The scientific objectives of the cruise were to collect a range of data in rarely traveled areas of the Antarctic seas and coastline, including the Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and eastern Ross Seas. International science teams worked alongside teachers and other personnel monitoring wildlife, including pinnipeds, cetaceans, seabirds, and penguins; surveying sea ice and meteorological conditions; mapping the chemical, thermal and bathymetric properties of the ocean; and measuring the abundance of plankton and nutrients in the ocean. These studies helped add to our limited knowledge of these remote corners of the Antarctic and allow future researchers to expand their monitoring efforts in these regions.
Teachers Ute Kaden and Allan Miller journeyed across the world to participate in a unique co-operative endeavor between the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Along with researchers, teachers and other personnel from Sweden, Chile and the United States, Ute and Allen boarded the Swedish icebreaker Oden in Punta Arenas, Chile and traveled to McMurdo Base in Antarctica, finally returning home via Christchurch, New Zealand. This voyage was the first education project to be supported by PolarTREC in celebration of the International Polar Year and presented a wonderful opportunity for international collaboration in science, education, and outreach.
Teacher Ute Kaden teaches physics at Homer Hanna High School and at the University of Texas in Brownsville, Texas. This was Ute’s second icebreaker voyage as she previously spent two months on the Healy icebreaker transiting the Arctic Ocean as a TREC teacher. Ute is determined to establish technology-rich and inquiry-based science lessons in the classroom and is dedicated to the design of distance education courses and multimedia for science. Ute is currently working on her PhD dissertation topic on the effects of technology-rich and inquiry based science education on attitudes of Hispanic students toward science and and/or engineering. Ute enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits, digital photography and flying gliders.
Allan Miller has spent the past 20 years working as an educator and administrator throughout Alaska, teaching science at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He has a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology and coached the U.S. Biathlon team through the 1998 Olympic season. Allan has had a lifelong passion for aviation and space, is a licensed pilot and volunteers as an educator for numerous NASA and Civil Air Patrol Aerospace programs. He has won several awards for his teaching and outreach efforts and was recently named an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow. Allan worked for the National Science Foundation, helping coordinate K-12 outreach efforts connected with the International Polar Year. He is currently CoPrinicpal at a school in Vermont.