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Hello! Welcome to my new PolarTREC online journal where you can follow my new adventures as ** 2013-2014 PolarTREC teacher in Antarctica, South Pole**. Between this coming November and February of next year I will be traveling from New York to Los Angeles, Australia and New Zealand on commercial airlines to finally board a C130 Hercules military plane to the station at the South Pole MacMurdo. I'll be staying there for 3 weeks in Antarctica as part of the NeutrinoAn elementary particle with zero charge and zero mass. An electrically neutral particle that is often emitted in the process of radioactive decay of nuclei. Neutrinos are difficult to detect, and their existence was postulated twenty years before the first one was actually discovered in the laboratory. Millions of neutrinos produced by nuclear reactions in the sun pass through your body every second without disturbing any atoms. Project Ice Cube Telescope with Dr. Jim Madsen of the University of Wisconsin, whose team will be studying subatomic particles from space known as Neutrinos. My job is to assist scientists in their fieldwork with their equipment and research tools. What I hope to gain from this experience is to inspire my students from the Maria Teresa Mirabal middle school MS319 and many more students bilingual students, both Latinos and Latinas to pursue careers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and bring more diversity to the scientific community. In addition I want to see first hand the effects of climate change in the South Pole, and how can that affect us at a local level, such as the impact on our local weather in light of the Hurricane Sandy natural disaster of last October 2012. Finally, I have been told that I may be the first Dominican teacher ever to visit the South Pole. Well, we will find out together! Please come back as often as you like to check out the journals, and please feel free to post any questions or comments in our Ask the Team Forum section.
“ You are going to the South Pole, Antarctica” and “three weeks on the Ice”. Those were the words that resonated in my mind last December in 2012 after speaking on the phone with Sarah Crowley from ARCUS, telling me I had been accepted as a PolarTREC Teacher 2013-2014 to join the scientific expedition known as the NEUTRINO ICE CUBE TELESCOPE. ARCUS is the Arctic Research consortium of the United States the organization that runs the incredibly wonderful program After applying in 2011 with no results, I gave it a try and applied again last summer while chaperoning two of my after school NASA/Space club students to Space camp Turkey in the beautiful and ancient city of Izmir. After having spent 3 weeks in 2010 on board the research ship Oscar Dyson with scientists researching for Pollock on the Bering Sea, as part of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency) Teacher at Sea program, I knew my next adventure had to be an expedition to the frozen continent of Antarctica, South Pole.
Last October I received an email from ARCUS telling me I was among the 45 finalists, and then on Thanksgiving I got a message on my answering machine telling me that I was one of the last 3 teachers and that the researcher wanted to interview me. The conference call lasted over an hour, with Dr. Jim Madsen, the Ice Cube Project principal researcher from the University of Wisconsin and Janet Warburton from ARCUS in Fairbanks, Alaska. There was good rapport during the interview and I was very confident of the outcome. The first thing I did was to share the news with my students and fellow teachers and administrators at MS319 Maria Teresa Mirabal middle school in Washington Heights, New York City. Family overseas in the Dominican Republic, friends in Turkey, as well as here in New York and my students and fellow teachers from MS319 and from my Children’s Aid Society after school are all very excited about my expedition to the South Pole.
Muy Buenas Noticias! Un maestro dominicano en la Antartida
Hola! Bienvenidos a mi nuevo diario en linea Polartrec donde juntos seguiremos mis nuevas aventuras como maestro Polartrec 2013-2014 en la Antartida, Polo Sur. Entre Noviembre y Febrero proximo estare viajando de Nueva York hacia Los Angeles, Autralia y Nueva Zelandia en lineas aereas, para finalmente abordar un avion militar Hercules C130 hacia la Estacion MacMurdo en el Polo Sur. Estare tres semanas en la Antartida como parte del equipo del Proyecto Telescopio Ice Cube del Dr. Jim Madsen de la Universidad de Wisconsin, estudiando los Neutrinos que son particulas subatomicas provenientes del espacio. Mi trabajo consistira en asistir a los cientificos en su trabajo de campo con equipos y herramientas de investigacion en el helado continente de Antartida.
Lo que espero obtener de esta experiencia es el inspirar a mis estudiantes dominicanos de la Escuela Intermedia Maria Teresa Mirabal MS319 en Washington Heights, Nueva York y demas estudiantes bilingues latinos y latinas a estudiar carreras S.T.E.M (Ciencias, Tecnologia, Ingenieria y Matematicas), y a traer mas diversidad a la comunidad cientifica. Segundo, estoy muy interesado en ver con mis propios ojos los efectos del cambio climatologico en el Polo Sur y sus efectos en el clima local nuestro, especialmente luego del desastre natural del Huracan Sandy y la Tormenta Irene, y que tenemos que hacer para prepararnos en el futuro. Finalmente, mucha gente me pregunta si yo soy el primer dominicano en poner pie en el Polo Sur. Bueno, sabes que, juntos lo averiguaremos! Favor de visitarme siempre para enterarse de mis aventuras en Antartica y sientase en libertad de publicar preguntas o comentarios en la seccion Preguntas al Equipo.