It's going to be 110 degrees here today. Everyone I know is hiding from the heat. Watching movies inside. Making trips to the Lake. Staying in the pool.
As for me, I am also dreaming of the Ice. For people in the Polar Science community, Antarctica is simply and affectionately known as "The Ice". The Ice is a brutal, hostile environment. But it's also addictive, charismatic and beautiful. It symbolizes adventure, wildness and The Unknown. While its so hot here, I fantasize about my upcoming trip to the Ice. I daydream of bundling up in layers of fleece in preparation of an icy adventure. I close my eyes and think of that intake of breath so cold its painful. I envision shielding my eyes from the glare of sun bouncing off vast whiteness. I imagine using my big heavy boots to kick a little ice formation, and hear the satisfying tinkle of what sounds like breaking glass.
I'm so lucky to get to go the Ice! I was invited on this journey over two years ago by Rachael Morgan-Kiss, who is a microbiologist at Miami University in Ohio. We have been waiting (so patiently, I might add) for COVID to finish having its way with every plan that anyone has been hopeful enough to make. Its almost our turn- we leave for the Ice in late October, and we will stay until mid-December.
In the days and weeks ahead, I'll fill you in on what we've been doing to get ready for this adventure. More importantly, you can learn about why we are going, how microbes at the bottom of the world affect you, and what it's like to live and science (yes, its a verb!) on The Ice.