Five Weeks Since Orientation

So much to do!

My PQ paperwork arrived today! WOW! This huge packet will get me Physically Qualified to go to Antarctica. It is pages and pages of medical questions, lab work, and tests to have done. Even my dentist needs to give me the green light to go. Our medical clearance is done by a contractor out of Texas. They medically qualify all Antarctic bound people – scientists, students and support personnel. They have thousands to do, so I am getting right on it and turning mine in early before the August rush.

My Scientist

I video conferenced with Dr. Todgham last week. She is amazing! She is doing cutting edge science, teaching at the University of California at Davis, and makes time to help me prepare for the trip. We discussed packing – from how many socks to bring – to the quality of the sunglasses I need. The sun is intense down there so you are required to have 100% UV protection. Fortunately, she spent last season doing similar work , so she knows exactly what I will need. I'm excited to get to meet with her and the rest of the team in person next week.

Thank you KSBW

I wanted to send a big thank you to our local TV station – KSBW. They drove an hour and a half to come interview me. Reporter Caitlyn Conrad was so nice that I didn't get nervous at all. It was fun watching my students watch themselves on TV.

KSBW also featured the interview as part of a Community Spotlight that ran many times. As part of my commitment to PolarTREC, I am required to reach out to teachers, schools and the public to spread the word of the amazing research taking place in Antarctica. This story certainly helped me achieve this goal!

Check it out at KSBW.

Extreme Cold Weather Gear- Let's Talk!

Trying on ECW gear
A San Antonio student trying on the extreme cold weather gear.

This week, I received a huge bag with the sample extreme cold weather gear. I had my students try it on. It is amazing how heavy it is. It really helped them realize just how extreme the environment in Antarctica is.

Trying on the mittens
San Antonio students likes the cold weather mittens.

I'm looking forward to taking this bag of gear on the road. If you are a teacher, or work with a group that would be interested in hearing more about my expedition, let me know! I would love to come to classes, schools, and community groups to share about my upcoming endeavor!

Putting on bunny boots
A San Antonio Elementary student tries on bunny boots.

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Diane Stensrud

This is so exciting!

Stefani Higuera

I look forward to hearing about your adventures!