My Growing Up on Ice Research team members’ answers would be the following:

Heather Liwanag- Yes, milk and splenda.

Heather Harris- No, but she will have tea.

Emma Weitzner- Yes, Decaf, black.

Emily Whitmer- She will drink either coffee or tea, but either require cream.

Bridget Ward- Yes, black. That’s me, so I knew that already.

No, I did not fly out to San Luis Obispo, CA to learn what my team members’ hot beverage orders would be, but over the last few days, we have gotten to know each other well enough that I could go on a successful beverage run in the morning.

The real reason I flew out to San Luis Obispo, CA, the home of California Polytechnic State University, was to meet our research team, and “break the ice” before we got down to the ice, in Antarctica.

From left to right: Heather Harris, Bridget Ward, Emma Weitzner, Emily Whitmer, Heather Liwanag
Growing Up on Ice Team. From left to right: Heather Harris, Bridget Ward, Emma Weitzner, Emily Whitmer, Heather Liwanag

Over the last few days we have spent time organizing and packing equipment, planning out individuals’ roles in specific procedures, getting to know each other on a personal level, and observing Emily and Heather H. working with sea lions. We even put our team skills to the ultimate test, completing an escape room, in which we successfully rescued a magical creature, with five minutes to spare.

From Left to Right: Emily, Heather L., Bridget, Heather H., Emma
Growing Up on Ice team rescues magical beast. From Left to Right: Emily, Heather L., Bridget, Heather H., Emma

I definitely feel like we are a stronger team after the last few days and it is really nice to put faces and personalities to the names of the long strands of emails that appear in my inbox. Unfortunately, one of our team members was unable to join us, Linnea Pearson. I do know that she likes her coffee with a little half and half though, and I feel like that is a great start on getting to know her better.

All jokes aside, I am so excited to meet up again with all these amazing women in less than four months down on the ice. Please continue to follow us as we prepare for our expedition, Growing Up on Ice, and meet our team members and learn about their roles on our research team.

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