Thanks to Leyden High Schools alumnus Jonathan Cain of the rock group Journey for the title inspiration. I have used my 9-22, 9-26, and 10-3 Journals, to talk about the incredible people I have had the opportunity to interact and work with on this expedition. In this installment, 2 of the "Radium Women" (not the Radium Girls - in the early 1920s, these women unknowingly poisoned themselves by licking paintbrushes dipped in self-luminous radium based paint while painting glowing watch dials) and a documentary filmmaker.
Dr. Lauren Kipp - Radium Chemistry Team Leader
Background: Hometown - Clifton Park, NY; Current Residence - Swedesboro, NJ; Bachelors University of North Carolina, Wilmington - chemistry - focused on metal accumulation in oysters; PhD - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/MIT - Dissertation - Radium isotopes as tracers in the ocean; Post-Doc - Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia)/Columbia University; Current Position - Assistant Professor at Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ.
Why the Arctic? Lauren wanted to be a marine biologist from a young age. She loved the ocean and Sea World. In college, she worked with a marine chemistry group and realized that she could have a job doing shipboard research. She worked with researchers studying the effects of radium isotopes in the Arctic, and now here she is. Her position in Rowan's new Environmental Science Department allows her to continue in field research and teach courses in oceanography and climate science.
Best Parts of the Job: Flexibility - she gets to design the classes she teaches and make her own schedule to divide time between research and teaching. Worst Parts of the Job: Paperwork - it can take a great deal of time and form-filling to get simple tasks done.
Advice to 16 Year-old Self: Be open to different opportunities, and travel- experiencing different places and cultures will give you perspective.
Comfort Items for the Ship: Coloring books, The Office, Parks and Rec, Sci-fi books.
Adele Anderson - Radium Chemistry Team
Background: Hometown - Columbus, OH; Current Residence - Martha's Vineyard, MA; Bachelors - Brown University - geology - summer research projects in water chemistry, modeling solar radiation cycles, and the birdsong evolution; Previous jobs - Thinktank on meaning of religion for under 30 individuals, auto mechanic, EMT; Current Position - research assistant - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - Department of Physical Oceanography.
Why the Arctic? Adele's parents are both practicing scientists, and she intended to study engineering in college. She found the geology department more relaxed and enjoyed an Introduction to Oceanography Class. Through summer research opportunities, she realized she liked the collaboration and project based aspects of research. She "cold emailed " Woods Hole for more than a year before she found a funded position. For this cruise, she saw a posting for a position and applied for the job. She has not decided if she wants to go back to grad school and in what field, so she is using experiences like these to figure out her plans.
Best Parts of the Job: Travel - experiences like this allow you to explore places you would never otherwise go. Worst Parts of the Job: Distance between everyday tasks and impact of work, disconnect with personal values, lack of human interaction.
Advice to 16 Year-old Self: Take time to discover and deeply listen to what interests you, even if it's surprising. It's OK if it takes awhile.
Entertainment for the Ship: Many books about a variety of topics from sci-fi to polar exploration to personal finance.
Amy Lauren - Documentary Filmmaker
Background: Hometown - St. Louis, MO; Bachelors - University of Denver - English and Studio Art; Masters of Fine Arts - University of Colorado Boulder - Interdisciplinary Documentary Media Practices - Amy practiced illustration as a hobby and wanted to use make animated documentaries. Her thesis connected plant survival adaptations (ex. a cactus stores water in its stems) to mental health disorders. Previous Position - mental health services coordinator in Olympia WA; Current positions - Filmmaker - Into the Polar Night - documentary about the year-long MOSAIC Expedition - screened at planetarium theaters around the world and available for viewing at amylauren.net
Why the Arctic? While talking with her advisor, she realized that she was not sure what she wanted to do and was uncertain about how other people seemed to make these kinds of decisions. She decided to stop looking for examples of what she wanted to do and gave herself permission to just "make it up." It was funny when she realized that her "making it up" was what other people called a dream. Could she travel the world with researchers to document their field work, and while in the field, simultaneously collect material for her own individual projects? A month or so later, a flyer came looking for someone to document the MOSAIC polar expedition. - fate, luck, being in the right place at the right time?!? She applied, got the position, and spent almost four months at sea filming the scientists at work. She is now aboard the NABOS expedition filming in 2D and 3D for a planetarium presentation and a more traditional documentary that will focus on the people behind the science.
Best Parts of the Job: Love being near groups of people but not being a total part of them - gives her perspective and allows her to move "freely in space". Worst Parts of the Job: See above - because not part of a defined team, the work can be isolating; people standing in front of the camera after spending hours getting it set up.
Advice to 16 Year-old Self: Hold the moment longer (in both film and life) - stick with what you love without being so quick to change.
Comfort Items for the Ship: Nutella, because operations are 24/7 on the ship.
Thanks for taking the time to meet these members of the Science Party. Hopefully you "Don't Stop Believin'" in the wonders of science - horrible joke, but it's getting near the end of the cruise. What do you expect?!?