“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Life outside the comfort zone
I'm on the last leg of my seven flight, four day travel back to San Diego which has given me plenty of time to reflect on this incredible experience. I want to give "the rest of the story". How did things end up? What were the results of the research? What about each of the students individual projects? I will do that below, but first, my own personal thought, lesson learned, or "what's the take away?"
Put simply, get out of my comfort zone.
That's it. Now, on to the students' research.
No, really there's more, but not much. Travel, take a class, try something new, meet new people, face my fears, take risks, make mistakes, push boundaries, get out of my comfort...
Kean Ivey, Virginia Tech
About the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a 40,000-mile-long seam running across the world’s surface, like the stitching on a throbbing geophysical baseball, discoverer Marie Tharp said, “You can’t find anything bigger than that, at least on this planet.” We have our own bathymetry pro, Kean Ivey. The video below documents Kean's work in front of the Kronebreen/Kongsvegen glacial complex.
REU Svalbard 2014
The REU Svalbard 2014 Team shares favorite scientists.
Who is your favorite scientist and why? Put your answer in the comments/ask the team section. Let us hear from you!
Dominque has been measuring the speed of the subglacial currents in front of the glacier! Watch the video below to find out how. And no, you don't have to use the rest of her data to calculate the remaining speeds, but I will be using this later to develop a lesson for students!
You never really leave a place or person you love. Part of them you take with you, leaving a part of yourself behind.
We left Ny Alesund today and have returned to Longyearbyen. We will take Ny Alesund with us and leave a part of ourselves behind.
The view of "our" glacier from above in the plane after three weeks of study added to our picture of its dynamics. We have discussed its subglacial streams, how they bring sediment to the fjord and rise buoyantly to create sediment plumes. A curiosity has been the sudden activity of a plume on the northern end and the quiet, but older plume in the middle. For most of our study, we were restricted to the southern end of the glacier- the rest was just too ice chocked. But the last few days the northern opened up to reveal a strong...
Nothing Remains Quite The Same
I was noticing the other day how much the little barnacle goslings have changed in the time that we have been here. It is remarkable!
I took this picture of a Barnacle Goose gosling soon after we arrived.
Just yesterday! The bird in the foreground is a gosling.
I read a little more about Barnacle Geese, or in Norwegian, Hvitkinngås. The population that breeds on Svalbard migrates from Northern England. They arrive in Svalbard in late May. The next part gets really interesting. The following is from Wikipedia:
Barnacle geese frequently build their nests high on mountain cliffs; away from predators (primarily Arctic foxes and polar bears) but also away from food. Like all geese, the goslings are not fed by the adults. Instead of...
So what is daily life like for a PolarTREC teacher with the REU Svalbard, 2014 team?
Here is a typical day:
5 AM- I wake up, not because I set my alarm, but because I just do. It is still day outside. The sun never set. I have really adjusted to sleeping through the day, however and am having no problems.
My little room is comfy.
5:10 AM- My dorm building has a little kitchen so I trot on down and heat up some water for my Starbucks instant coffee.
The kitchen where I make my coffee
5:30 to 6:15ish AM- I answer emails, comment on my journals, post journals, etc. (OK, look at Facebook :)
This is the building where I am living.
6:30ish AM- Time to get my treadmill on. I choose this over running with a rifle outside. The gym is in the same building as my room which is super...
How We Can Use Isotopes To Study Glaciers
Do you know what an isotope is? (If you are one of my students, the answer should be a resounding YES!!!!!)
Believe it or not, one of our REU students, Jessica Miles is taking sediment samples home and will use mass spectroscopy to identify isotropic ratios. She will use this information to determine bedrock source and age of the sediment coming from Kronebreen glacier.
Jessica Miles, University of Michigan
The video below gives a quick review of isotopes and then an interview with Jessica discussing her research.
(Pay attention....you know how I am with quizzes :) And let us hear from you. Questions?
Do You Have A Science Mentor?
My dad was my first science mentor and I've been thinking of him a lot during this trip. Dad studied chemistry in college. When I was growing up he was the Director of Research and Development for Fisher Scientific. He would bring things home and they always had the little Fisher logo on them. For years my mom measured her sewing with a little ruler from Fisher Scientific. So that logo was part of my childhood. I've been seeing that logo around here a lot lately. As a science teacher, I'm used to it; we use supplies from Fisher as well. But it reminds me of my dad and makes me feel a little like he is here with me.
Dad mentored me in science from an early age with his sense of curiosity, adventure and insatiable thirst for...
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.” ― Richard P. Feynman
The above quote comes from my favorite scientist, Richard Feynman. I love it because it encapsulates what science is. Science is about NOT knowing. If we had all the answers, then all the scientists could pack up and go home. But there are so many things unanswered and that gives us opportunities for asking questions and trying to figure things out. Life is enriched by a sense of curiosity and wonder.
So today I bring you a "Take A Closer Look" question from Vanessa and Nolie from Girl Scouts that is directed to our lead scientists, Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette and Dr. Ross Powell. They ask, "What inspired you to do this research and what did you study in college to...