TEA Explorer

Sandra Kolb in front of the Amundsen-Scott
South Pole Station Dome 1998-99

One year ago when I returned from my second austral summer (a total of 7 months "ice time") at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica; I never dreamed that I would be going to the Arctic nearly one year later! To be honest, having had the unusual opportunity to work in Antarctica twice, I did think about conquering the opposite. The Arctic was on my Dream List (yes, I really do have one in writing), but not so immediate in my plans. Opportunities don’t wait. When the possibility of the TEA experience on the trials of the USCGC Healy icebreaker surfaced, it was the possibility of yet another educational experience to share that I couldn't put out of my mind. I didn't wait long before I acted. Amazingly, it will soon be reality! I'm thrilled and honored to be parcticipating in this experience.

I'm Sandra Kolb and that's me hidden in the red parka standing in front of the South Pole Station dome in January 1997. Having worked in Africa and the Middle East with my husband, Lester, for 16 years, working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station as a cook for the austral summer of 1996-97 was the ultimate adventure! Although the experience was not easy, it was an incredible learning experience and one that I shared through my journals.

When the opportunity emerged to return to the South Pole Station for the austral summer 1998-99, I couldn't refuse. This time I was 1 of 3 communications operators and worked in the Information Systems Department. My job consisted of air traffic control activities bringing aircraft into and out of our station as well as flight following for other Antarctic missions, weather reporting, station emergency response, general station communications, communications with other Antarctic stations and camps, and information documentation. Working in Comms involved intense multi-tasking, prioritizing, and quick decision-making. And, yes, it was stressful sometimes. You can learn more about my Antarctic experience by scrolling to the end of my web page to read my journals.

I'm a teacher of 21 years experience in grades 1-12 and have taught in both public and private schools. During my 16 years teaching at American international schools overseas, I developed a love for adventure and new learning opportunities. I delight in making guest presentations to educational institutions and community organizations on my Antarctic experiences. As free time allows, I enjoy reading, cooking and entertaining, fine arts, and travel. In the summer, I welcome spending time outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where I live.

If you are an amateur radio operator you may catch me, NE7V, on the air! In the meantime, you can follow my experiences in my journals from this web site.

Map of Antarctica

Antarctic Journals 1998/1999
Introduction: Dreams + Action = Reality
Jan. 12, 1999: Power, Water, and Food
Nov. 13, 1998: Getting To The Ice
Jan. 19, 1999: Visitors
Nov. 20, 1998: McMurdo to S. Pole
Jan. 28, 1999: The Dark Sector
Nov. 27, 1998: Altitude and The First Day
Feb. 12, 1999: Good-Bye From South Pole
Dec. 05, 1998: ECW Clothing
Off Ice Follow-up: Expedition Icetrek
Dec. 13, 1998: My Typical Day
Off Ice Follow-up: The Women
Dec. 22, 1998: Waste Management
Off Ice Follow-up: The Men
Dec. 29, 1998: Celebrations
Conclusion: Reflections One Year Later

Antarctic Journals 1996/1997
December 7 to 15, 1996: Science Lecture Series January 14, 1997: Astronomy, Station Life
December 15, 1996: Physio-Altitude January 26, 1997: Sleeping Quarters
December 24, 1996: Christmas, Science Operations February 2, 1997: Altitude, Atmospheric Studies
December 31, 1996: Astronomy, Visitors February 9, 1997: Seismic Vault, Ski Shack, Halos
January 5, 1997: My Job, New Year's Day February 11, 1997: Station Poem and Closing Thoughts
January 10, 1997: Letter From Lester

Icebreaking performance of the USCGC Healy
Terry Tucker, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

The icebreaking performance tests of the new Coast Guard icebreaker, USCGC Healy, will occur during April and May in Davis Strait and Baffin Bay, between Canada and Greenland. The goals are to assess whether the Healy performs in ice as well as it was designed to perform, and to develop a set of ice operating guidelines for the ship drivers. One primary objective is to determine the speeds at which the Healy can break different thicknesses of ice. Other tests will measure the turning radius of the ship over a range of ice thicknesses, and assess its performance when it is necessary to back and ram thick ice.

"Icebreaking Performance of the USCGC Healy" project has two parts. One part will be to collect and analyze ship operational data such as position, speed, power, propeller rpm, torque, thrust and rudder settings. The data will be collected during each test by computer linked into a special ship system data network. The data will be analyzed following the test.

The second part of the project involves finding the proper type of ice in which to test the ship, then measuring the ice properties of that ice. For the icebreaking speed and turning radius tests, level ice floes as large as 1 km x 1 km are needed. The general area containing the floes will be located by studying several types of satellite imagery that will be received on the Healy. Then helicopter reconnaissance flights will be used to determine precise locations of the floes and measure their initial thickness. Before each test, a team will go onto the ice to make detailed ice thickness measurements using an electromagnetic instrument and by drilling holes. In addition, more properties of the ice will be determined by collecting ice cores. Measurements of temperature, salinity and density of the ice cores will be needed to determine the strength of the ice. The ice properties measurements will be combined with the ship operational data at the end of each test to assess the performance.

Experiences with some of the other programs on board the USCGC Healy will include the measurements of loads on the hull of the ship, stresses that ice imposes on the propeller and shaft, and documenting performance of the ship through various ice conditions as it transits between test locations.

Polar Classroom Activities:

Ice Core Secrets

Polar Chains and Webs

Today's Forecast: Graphing Temperature Data

Global Scales: An Investigation of Barometric Pressure and Gravitational Pull: Does It Influence Body Weight?

Nutrition Expedition - An Investigation of Nutritional Requirements under Extreme Conditions

To Be Salty Sea Ice Or Not To Be Salty Sea Ice

14 April, 2001:

Introduction: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory

13 April, 2001:

Jim Clark, Research Mechanical Engineer

12 April, 2001:

John Gagnon, Civil Engineering Technician, Web Camera Images

11 April, 2001:

Antonio J. Palazzo, Research Agronomist

10 April, 2001:

Donald Perovich, Geophysicist, Ice Thermodynamics

9 April, 2001:

C. M. (Mike) Reynolds, Research Soil Scientist, Bioremediation

8 April, 2001:

Devinder Sodhi, Sr. Research Scientist, Crushing Failure of Ice

7 April, 2001:

Walter (Terry) B. Tucker III, Research Geophysicist

6 April, 2001:

John Weatherly, Ice Geophysicist, Global Climate Models

5 April, 2001:

Norbert Yankielun, Geophysical Radar and Electronics Engineer

4 April, 2001:

Visiting Research Team from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center

3 April, 2001:

Conclusion: Acknowledgements to CRREL and Closing Comments

20 June, 2000:

Conclusion: Reflections on Arctic Dreams

22 May, 2000:


21 May, 2000:

About St. John's

20 May, 2000:

Fahrenheit to Celsius

19 May, 2000:

Port of Call

18 May, 2000:

Ice Trial Reports

17 May, 2000:

Captain Garrett

16 May, 2000:

Backing and Ramming

15 May, 2000:

kolb journal 05/15/00

14 May, 2000:

Women of the Healy

13 May, 2000:

Saturday Notes

12 May, 2000:

Rites of the Blue Nose

11 May, 2000:

Level Ice Trials

10 May, 2000:

Testing Snow Density

9 May, 2000:

Multi-year Ice and Progress Summary

8 May, 2000:

Sunrise and Sunset

7 May, 2000:

Determining Ice Strength

6 May, 2000:

Profiling Ice Thickness

5 May, 2000:

Arctic Cinco de Mayo

4 May, 2000:

Dry Conditions

3 May, 2000:

Hunting Narwhals

2 May, 2000:

Driving Force

1 May, 2000:

My First Polar Bear

30 April, 2000:

Trafficability Part II

29 April, 2000:

Trafficability Part I

28 April, 2000:

Beginning With Growlers

27 April, 2000:

Bytes 'n Pieces

26 April, 2000:

Geography 101

14 April, 2000:

Introduction: Arctic Dreams

7 April, 2000:

Walter (Terry) B. Tucker III, Research Geophysicist

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