Skip to main content

Liz Ratliff


Liz Ratliff's picture
Occupation: Teacher
Organization: Gaston Day School

Liz Ratliff started her career as an electrical engineer. After working in the computer industry, she went back to school to become a math teacher. Mrs Ratliff has taught at the middle school and high school level and is currently working at Gaston Day School in Gastonia, North Carolina. Since 2008, Mrs Ratliff has also been a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation fellow. Through this fellowship, she has worked with teachers across the country to develop engaging and effective lessons. In addition, it was at KSTF meeting that she first met the IceCube team. Outside of the academic world, Mrs. Ratliff enjoys learning new things and has spent her life trying out various hobbies including flying, playing bagpipes, learning languages, knitting, fencing, wood carving, etc. She's now working on the difficult and time-consuming (but very rewarding) hobby of raising her two-year old daughter.

Liz Ratliff's Content

Title Reply Post date
Thanks for your questions!

Thanks for your questions! There are two different ways that neutrinos are being detected. IceCube uses optical detectors to look for flashes of blue light that are created by muons. (Muons are created when neutrinos interact with the nucleus of an atom, which happens extremely rarely but it...{read more}

January 16, 2013 - 6:53pm
Good question! With the

Good question!

With the IceCube detectors, they're buried in the ice and so they're made to withstand cold and tremendous pressure (I think they're rated to 10,000 psi). Because they're frozen in the ice, we couldn't do maintenance on them even if we wanted to. They're stuck there for a...{read more}

December 28, 2012 - 7:05pm
Good question! At the South

Good question!

At the South Pole, the only animals are people. There are no pets, bugs, birds, or anything else. People are the only things here.

In or near Antarctica, there are several different types of animals: penguins, seals, and whales are the big ones. I've seen some...{read more}

December 28, 2012 - 6:00pm
Thanks for your

Thanks for your questions!

I'm not sure how often there are whiteouts here but I've been here for about two weeks so far and the last two days, I think, have technically been considered whiteout conditions. Yesterday, it was pretty windy but today it's warm (at -10F) and not really...{read more}

December 20, 2012 - 4:55pm
Hi! It doesn't get dark here.


It doesn't get dark here. Last night, I was up till almost midnight and it wasn't any different than it had been at noon. It was still just as bright. The only thing that changes is the location of the sun - it makes a circle in the sky.

Yeah, the plane rides were pretty...{read more}

December 12, 2012 - 4:11pm
Hi small Geometry class! I

Hi small Geometry class!

I didn't get the chance to see penguins because I was only in McMurdo for a very short time and there aren't any penguins at the South Pole because it's too far inland. I may get to see some on my way back home but I'm not sure. And, even if I see them, there's...{read more}

December 12, 2012 - 9:53am
Thanks! I've got a ton of

Thanks! I've got a ton of stuff to do here now. I've only got a few minutes at the moment because I'm going to snow mobile training! After that, I'll be back in the station writing and uploading journals and pictures. Then, this evening, I'm going to work on making some graphs to display the...{read more}

December 10, 2012 - 4:45pm
Awesome! I'm glad you're

Awesome! I'm glad you're following along. :)

I'm still in New Zealand right now but my internet connection is kinda spotty. Later tonight, I'll be posting a few of the journals I've written in the past 24 hrs but couldn't post. After I get to Antarctica, I should have a better (i.e....{read more}

December 5, 2012 - 7:57pm

I had no idea about the Skua. That's really interesting. I'll definitely keep a lookout for birds when I go. I'm planning to learn some about nature and wildlife photography this summer so that should help if I see any cool birds.

It's been great having you at orientation! I know I've...{read more}

February 9, 2012 - 9:24pm

Thanks! I thought I remembered you! I was one of the original IceCubers but at that time I never thought I'd be able to go to the South Pole. It's really exciting to have the opportunity now.

I really enjoy meeting all the other teachers that are here, too. I'm looking forward to...{read more}

February 7, 2012 - 10:47am

Journal Timeline