In December, 2016, I took part in the inaugural voyage of the Homeward Bound expedition. Seventy-six women in science from around the globe were selected to be a part of this leadership initiative and spectacular journey. Women in all areas of science, (not just polar science), and of all age groups and types of scientific backgrounds boarded the MV Ushuaia for a 20-day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. As part of our program, we formed teams in the months prior to the voyage.
Being a life-long educator, retired after 35 years of classroom teaching experience, teaching science methods at the university level, and three Antarctic deployments with the U.S. Antarctic Program as an education outreach specialist for three geologic research grants/projects, the obvious fit for me was the “Education Outreach” team for Homeward Bound. Each member of our team brought a unique perspective to Homeward Bound and how we can disseminate polar science to students of all ages around the world.
Each day was full of learning, leadership, science symposiums at sea (presentations by each of the 76 participants), and zodiac trips to islands or the Antarctic Peninsula to learn more about the plant and animal life both on shore and in the marine environment. With each shore landing I learned more about this amazing continent and the ocean surrounding it, and how I can convey the importance of our polar regions to diverse audiences of all ages.
As part of my own individual education and outreach goals for this voyage, I actively blogged each day and posted the photos, daily blogs, and video clips once we returned to Ushuaia, Argentina. Engaging learners in polar science has been my passion since 1998, when I first traveled to Antarctica as part of the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic (TEA) Program. I hope to keep inspiring students to pursue science careers and particularly to encourage girls to stay in science. I want to keep influencing the polar scientists of tomorrow. Homeward Bound was a great step toward fulfilling these goals.
Please check out my blogs from the Homeward Bound expedition and also the WISSSARD Project at www.scienceroadshow.wordpress.com