"This is going to be fun ." That was my first thought after hanging up the phone when PolarTREC called to give me the news that I had been selected for PolarTREC. I had learned about the program more than a year ago, but just weeks after the deadline for that year had closed. On my calendar, I wrote a date for the next application cycle, and I would like to say that I patiently waited. However, I scoured the PolarTREC website. I read everything I could about the organization. Finally, when the application cycle opened again, I was ready. I spent hours on my application, carefully refining my answers. When I hit the submit button I had a sinking feeling that I had just spent hours on an application for something that I would never get. After receiving the call that I was chosen, I was elated and may have jumped up and down a few times. My assigned location is the Toolik field station in the summer season. After quickly researching Toolik I discovered it's a well established research facility...with lots of mosquitoes in the summer.

My flight to Alaska from Long Beach, California required a minor layover in Seattle but was thankfully uneventful. I was happy to see a faint glow of the Aurora Borealis from my taxi window as the driver drove me from the airport to my hotel. "This is going to be fun," I thought to myself again.

The next day I stepped into the ARCUS building and orientation meeting room and had the same thought. "This is going to be fun." The gear, meeting fellow educators, meeting alumni, was equally exhausting and exhilarating. I wanted to remember everything. I'm still surprised that I was chosen, but so thankful to be a part of climate change education, a subject I've become passionate about. I know there will be challenges and difficult moments, but I know it will be worth it. This is going to be fun.

ARCUS parking lot
Looking out of 5th floor of IARC building

Breakfast buffet
Yummy breakfast buffet!

University of Fairbanks
Weather Summary
Wind Speed
1 mph


Dominique Richardson

So much fun! And I know we'll have fun following your expedition. I can't wait to read more about your adventures!

Regina Brinker

Kate, you are set for an adventure. You will have fun in Toolik and remember the expedition always. Enjoy!