The second week of school and I already had an amazing guest come to meet my faculty, students, and their guardians; Dr. Heather Liwanag, head researcher from the team I will be joining in Antarctica. She flew from California to Massachusetts to participate in several meet-and-greets, attend open-house, and perform experiments with my students.
The first meet-and-greet was me. I was a little nervous but mostly excited to be meeting Dr. Liwanag in person. We actually met up at a sporting goods store to purchase some last-minute supplies for our trip. As it turns out, winter gear is more available in New England than by California Polytechnic State University – who would have guessed? Spending a few days with Dr. Liwanag made me feel much more comfortable about heading out for our expedition to Antarctica and I learned so much about our research and Weddell seals.
After spending the day getting soaked with my students performing a thermoregulation experiment, using water balloons as our seals, it was time for an open-house with their guardians. Dr. Liwanag engaged our guests with pictures from last year’s expedition and answered lots of questions about what it is like living in Antarctica.
The following day we were once again working with students, the jet lag did not even phase Dr. Liwanag. At the end of the day it was time for my fellow colleagues to engage in a meet-and-greet. Teachers from every department came to ask their questions and learn about what I will be doing in the field. Teachers also were able to participate in a photo shoot wearing ECW gear, pictures that are sure to end up in the yearbook.
I am very thankful that Dr. Liwanag came to visit me and meet my students and their families, my Central family (staff), and my personal family. I can’t wait until I meet up with her and become a part of her team in Antarctica.