Saying goodbye to McMurdo
    Well, I arrived home just in time for my little girl's birthday. I got in at 7:30 PM last night and got to sleep by midnight. I hit the ground running at 5:30 this morning. I'm not too jet lagged, so back to real life. I have forms to fill out and exams to give. I've got to start cooking my meals and being a teacher and dad again. There are lots of things that I missed so it's good to be home. But I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I say that my visit to Antarctica changed my life. I will always remember it and I thank everyone who made it possible. Now I will spend some time getting the word out about the incredible things that the NSF and USAP(abbreviation) United States Antarctic Program are doing down there. Now ... where did I leave my keys to my classroom?

    Weather Summary
    40 F


    Jack Hennessey

    Did you see the Aurora Australis while you were there, and if so what colors were they?

    Jared PItt

    what kind of vehicles did you use to get around while you were there and did the cold cause any issues with them

    Armando Caussade

    What an adventure, Eric! I wholeheartedly congratulate you for a successful PolarTREC expedition and for your magnificent job putting into writing everything that you did while in Antarctica (and also in New Zealand). I also have two final questions for you: (1) Was the removal of the neutron monitors —and their planned relocation to Jang Bogo station in Terra Nova Bay— completed to 100%, or is there anything pending yet? (2) How did you feel that your work had to do with the dismantling of this experiment at McMurdo? In closing, you made an amazing job and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your journals every day. Again, congratulations, and take care!

    Amanda Crowell

    It has been just over 20 years from when I was in your class your first year teaching (seriously!) and you're still my favorite physics teacher! I've loved reading all about your big adventure and learning about the research and the environment at the station. So many times you mentioned something that led me to look into a topic more deeply. I've loved the pictures so much too and the hiking made me jealous! Thanks again for sharing and I hope to see you around sometime and hear more about your trip! I wish you the nerdiest of science, and grand adventures always!

    Eric Thuma

    I would have loved that. However. It is still the time of year that the station gets 24 hours of daylight so no aurora were visible.

    Eric Thuma

    There were trucks that you could check out, snowmobiles, fat tire bikes, flat tracks, Piston-Bullies, and other ways to get around. There is even a helipad. The cold can cause issues but they are rigorous about maintenance. When you check out a truck you are expected to visually aspect everything, check for leaks, check the fluids, etc.

    Eric Thuma

    Thanks, Armando, you are very kind. The neutron monitors were dismantled and packed into shipping containers. However, there is no direct shipping between McMurdo and Jang Bogo so the neutron monitors will need to go back to New Zealand then on to Jang Bogo, where they still need to be installed. But that should go fairly easily because we already reconfigured them to the new space and Jungil took notes and plenty of pictures so he should be able to see to it that they are installed properly. I think my work contributed to the process. It is weird that the longest running experiment in Antartica is being moved but it is nice that it has found another home. It is important fundamental research that could have very practical an necessary applications.

    Eric Thuma

    Thanks, Jan. The journals of the other PolarTREC teachers are a lot olive up to. It was a lot of work but it's a great experience. I think I have a few folks talked into sending in applications next year.

    Eric Thuma

    Thanks. Amanda! It's great to hear from you. Thanks for following my trip. I hope you enjoyed it. If you ever want to hear more about it then stop by SCHS! Give my best to your family!

    Janet Warburton

    Glad you made it Ric and in time for the birthday! Yeah, coming back to life and having to take care of yourself, the family, and school can be a hard transition. Thanks for posting great journals and sharing your adventure with us!