A New Kind of Daily Routine
Well, I'm back home. After a couple of days of adjusting to the time difference, a few good hours of swimming in the lake with my daughter, some enjoyable sunset strolls through the vegetable garden with my wife, and a late summer feast of elk steaks and potatoes on the grill, I am settling back into life just fine here in North Idaho.
As you might imagine, the daily routine back here is quite different from my daily routine at Múlajökull. A student of mine (thanks Nic!) asked about my daily routine in the field in the Ask the Team Forum. Here is a video I made to help answer his question. Enjoy!
Watching as the Horizon Expands
As I begin reflecting on how this experience has helped me grow as a professional educator, the strongest impression that I have is a feeling that this is not the end, but the beginning. My experiences with PolarTREC both before and during the research expedition to Múlajökull have helped me learn and create highly valuable mechanisms to infuse my classroom with meaningful science content and activities. I am absolutely thrilled to watch these mechanisms unfold in my classroom, and am excited to continue sharing all that I have learned with my students throughout the school year.
What I am excited about most is bringing real sets of data that I helped to collect at Múlajökull back to my classroom for my students to work with. From the GPR work with Luke, to the AMS sampling with Neal and Tom, to the ice margin profiling with Ívar and SweDARP, I am headed back to my classroom this fall full of meaningful ways for my students to continue to investigate glaciers, climate change, and the drumlin formation hypotheses being tested at Múlajökull.
My experiences with PolarTREC will go beyond the walls of my classroom in the coming months as well. I have scheduled community presentations with Kootenai Environmental Alliance and Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education about my PolarTREC experiences and the value of polar science in environmental education.
I will also be doing some presentations and polar science lesson plan collaboration work with elementary and middle school teachers throughout the Coeur d'Alene School District, and will even travel to UW-Milwaukee and Iowa State University to deliver a presentation to Pre-Service science education majors.
Coming home from the field is certainly not the end. Rather, it is the beginning of many, many more adventures and discovery.
I would like to a take the opportunity now to extend my most sincere gratitude to the following individuals, community groups, organizations, and foundations whom have helped to make this PolarTREC Expedition successful my students and me. With their help, support, and continued enthusiasm for creating engaging science education opportunities, this educational expedition been a huge success. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
- Janet Warburton, Sarah Crowley, Ronnie Owens, and Zeb Polly of ARCUS and PolarTREC: The training you provided in Fairbanks in March was amazing, and your help with uploading remote journal entries from the field was absolutely priceless! Thank you!
- Dr. Neal Iverson and Dr. Tom Hooyer: Thank you for selecting me as your PolarTREC Teacher and working so hard both before and during the expedition to help enhance science education in my classroom. I look forward to continuing our work together in the coming months and years, and am very thankful for all that you have taught my students and me.
- Adrienne Cronebaugh of Kootenai Environmental Alliance: Your support of this endeavor and quality environmental education in our community has been and continues to be absolutely fundamental to the success of this experience. You are a true gift to the community of North Idaho!
- Coeur d'Alene School District 271 Superintendent Matt Handelman, Principal Deanne Clifford, Vice Principals Tom Mollgaard, Kim Clark, and Jim Winger, and Communications Director Laura Rumpler: Thank you all for your enthusiasm and support of my work with PolarTREC. I am so thankful to work with an administration that values the goals and objectives of this program.
- Jeff Crowe and Andy Finney of CDA TV-Channel 19 and North Idaho College: Thank you for all of your help with the ContourGPS camera, Public Service Announcements, and technology support for the PolarConnect Event at the CDA Public Library. Our community is blessed to have guys like you doing what you do!
- Dennison Webb and Joy Jansen of Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education (SOLE): Thank you for helping to facilitate the PolarConnect Event in the Sandpoint community, and thank you for your continued work and efforts to bring outdoor science education to our community!
- Tri-State Outfitters of Coeur d'Alene: Thank you for donating the awesome Asolo boots and Crocs to my expedition. Thanks to you, I was the only one on the last day in camp with dry boots and warm feet!
- REI of Spokane: Thank you for helping to provide me with affordable pants to wear in the field! They stopped the wind, shed the rain, and kept me warm!
- Evans Brothers Coffee: Thank you for providing such a comfortable and enjoyable space for Sandpoint viewers of our PolarConnect Event!
- The National Science Foundation (NSF), Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), and The Carlsburg Foundation: I so am thankful that opportunities for scientific research and education such as this exist because of funding from these sources. Without this funding, this expedition would literally not have been possible for the researchers or for me.
Much More to Come
My PolarTREC Expedition to the glacier Múlajökull in Iceland will continue to positively impact my students for years and years to come.
Over the next few weeks, I will be uploading many more videos from my work with the researchers in the field. Stay tuned in order to check them out and also keep up on how this experience is permeating my classroom.
That's all for now. I hope you have enjoyed this learning experience, and I hope that you now know more about the Polar Regions, life as a scientist in the Arctic, and the value of understanding glacial mechanics when viewing our world as a large system of energy and matter.