Let's Get It Started!

    January 6, 2020.
    I head to mandatory professional development after a winter break filled with food, family, and the flu (type A). My colleagues smile in greeting and ask,"Well...???" They all want to know what's happened. Its been several weeks since my PolarTREC interviews, and they know being a PolarTREC educator has been my goal for years! I smile and shrug and let them know I'm still waiting - while frantically checking my cell phone - to make sure I have service - about every 3 minutes or so. By lunch time I resign to the fact (AGAIN) that I will have be patient, and as I put my phone away to focus on the afternoon's professional development, it rings with a Fairbanks, Alaska area code.

    I tried to discretely grab my phone, a pen, and my notebook and head to the back of the room, and then prayed my voice didn't shake as badly as my hand was. I can not remember how Sarah Bartholow, PolarTREC Consultant, started the conversation, but it ended with me red in the face with excitement, trembling legs, and my telling Sarah I had to sit down before I passed out. I was so excited to learn I was going to Antarctica with the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center to work on the Automatic Weather Station Project, currently in its 40th year.

    Sabrina Automatic Weather Station
    PolarTREC Educator Mike Penn (2018) stands next to the Sabrina Automatic Weather Station (AWS), Antarctica. Photo by David Mikolajczyk, Courtesy of Michael Penn (PolarTREC 2018), Courtesy of ARCUS


    January 7, 2020. I always spend the first school day in January talking to my students about resolutions and goals. For several years this is a day I often shared with students that after being a PolarTREC semifinalist, I would not be joining a research expedition in the coming year. When I asked what I should do if I don't get to go on an expedition, my students 100% agreed I should apply again, and never give up. Then I told them I wasn't going to apply again... because I was GOING TO ANTARCTICA!!!

    Welcome to PolarTREC
    Announcing selection as a PolarTREC Educator for the 2020-2021 field season - Cassie Kautzer will be headed to Antarctica as part of the AWS team.

    I've never felt I'd made my students more proud than when they heard I'd reached a goal I'd worked so hard for!

    It's Getting Real

    Several months later, as we begin orientation, I am excited and overwhelmed! There is so much to learn and prepare for, but it's hard to focus when I'm this excited! Is this what the jackpot winner feels like on his way to the lottery office? In the coming months I'll learn the tech tools and requirements of being a PolarTREC educator, meet the Automatic Weather Service team from the University of Wisconsin, and begin learning about the science and engineering that goes into maintaining automatic weather stations in the Antarctic climate. I think I am in for the ride of my life!

    As I sit in front of multiple laptops, surrounded by paperwork, manuals, and tools, trying to convey what it felt like to reach a goal after many years - I can't help but wonder what amazing adventures and learning opportunities the next year will bring for both me and my students!

    PolarTREC Orientation
    Announcing selection as a PolarTREC Educator for the 2020-2021 field season - Cassie Kautzer will be headed to Antarctica as part of the AWS team. Photo Credit: Cassie Kautzer

    Working From Home...


    Elaine Krebs

    I feel the same way!! And I wonder if our teams/expeditions will overlap since both are coming out of the University of Wisconsin??

    len bruno


    i am new to this site.
    do you have augmented data usage?

    Harvard business review hbr site has an article and sample software

    good luck!