Today is a tough day to come to grips with, we leave Antarctica tomorrow and it is hard for me to believe this unimaginable experience is over. There are so many people to thank and I know my words will not even come close in relaying how much these people mean to me and how each and everyone of them played a significant roll in shaping what has been one of the best months of my life. None of this would have even been possible without the hard work of Janet and Judy at ARCUS/PolarTREC. Thank you for working tirelessly to obtain our funding and somehow convey to the people with the purse strings how important this type of outreach is to the future scientists sitting in our classes that are waiting to be engaged and awed as they follow their teacher on this experience.
Dr. Putnam and Mrs. Simmons, I can tell you that a lot of other PolarTREC teachers had to fight and argue with their administration as to why this opportunity was so important, but you two were in my corner and so supportive from the beginning, and that means the world to me.
Chuck and Maggie Amsler, thank you so much for believing in me and picking me to be part of your research season in Antarctica. The mentoring and friendship will never be forgotten.
My research team on station – CJ, Michelle, Sabrina, and Andrew – it was like sliding into Jell-O how quickly you accepted me and guided me through totally new science. I mean, I can even tell the three types of Plocamium apart, know more about starfish than I ever thought there was to know, and those refresher courses on organic chemistry, I might have to actually answer a chemistry question from one of my students now. KC and Michelle, thank you for letting me tag along on the whaling cruise and helping you spot humpbacks. The memories that created are unforgettable. The fishing group – Nathalie, Thomas, Juliette, Heinrik, John and of course Jake and Maggie (Midge) – it has been a pleasure working alongside you guys and watching how well you all work as a team. John, thank you for accompanying me up the glacier at night, probably what I consider my most Antarctic experience of the whole trip – low visibility, cold and lots of wind! Josh, thanks for the escape room and being the entertaining coordinators most nights. Mike, Bo, Chuck your talks were outstanding the knowledge and life experience you shared had us all completely engaged. Sabrina thank you for teaching me a new craft, I know I will use that skill in my classroom, my student’s will love your technique for pressing.
To everyone on the LMG and at Palmer Station, thank you for keeping things going and run so well that the scientists (and hence me) could concentrate on the science we came here to do. It would be impossible to mention everyone by name, but I hold y’all in the highest of regards.