As a PolarTREC fellow/NOAA Teacher at Sea I have been privileged to participate in the Chukchi Borderlands Expedition. In these capacities I have gotten to explore the many different types of research being conducted during this expedition, had access to an amazing group of scientists, students, and technicians, and experienced life aboard a USCG icebreaker/research vessel. I hope, through my daily journals, that I have been able to convey even a small bit of the excitement and wonder I felt on so many levels during this voyage.

    The whirlwind of traveling home and seeing family again has made my time in the Arctic seem very distant, but the lessons learned have become a part of my being. As I have shared my experiences over the past few days, I have been reflecting on this experience and how I will be able to effectively share what I have learned about the Arctic with students and colleagues. Traveling to an area where few people get to go, seeing animals that had never been recorded by humans, and working alongside people who are passionate about what they do made for a bucket list that I hadn't even imagined. The Arctic is an amazing place worthy of preservation and greater understanding, and each of us can play a role in maintaining the rich biodiversity of this beautiful and challenging environment.

    Last night on the Healy and a beautiful sunset. A big challenge for me was lack of a night sky.

    A last sunset aboard the USCGC Healy.
    Sandra Thornton
    Last night at sea.

    Several sea otters greeted us in Seward. This one dove multiple times and caught crabs which I could hear it crunching.

    Sea Otter
    One of the playful sea otters that greeted us in Seward.

    Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I hope you will continue to check back as I add updates to my PolarTREC journal and resources.

    Weather Summary
    Clear, sunny, and humid with a heat advisory.
    34.44 C (94 F)


    Julie Catalano

    It looks like you had an amazing time doing this research!

    Judy Fahnestock

    I hope your trip home went well. And I like the "Greeters" that met you in Seward :)

    Anne Farley Sc…

    Sandi,Your pictures and explanations have been beautiful, concise, interesting ... just marvelous! I've enjoyed following your adventures and learning a little bit along with you!! Great job!