"What will you do with your one wild and precious life?"

Mary Oliver's words rang through my ears as I sat on a rock close to my home in northern California. Hmmmm? What will I do with this life of mine? I found a piece of scrap paper, wrote DREAMS in the middle of it, and, with my colorful markers, filled the page with all of the ideas that had been running through my head.

The start of a new adventure

A month later, as I was scrolling through some work emails, the words Antarctica, Science Research, and Education caught my eye. These words were all on my dream list...I found a program that combined three of my dreams into one amazing adventure! I quickly sat down to fill out and submit an application for, what might become, one of the most incredible learning experiences of my life. Then, I waited and waited and waited some more. One December day I received fantastic news...I had an interview for the PolarTREC program! I could barely contain my excitement during my interview. When I found out I was accepted to head to Antarctica to study marine ectotherms (sea slugs, sea spiders, oh yeah!) under the ice I quickly said "YES!"

First day PolarTREC sign
PolarTREC sign and the beginning of my new adventure (Amy Osborne)

Taking the first step...or rather flight!

As I boarded the plane for orientation in Fairbanks, my heart was pounding with excitement and nervousness. How cold will it be there? Do I have enough warm clothes? Will I be able to learn and remember everything I need to know? What will the other teachers be like? As I flew over the snowy mountains my excitement grew. When I landed in Fairbanks, I saw the snow covered ground and met the other educators and PolarTREC staff. Their friendliness and openness made me feel calm and welcomed. The first day, filled with a whirlwind of information, sharing stories, and connecting with all of the amazing people in the program, is now over. The butterflies in my stomach have gone away and I'm pretty sure pursuing this dream is a great way to spend my one wild and precious life.

First day new friends
Piper Bartlett-Browne, one of the many new friendly faces in the PolarTREC program, and I (Amy Osborne) at Orientation in Fairbanks, AK

P.S. HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY TO MY NIECE ADDIE...one of my favorite nature explorers!

International Center for Arctic Research (IARC)
Weather Summary
sunny and clear with a bit of snow on the ground
Wind Speed
2 mph


Bridget Ward

Amy, It has been a pleasure to get to know you over the last two days. I am glad our cohort has made you feel calm and welcomed, because that is how you make the rest of us feel as well.

Dominique Richardson

What a wonderful adventure to add to your one wild and precious life. I'm excited for you and can't wait to follow your expedition!

Meredeth Dash

It's going to be amazing and wild and everything you dreamed of. Those sea slugs and sea spiders are lucky to have such an environmentally friendly soul on their side. Go get 'em Amy! Hugs and stay warm out there my friend.

Regina Brinker

Hi, Amy,I'm looking forward to following your expedition and learning what it is like to dive under the ice. Incredible!

Amy Osborne

Thanks Meredeth, I'm so excited to share with you soon my Earthatarian friend!


So very excited for you and your new adventures ahead of you. You have always amazed me on all your travels and following your dreams.. I will follow your journey thru your eyes,stories and pics

Deepak Dathatri

Hi Amy!
So glad you're living your one precious life to the fullest and pursuing your dreams humbly and passionately. We miss you at NatureBridge and are wishing you the best as you see your dream come true! Change the world, no pressure :)

Bill Henske

I had to go back and see what you were thinking at the beginning. I wonder what your March 2020 self would tell your April 2019 self? What a cool experience.