Expedition Timeline

Use the interactive timeline below to explore with the new cohort of educators and researchers!

2019 Expedition Timeline

Latest Journals

22 January 2020 Read All About It - My hometown paper does a story on my expedition

By: Sarah Slack
The Altamont Enterprise website has an article about my expedition
Thanks to my supportive and enthusiastic mom and to Melissa Hale-Spencer at the Altamont Enterprise for putting together this story about my trip. Now everyone in Altamont will know about my Diet Coke situation and my love of peanut butter cups (final PB count: 160 regular size, 400 minis). Go to…

21 January 2020 I'm Still Packing

By: Sarah Slack
The scene in my living room last night
I'm Still Packing There is still so much to do as I try to figure out what to pack for two months on a boat in the Southern Ocean. While the act of packing enough stuff to keep me happy and clean during two months at sea continues to be a confounding task, I have recently been reading about the…

19 January 2020 Sea Ice in the Bay, Like Seeing an Old Friend

By: Katie Gavenus
Graphic of sea ice concentration in the Arctic
Sea Ice In the Bay, Like Seeing an Old Friend As air temperatures dropped during the first weeks of 2020, areas of sea ice have formed in Kachemak Bay. Approximately two months after the Akademik Fedorov left the ice edge and I said my goodbyes to the sea ice of the Central Arctic Ocean, I woke…

17 January 2020 The Frozen Poles

By: Sarah Slack
A sloped blue iceberg. Aboard the icebreaker Oden between the Amundsen and Ross seas. Photo by Lollie Garay.
I just completed this 10-question quiz from NASA. I scored 9 out of 10. I challenge you to both get a better score than me and guess which question I got wrong. https://climate.nasa.gov/quizzes/frozen-poles/9/10/

14 January 2020 I Need Help Packing!

By: Sarah Slack
A sloped blue iceberg. Aboard the icebreaker Oden between the Amundsen and Ross seas. Photo by Lollie Garay.
I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about packing. I haven't actually done much packing, but I have really been thinking about it. I believe it is best to work through the mental lists of what to bring and how much of each thing I will need before I undertake the process of putting…

8 January 2020 An Underwater Encounter With Weddell Seals

By: Bridget Ward
A Weddell seal and pup out on the sea ice near McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Photo by Alex Eilers.
One of my favorite things to do in Antarctica was lay on the ice and feel all the sounds that the Weddell seals below the ice were making. Sometimes the loud volume even made me second guess if the ice was really thick enough to hold my weight. As I got more comfortable on the ice I got closer and…

PolarTREC Updates

Upcoming Antarctic Expedition

R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker

Teacher Sarah Slack is heading to Antarctica next week for the ship-based Thwaites Offshore Research expedition. The two-month expedition will be aboard the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica. There they will be studying the Thwaites Glacier, which has been thinning rapidly and its flow speed has been increasing. You can join Sarah on the expedition by reading her journals, joining live from the field events, and asking your questions.


What is PolarTREC?

STEM at the Poles! Research Experiences for Formal and Informal Educators in the Polar Regions is the newest iteration of PolarTREC. The educators (formal and informal) come from the United States and spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the Arctic or Antarctica, working side by side with scientists. STEM at the Poles is professional development for educators across all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines connecting them to the polar regions and the research community; developing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) resources; and changing how they teach STEM in both informal and formal learning environments. PolarTREC is funded through awards from the National Science Foundation and administered by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS).

Image: The 2019 PolarTREC Cohort and project management team pose for a photo outside the Syun-Ichi Akasofu Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus during orientation week.

Find people, expeditions, and resources

PolarTREC has hosted 193 expeditions and houses over 2,000 resources for educational use.

Locate Team Members

Check out our member directory to locate a team member from a current or previous PolarTREC expedition.

Follow Expeditions

All current and past expeditiions are listed in reverse chronological order for viewing.

Find Resources

Lesson plans, activities, articles, web links and more can be found in our resources section.