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25 October, 1999

October 25, 1999 12:35 a.m. Cincinnati, Ohio

Anticipation! I have been waiting for this day since Easter Monday! On that day in April, I received a phone call telling me that I had been chosen to travel to Antarctica as a "Teacher Experiencing Antarctica". Incredulous, I thought it was a hoax; a harmless practical joke! Dr. Wayne Sukow (on the other end of the phone) assured me that he WAS with the National Science Foundation and that he wasn't joking! The following six months have been spent in preparation for what has been called "the trip of a lifetime", "an incredible adventure", "a life-changing event"!

In addition to reading and preparing materials that were disseminated to teachers across the United States and talking with students in several local schools, I met with two members of my research team. I traveled to Princeton University where, for two weeks, I worked with Dr. Bess Ward, the principal investigator of the project to which I was assigned, and her assistant, Julie Granger. Together, we refined the techniques required to handle the bacterial samples that we will collect from Lake Bonney in Taylor Valley. Julie and I worked on obtaining data from gas chromatographic analyses. Most importantly, I got to know Bess and Julie. Their enthusiasm for this project was contagious! With their help, I was able to grasp the fundamentals of their research. I'm looking forward to meeting the two other members of our team, Dr. Mark Wells and Maite Maldonado. I'll meet up with Bess, Julie, Mark, and Maite in Christchurch, New Zealand on October 29.

Tomorrow I will begin a journey that will take almost 24 hours to complete! My final destination, until my ice flight scheduled for November 1, will be Christchurch, New Zealand. I leave Cincinnati on Monday evening and arrive in Christchurch on Wednesday morning. I cross the international dateline and lose a day! That seems so strange to me. October 26, 1999 will not exist for me!

My books and snacks and heavy sweater, for those always cold airplanes, are waiting patiently by the door! Stay tuned for details of the trip (I am a terrible flier)!

Flying the Friendly Skies.



I am almost ready to leave on an incredible adventure! Tomorrow I will get on a plane in Cincinnati, Ohio and will fly to Christchurch, New Zealand! I have to stop in a few airports on the way. My entire journey will take almost 24 hours to complete! Can you find New Zealand on a map? When I arrive in New Zealand, I will meet the other people who are going to go to Antarctica with me. On November 1, we will take our "ice flight" to Antarctica.

This summer I prepared for my trip. I read many books about Antarctic explorers. I also read about the kinds of work that scientists do in Antarctica. I will be studying bacteria. What are bacteria? I'll answer this question in a later journal!

The people that I am going with are from other parts of the United States. I will meet them in New Zealand. Their names are Bess, Julie, Mark, and Maite. Soon I will put pictures of them on this internet site so that you can see what they look like.

Think of questions that you would like to ask about Antarctica or my project and send me an email message. I promise to answer your questions! Thank you for stopping by and reading this journal entry. Come back!


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