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> Where Was I????
Amy_Clapp
post Jul 25 2005, 04:16 PM
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Well, I have been home for just over a week, and in many respects, my trip to Alaska and Canada seem somewhat of a dream. I have to keep reminding myself, as friends, families and colleagues ask me about this trip, that places like Tsiigehtchic and Pilot Station do exist and I was there. I find myself at a loss of words when I try to explain what it felt like to go to these remote villages and spend time there. It does to me, feel like time out of time. I have a sense of where I was and what I was doing, but in a lot of ways it feels dreamlike. I know that with time, the experience will unfold itself, and that there is no use trying to rush that process, but I do look forward to remembering and sharing this incredible opportunity in the next year and beyond.

As I did last year, I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the lead scientist on this trip, Max Holmes, of the Woods Hole Research Center. His enthusiasm about what he is doing, both scientifically and with education and outreach truly is contageous, and as I felt last year, it is just an extreme pleasure to work with him. I will also add in here, that I truly believe that there are few people, who can travel together (and for the most part solo) for three weeks through some interesting situations and never "lose" it with each other or get impatient. I know that I never found myself sick of working with Max, and unless he is a really good actor, I think Max feels the same. It is a very rewarding to work so well on a team.

And, it goes without saying that there are so many people behind the scenes that I owe lots of BIG Thank-Yous to! The National Science Foundation has extreme insight to realize how much these types of experiences impact a school teacher. Although I worry that my students, community and colleagues may be getting sick of hearing everything about the Arctic, from the science behind our project, to the funny stories, they keep coming back for more. It is fun for me to share all that I have experienced, and to think that I have the opportunity to educate the public about global warming through this project makes me feel an importance as an educator that I have never been able to feel before. ARCUS does a fantastic job of supporting the teachers in the program in every aspect--however, the upkeep of this website is amazing as a way to process the experience while en route and also to share the experience in the classroom when it is appropriate. The work of ARCUS integrates technology in the classroom in ways that make the frustrations of working with the glitches with computers worth it--the students are impacted in positive ways. Thanks ARCUS. Finally, VECO Polar Resources made sure that we were taken care of in the field--always a good feeling when you are in remote places--from the clothing I had to the medical kit (Luckily, between the two of us, I think only one Band-Aid was used for a hang nail) and the satelite phone, which for all I know, saved me from getting eaten by a bear when we were in Anchorage.

Finally, I want to thank all the people who had faith in me to participate for a second year in a row in the TREC Program. I know that is unusual, and hope (and think) that having the opportunity to continue the collaboration we started in Zhigansk, Siberia last year, and expanded to Tsiigehtchic, Canada and Pilot Station, Alaska, will lead into an amazing project that allows students and communities from across the Pan-Arctic Watershed to participate in the exciting science that is taking place in their backyard while having the opporutnity to learn about each other's communities at the same time.

My heartfelt thanks go out to all the people involved in this project,
Amy
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Steve_Marshall
post Jul 26 2005, 08:10 AM
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Welcome back, Amy!
Just wanted to let you know I have been reading your journals with great interest. I would like to have replied more, but I'm having trouble just finding the time to finish my own entries, and I've been back almost a month now! Getting back to "real life" with all its busy, yet mostly routine schedule makes me miss the sometimes predictable, sometimes unpredictable, and the sometimes fast and furious, sometimes "hurry up and wait" situations we both (and probably all) experienced on our projects.

This was also a great acknowledgement of all the help we got on our projects that I will use as a model for when I FINALLY get around to posting my last entry!

Steve
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Ute_Kaden
post Jul 27 2005, 09:54 PM
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Hi Amy,
Welcome back. Thanks for sharing your work and adventures with the rest of us. Reading your post I can see myself. I absolutely fell in love with Alaska and the people here. Thanks to all that made the program possible-So much to tell and to teach to our students.
Make sure to write everything down. Great job Amy and Max.

PS I have quite a bit of respect for the bears here!
Ute
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