It’s the last day of classes here at Mendham High School. Next week is final exams and then on Monday, June 24 I fly to Fairbanks. On Tuesday I’ll ride the truck north on the Dalton Highway to the Toolik Field Station where I’ll spend the next 3 ½ weeks. I can’t wait to go!

This week I’ve been showing my IB and AP Environmental Science classes the work going on at Toolik and on other PolarTREC research expeditions.

Yesterday I showed my Period 8 EnviSci class Alicia Gillean’s awesome video about the tundra around Toolik, and then we watched Carol Scott’s PolarConnect event live from Kevo, Finland. Carol’s work on methane production from wetlands is similar to the work I’ll be doing at Toolik, and my students were interested to see how a PolarTREC teacher lives and works in the field.

Arctic Wetlands PolarConnect
Period 8 Envi Sci watching Carol Scott's PolarConnect event

Today my Period 4 EnviSci class Skyped with Rose Cory who talked about the work we'll be doing at Toolik, and answered questions about what it’s like to live there. Since some of the students in my class will be starting college in two months, Rose gave advice on how undergraduates can get involved in field work. The advice: be curious, knock on doors, and look for opportunities.

Skyping with Rose Cory
Period 4 Envi Sci class Skyping with Rose Cory

It’s been a great year with my environmental classes. We’ve spent ten months learning and thinking about the environment and human society. We’ve worked in the lab, in a cemetery, and in a stream. We’ve even eaten invasive-plant pesto. Two weeks ago we were sailing on the Hudson River in beautiful weather.

Sailing on the Hudson
Environmental Science class sailing on the Hudson River

And now the learning will continue! I’m looking forward to hearing from my students while I’m on the tundra this summer and seeing them again in September.

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