educator!

By ANNOUNCEMENT

5 min read

In the Spring of 2019 I undertook a National Geographic course for the first time and it's called the National Geographic Educator Certification course. This course seeks to inspire Pre-K—12 formal and informal educators to teach students about the world in innovative and interdisciplinary ways. As an Informal Educator, this 3-month course was like jet fuel for my youth initiative, Explore in School.

by Dax Justin

I’m over-the-moon excited to share with you all that I am officially a National Geographic Certified Educator! After a few months of work over Spring and Summer, I got the official word that I had earned the certification.

MORE THAN EVER, OUR WORLD IS INTERCONNECTED.

National Geographic Educator Certification is a free professional development program that recognizes pre-K through 12 formal and informal educators committed to inspiring the next generation of explorers, conservationists, and changemakers. These educators are part of a powerful movement to make the world a better place by empowering students to be informed decision-makers equipped to solve meaningful challenges in their communities and beyond.”

DON’T JUST TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT THE WORLD—TEACH THEM HOW TO CHANGE IT.

The course is made up of three phases, each with their own objectives and set of criteria for completion. In the first phase, I worked on developing my Teaching Mission; taking a goal and expanding that into formidable action. Before the course, my teaching mission was to basically just go into schools and give presentations about walking with polar bears… After I completed the first phase successfully, my Teaching Mission is now to EXPLORE – ILLUMINATE – ACTIVATE through a series of visual storytelling presentations and lessons on wildlife conservation, human impact on the planet, and, inspiring students to become young adventurers and stewards of the environment.

In the second phase, the course dives into the National Geographic Learning Framework. “The National Geographic Learning Framework lays out what we believe children and youth should learn from their experiences with the Society. It communicates National Geographic’s core beliefs and values, and has been created to provide guidance for every product, resource, service, and experience we design. The Learning Framework supports educators—everyone who teaches and cares for children and youth—with resources and tools to meet our mission: We teach kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and to make it a better place.”

“Key attitudes encompass the mindset of an explorer. National Geographic kids are:

Curious and adventurous—curious about how the world works, seeking out new and challenging experiences throughout their lives.

Responsible—with concern for the welfare of other people, cultural resources, and the natural world. They are respectful, considering multiple perspectives, and honoring others regardless of differences.

Empowered to make a difference. They act on curiosity, respect, responsibility, and adventurousness, and they persist in the face of challenges.”

After implementing this learning framework into my lessons I had injected my presentations with more meaning and depth.

The third and final phase of this course is all about your Capstone Project. It’s like the season finale! This is a multimedia project that includes short written reflections, photos, and a video. The purpose of the capstone video is to share the story of one of your course activities, its impact on the students, and its connection to the learning in the certification course.

I LEARNED HOW TO INSPIRE + ACTIVATE YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH AN EXPLORER MINDSET.

Thanks to all who stood for me to achieve this goal. Speaking to you, my fearless mentor Allison Fuisz and the Team at Inside NatGeo!

I highly recommend this program to any educators out there. It will advance your aptitude and shape the way you (and your students) think + act on our planet’s habitats. If you’re an educator interested in enrolling National Geographic Educator Certification this Fall please view registration details here:

DAX JUSTIN, National Geographic Certified Educator

ABOUT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY:

The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization that pushes the boundaries of exploration, furthering understanding of our world and empowering us all to generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come. Our ultimate vision: a planet in balance.

Dax Justin is a Canadian explorer and adventure photographer, currently based in Calgary, AB. His photos and stories are focused on connecting humans back to nature. His work is concerned with ocean health, Indigenous rights and distinctiveness, and our environment, covering stories such as eco-tourism in the Great Bear Rainforest, the human impact of marine debris, and trekking with Polar Bears on the Hudson Bay tundra. Dax is a newly-elected Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (FRCGS), Contributor to Canadian Geographic, a National Geographic Certified Educator, TEDx speaker and creator of the the ‘Explore in School‘ (EiS) initiative. You can explore more of his images and adventures on instagram.com/daxjustin or facebook.com/daxjustin.

Dax Justin X TRAK Kayaks

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I’m excited to proudly announce that I’m now a TRAK Kayaks Sponsored Paddler! “But hey Dax, you got no mad-kayaking skills.” Well this isn’t a normal ambassadorship because TRAK is taking me from Beginner to ‘Pro’!

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I first became fascinated with kayaking about 3 years ago and had no idea where it would – or could lead. I picked up a standard hard-shell sea kayak, mounted it on my roof and began exploring lakes in Alberta and British Columbia. I was heavily inspired by the photographic work and sea kayaking adventures of Tomasz Furmanek, an adventure photographer in Western Norway who has photos that will drop your jaw. See them on his Instagram here →

After I began exploring these places by kayak I fell in love. There was something different about exploration by water, especially in a kayak: You’re CONNECTED. You are one with the water and you become part of the kayak. There’s a symbiotic energy here that felt so zen to me; as if I belonged in the water. That I felt instantly.

It turns out I ran into a few immediate issues… First of all I wasn’t that good in a kayak. I didn’t know any proper kayaking technique or types of paddle strokes, and my confidence level wasn’t all that high. And how the hell was I going to store a huge sea kayak when I wasn’t using it? I knew I’d require something that could store into smaller places.

Then I got in touch with TRAK Kayaks.

I found a local, Alberta-based company who makes a “collapsible” kayak that stores into a portable bag, that wasn’t a “blow up” boat. Thank you, Universe! At the time, there was only one other kayak on the market that could “fold up” into smaller locations, but I had not found something as tough as the military-grade canvas skin on the TRAK Kayak. I reached out to TRAK and told them my story, and it wasn’t long before we began what would be a long-term relationship that has now become official. Does it come in black? 🙂 Since then my friends at TRAK are still blowing my mind on their recent developments in creating the ultimate touring kayak. It’s the first and only one of it’s kind – and they’ve now successfully crowdfunded the TRAK 2.0: The ULTIMATE Touring Kayak across Kickstarter & Indiegogo. (and yes, it comes in black!)

The Back-Story: I have a slight(ish) fear of capsizing.

I made a huge mistake one day in 2016 and I capsized my kayak in glacial-cold water in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. There was still snow on the ground and ice surrounded the surface of the water. It was my first time in a kayak that season and I was super excited to get into the water! I got into my kayak and tried to nudge myself through the snow to “glide” into the water. GLIDE, DAX!? I slid through the snow into the water and immediately bailed to my left, tipping the kayak completely over! TYPICAL: I put myself into an immediate state of panic. I had my Canon DSLR camera around my neck and phone with me, which both went for a swim (and were compromised) as I tried to pull myself up onto a thick sheet of ice. When you tip into the water with full gear and Winter boots you end up weighing yourself down – you feel 100 times heavier and your body is panicking because the water is literally freezing. Luckly a good friend of mine was at the same location on a photo shoot, so he made me a trusty cup of coffee from the back of his Jeep and I began to warm up, and did have the proper dry gear for back-up. Though my camera equipment was no longer usable, I still had my GoPro’s, and didn’t yet have the shot I was looking for… I warmed up, strapped on the GoPro’s and went back into the water and got the shot. Our past mistakes are meant to guide us, not define us. That being said, I still have a healthy fear of “going under” and I need to get out of my comfort zone to get past this…

The Training.

Phase One of my kayak skill training began in February of this year, as I began to learn kayaking techniques in the tank at SAIT in Calgary. In both February and March I learned the fundamentals of paddling and the various strokes. But there’s only so much I can learn in a pool. Through April and May I’ve been taking my skills and applying them in Ghost Lake, about 45 minutes from Calgary. Without the help of the internal TRAK Team, TRAK Pilots and my Lead Instructor/Coach, Keith Braun, I wouldn’t be able to learn at such an accelerated rate. Phase One is now complete and on Wednesday, May 22 I head out to Tofino, British Columbia to the TRAK Surf Skills Progression Camp to kick off Phase Two of my kayak training.

TRAK Surf Skills Camp: Tofino, British Columbia

One thing I couldn’t be more excited about is that I’ll be participating in a TRAK Progression Camp to advance my skills in the ocean! I will be heading out with a few members of the TRAK Team to beautiful Tofino, BC, Canada for a blend of sea kayak surf skills development, hands on risk management, teaching and coaching this May 17th-21st, 2018.

Photo by Jaime Sharp

“Couched in a base camp setting in the west coast forest, this TRAK Tour is designed to help you upgrade your surf kayaking skills (no matter what your skill level is now) in one of the world’s best locations for surf and waves. Your facilitators include life long paddlers with extensive knowledge of the industry, kayak skills, vessel design, education and risk management.”

At this point, I’ve never kayaked in the ocean and this will be my first time in Tofino as well! About the Surf Skills Camp →

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I can’t wait to paddle the ocean waves this May in Tofino! ? While I’m there I’ll be paddling the TRAK 2.0 ULTIMATE Touring Kayak. Meet the TRAK 2.0 →

About TRAK Kayaks: TRAK Kayaks has been making revolutionary portable, performance kayaks since 2006. These 16ft touring kayaks have gained a reputation as the kayaker’s portable kayak. Created and designed at its head office in Canada and manufactured at a world renowned outdoor gear facility in the Philippines, TRAK Kayaks are sold in more than 30 countries and paddled on oceans, lakes and rivers the world over. In 2017, TRAK launched its cutting-edge TRAK 2.0, Ultimate Touring Kayak through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Made of military-grade polyurethane and a rugged carbon fibre and aluminum frame, TRAKs are virtually indestructible, fast and (thanks to an adjustable hull), suitable for any water and any level of paddler. With its state of the art travel bag system and newest lightweight components, they can go anywhere. For more information visit www.trakkayaks.com.

 

 

 

Connect with the TRAK Team Directly or on Social Media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/trakkayaks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/trakkayaks
Instagram: www.instagram.com/trakkayaks

Toll Free: +1 403.723.0077

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Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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Photographing Team Canada on a Smartphone

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I’m proud to announce that I’ve teamed up with my friends at Samsung Canada to photograph the Team Canada National Women’s Hockey Team!

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Before we get into this I just need you to know proud I am to take on this assignment and photograph our own Canadian athletes! This also marks the first time I’ve been hired to shoot an experience solely on a mobile device…and I’m darn proud of it! Thank you Samsung Canada X Hockey Canada!

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Having the opportunity to meet and photograph our Canadian athletes was an incredibly meaningful experience I’ll never forget. I wish Team Canada all the best in the Winter Olympics in #PyeongChang2018! GO CANADA GO! ??

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Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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Published in CanGeo’s 150 Ultimate Canadian Instagram Photos Book

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Excited to announce a photo of mine has been selected by Canadian Geographic for publication in their Canada 150 Instagram Book! I couldn’t be more excited! I mean what’s more Canadian than paddling in a vintage canoe in Canada’s first National Park? ? Thanks to everyone for supporting my passion and thank you for the selection Canadian Geographic!

 

Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park, AB, Canada

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I’m honored to share these pages with many highly-proficient photographers whom I’ve looked up to for years. Pick up a copy at select major newsstands like Chapters or Wal-Mart or online here: http://bit.ly/2rvVEnJ

Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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Photo Displayed at YYC Calgary International Airport

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My photo of iconic Moraine Lake has been chosen to welcome millions of visitors travelling from around the world to Calgary (YYC) and I couldn’t be more proud to showcase our province and country – THANK YOU! The photo is now displayed life-size in the new International Terminal at the YYC Calgary International Airport. 

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You can find the photo of Moraine Lake in the new International Terminal for the next three years!

More information →

Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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DAX JUSTIN X HELLY HANSEN

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It comes as a complete honor to proudly announce that I’m now officially supported by Helly Hansen!

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Becoming an HH Ambassador means that a (completely wild & unattainable) dream has come true, but to know that I’m partnered with a company who has been innovating in the outdoor industry since 1877 is mind-shattering to me! I’ve had Helly gear since grade 9 and I am proud to have their support. Photos: Larissa Roque

I’ve always known HH gear to be one thing: OUTLASTING. And that is what I fully intend on delivering.

 

Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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Facebook Page