Getting adjusted to life at home and work.
As you can see from the picture, it is back to school for me!
After a few days In Hobart, Tasmania getting my land legs back, it was time to board the plane. In my case five planes. Hobart to Melbourne, Melbourne to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Newark, Newark to Albany and finally Albany to Massena. When you include lay overs the trip was a full 2 days. Boy oh boy was I happy to get home.
I was blessed with the opportunity to have been part the now completed cruise of the NB Palmer 14-02. It was a great honor to be selected and to participate in such a valuable expedition. What I have taken from this experience reaches far past the photos and memories. It has exposed me to what real science looks like and the incredible amount of work that must done to be successful.
The expedition's interdisciplinary approach enabled me to observe far more than one that focuses on one discipline. It was enlightening to see all the PI's work as a unified team. Through stressful situations that included, ice, weather and time constraints they would successfully deploy the science equipment. This was evident based on the volume of data and samples that will now be reviewed and processed.
My mission as a PolarTrec teacher was to disseminate the day in and day out activities of a science expedition. Because of that I worked a regular 12 hour shift as well as meet and talk with all members of the cruise.
Not being a teacher or student with experience in geology or earth science I originally was apprehensive and frankly overwhelmed. Through the assistance of the scientists and shift partners, I am far more capable in and knowledgeable about these subjects. In addition it has taught me to multi task and manage time more efficiently.
In respect to the mission of this cruise and others like it I am now more capable to explain polar science. I will go back with the knowledge to be a better teach and mentor. This experience could never have been replicated in any college course and certainly not in a professional development workshop. The immersion into to all the aspects of the cruise, whether it be working on the back deck, the lab, manning the watch desk or communicating with the crew makes this program an irreplaceable opportunity. I only hope that future collaborations between expeditions and teachers continue. The science is vital but the outreach can also have far reaching benefits. Thank you to PolarTREC, NSF, The folks from the NB Palmer, the administration at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School and especially Dr. Amy Leventer for this opportunity.