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Greetings to all of you. I'm Larry Reynolds, a math and science teacher at Liberty School in Blue Hill, Maine. I've been teaching for eight years now, the last three at Liberty. Before that, I taught at Unity College in Maine, and at several other schools ranging from elementary to undergraduate level. These included a year with my family teaching in a high school called Tengecha, near Kericho, in the tea growing hills of western Kenya.

I went to college at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and then got a master's degree in oceanography at the University of Maine, studying foraminifera, tiny marine fossils the size of a pencil point. Before teaching, I did a lot of traveling in Europe and Africa, and among other things flew airplanes for a living. It was through teaching people to fly that I realized how much I liked teaching. That's how I got where I am! My hobby is playing the fiddle, but I'm not too good at it.

I really like teaching at Liberty School. We've only been in existence for three years, and we have just 65 students in all grades 9-12, so everybody knows everybody else. We are a private school, but since most of the towns around do not have their own schools, kids can come to our school and their towns will pay their tuition.Students at Liberty have a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibility. We have open campus, so when you don't have a class you can walk down to town or wherever. Also, students really run the school, making decisions about admissions, discipline, curriculum, and the every day issues a principal would ordinarily decide. It works great, because people, kids and teachers, generally trust and respect each other, and we don't have a lot of the usual problems! Last year I took some students back to Kenya for three weeks of hiking and camping. We got back tired and dirty and hungry, but we had a great time.

I have a wife Mary, who works hard on our small farm, home schools our children, and quilts for a hobby. My older daughter Amanda is a music student at the University of Maine now, plays viola in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, and is going to Austria to school next year. My younger daughter Emeline is 12, plays violin, sews, takes art lessons, and is learning long division with decimals. She has a bear named Bear who tells her wise things at night. I'm proud of all of them.

I really hated to leave Maine, my family and Liberty, but I couldn't pass up the chance to spend seven weeks in Antarctica. I've wanted to go since I was fourteen, and I'm here now! I'm writing this aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer as we crash through pack ice in the Ross Sea. It sounds like somebody banging an oil tank in the basement, and occasionally the whole ship shakes. Read my journal and I'll tell you some more!

Glacial History of the Amundsen Sea Shelf
Dr. Thomas Kellogg, University of Maine at Orono

I'm aboard the Research Vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, as a research assistant to Dr. Thomas Kellogg of the University of Maine at Orono. Dr. Kellogg wants to study several things in an area called Pine Island Bay.

For one, he wants to know the bathymetry, or shape of the bottom in that area. By mapping the bottom, he will be able to tell where glaciers flowed during the times when there was much more ice than there is now. After many ice ages, the glaciers gouge out hollows in the bedrock, called glacial troughs. Knowing where they are will help him and other scientists understand and predict what the West Antarctic Ice sheet will do in the future. If it melts, sea level will rise about twenty feet everywhere!

Dr. Kellogg also wants to take some cores of the bottom mud in Pine Island Bay. By carbon dating the sediments, and looking at things like grain size and layer thickness, he can tell how far glaciers extended, and when. He and his wife Dr. Davida Kellogg (who is with us) are experts on diatoms, microscopic marine plants. They will use their knowledge of diatoms to trace past weather patterns and climate here.

In addition to working for the Kelloggs, I want to get involved with some of the other science going on on the ship. There are groups studying ocean currents, seal populations, the structure of snow and ice, and isotopes in sea water. If I have time, I'd like to work a little with them all. There are just so many interesting things going on here!

March 2000

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