If at first you don't succeed...

    It took a long, long time for me to get to this point: I've been selected as a PolarTREC educator and will be heading out out on a research trip to McMurdo Station, Antarctica in fall 2020! I have applied for this position a number of times before, so when I received the email in November 2019 that my application was moving into the next round, and a researcher wanted to speak with me, I was cautiously optimistic. I didn't want to get my hopes up too high, because I had been let down in years before. After the online video interview with the research team and members of PolarTREC staff right around Christmas Day, I ended the call with uncertainty. How did it go? I wasn't entirely sure- it wasn't great, wasn't horrible. I didn't want to say out loud "I think it went well", because I thought that would jinx it. But, I thought the interview went well.

    Winter break passed by, and then, on Thursday, January 9, 2020, I saw a voicemail - "Hi Tammy, just wanted to call and give you an update about your PolarTREC status, give us a call when you can"- I didn't even want to call back at that point. I decided I could just go the rest of my life, not knowing if they wanted me or not. Seriously, I said that to a colleague!

    I worked up the courage to make the return call when I left school, and was on the highway driving when I heard the good news- "Congratulations, they want you on the team!" I screamed with joy, and may have even taken my hands off the steering wheel for a moment or two! The idea of it all was just so overwhelming: finding out I'm going to ANTARCTICA to help with research, finally getting selected for the PolarTREC program, and just knowing I'm getting to do something that has been a goal of mine for many years now. I was keenly aware that with this one phone call, life would not be the same!

    We are just now starting our virtual orientation for the program, and I am meeting so many wonderful educators and staff from PolarTREC! I just love hearing everyone's stories and seeing the passion they have for polar research and storytelling, and I cannot wait to learn more about them and their upcoming expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. We are all just so happy to be part of this group and I, for one, am excited about sharing this experience with you!

    Orientation from home.
    Tammy Orilio's desk setup on Day 1 of PolarTREC virtual orientation.

    Margate, FL
    Weather Summary
    Partly cloudy
    81 F
    Wind Speed
    13 MPH


    Janet Warburton

    Great job on your journal! I love the sun and this photo angle. I know it's hard not doing this in person but glad you have time to join virtually this week.
    Looking forward to your expedition.


    I hope you are enjoying your virtual training. I know you will have a great time and do a great job sharing all of your amazing experiences. I do love the fact that you spend all morning prparing for your Antarctic trip and you can spend the afternoon at the pool in 80 degree weather.

    Amy Osborne

    Hi Tammy, I'm so so excited for you! You are going to have an amazing adventure. I can feel your excitement and I can't wait to hear more!

    Erin Towns

    I love the stories of people in this cohort who applied, got turned down, tried again, and succeeded. ANTARCTICA!!!!! Right on Tammy. Can't wait to follow your adventures and experiences!

    Bill Henske

    You captured what a lot of us felt when we got the call! Congratulations!