"Stand...think about direction wonder why you haven't before" REM

North or South? Outside or Inside? Climate or Weather? Hot or Cold? Videos or Photos? Tired or Awake?

Yesterday was filled with comparisons, choices, great conversations, and so many questions.

North or South?...The Arctic or Antarctica?

The other PolarTREC educators and I learned more about The Arctic and Antarctica from Rick Thoman, an Alaska Climate Specialist. Both the Arctic and Antarctica are within areas of the world called the polar regions. The polar regions are areas of the world that are 66.5 degrees north to the North Pole and 66.5 degrees south all the way to the South Pole. I'm headed south...very very far south to the frozen continent of Antarctica.

We learned that these high latitudes are warming much more than the middle and low latitudes. AND the Arctic is warming at a faster rate than Antarctica. This is called Arctic Amplification. We'll have to discuss this more in a future entry.

Direction sign at the International Arcitc Research Center
How far to San Francisco? Christchurch? McMurdo? How about Tahiti?!

Outside or Inside?...Which do you prefer?

We've been toasty warm eating delicious food inside but so many of us yearn to be outside! I headed outside to try on all of the gear for my adventure to Antarctica. Luckily, a field trip was coming later in the day!

Antarctica clothing
Antarctica ready, well almost. A fashion show by Amy Osborne.

Climate or Weather?...Do you know the difference?

Rick Thoman also reminded us about the difference between climate and weather.

Not quite sure what the difference is?
Weather is "the instantaneous state of the atmosphere"

Look outside, what is it like out there right now? What temperature is it? Is it raining, snowing, sunny, foggy? That's the weather!

Climate is the "statistics of weather over a long time."

I live in San Francisco, so I expect that in April it'll often be windy, the days will become warmer before moving into the summertime when the fog rolls in along the coast and the days are much cooler. Then, in the fall, it will get very warm with sunny skies almost every day before the rainy season hits in late November.

As Rick Thoman told us: "Climate is what you expect and weather is what you get"

Think about what the climate is like where you live? What do you expect to get throughout the year? You can share your answers in the comment section below!

Chena Hot Springs weather
The weather for Chena Hot Springs on April 2, 2019

Videos or Photos?

We also learned how to create iMovies. I actually did create an iMovie back in 2008. My second attempt at making a movie will be posted below in the next couple of days so check back for that! It was very helpful to have a refresher.

Hot or Cold?...Hot Springs are awesome, so is cold weather, and combining the two is fabulous! Which do you prefer?

We got to go outside, again, and took a field trip north to Chena Hot Springs. Once we arrived in the snowy chilly landscape of Chena Hot Springs we warmed up by taking a tour of their beautiful and productive greenhouses where they grow tomatoes and lettuce using hydro- and aqua-ponics. We saw some reindeer, took a tour of their geothermal heating system, which keeps their greenhouses and buildings warm in extreme weather conditions, and warmed up even more in their hot springs. Check out Chena Hot Springs Greenhouses and stay tuned for a Chena Hot Springs movie!

Michelle Hall and Emily Kutz Chena Fresh Greenhouse
PolarTREC educator Michelle Hall and Chena Fresh Greenhouse employee Emily Kutz talk about plants

Chena Hot Springs
Steam rises off of the thermal pools at Chena Hot Springs

Hot Springs Movie!!

Tired or Awake?

Do you ever feel like even though you are so tired you are too excited or thinking about too much to sleep? That's how I'm feeling here. I want to sleep but I have so many ideas and thoughts running through my head. I, also, don't want to miss anything that's happening. Tonight I'm heading out at midnight to, hopefully, see the northern lights. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post to find out if we were lucky enough to see them!

Question of the Day

While hanging at the hot springs, we realized you cannot google search to find an answer to all of the questions when you are in a hot spring. So, I challenge you, without googling, to answer the question of the day...

In addition to humans, what other living things do you think I'll encounter in Antarctica? Write your ideas in the comments section below!


Reindeer and caribou are the same species but reindeer have been domesticated! Reindeer and caribou DO NOT live in Antarctica.

Reindeer at Chena Hot Springs
Reindeer are domesticated caribou. This reindeer munches away at Chena Hot Springs.

IARC and Chena Hot Springs
Weather Summary
sunny, clear, and getting colder


Kim Orbik

Oh these posts are getting better and better! Hm...I think you will see:Seals of many varieties, penguins, birds I've never heard of, Jellies! Whales! (Walruses?!?)
Now I want to go see what the Google says... ;)
Enjoy, Amy!! I SO HOPE you got some Aurora!!!

Regina Brinker

Hi, Amy. This post shows just how busy this week and been. You are getting a full ... boatload of information this week.

Dan Murnane

Penguins? Leopard Seals? Lichen . . . Whales maybe. Maybe some shrubby plants . . . All sorts of bacteria and small fish and maybe mussels and tidepool critters?

Steve Kielar

Krill?!? Sea Stars? Urchins? Watch out for the Brinicle!
How do the Phytoplankton get into the Polynyas?
Thanks for the great pictures and videos.