Saturday, December 02, 2006


Yes, dear reader -- those are glaciers below! If asked where I would like to explore (as if I could), my answers have always included Russia's Kamchatka peninsula, with its many volcanos, and those remarkable mile-high mesas called tepuis in Venezuela. But never the Arctic! Brrr! But to each his own: ask Maggie Kane, science teacher at the Prescott Middle School. She wrote in her on-line journal:

As I told my friends before I left, I love being on the edge of the unknown and going in to explore. Very few places on earth inspire exploration like the arctic, and very few people have done much long term exploration here. Institutions like UNIS are so wonderful because there, in one place, are many of the experts on a poorly understood part of the globe. It is thrilling to be out in wild country seeing a landscape and interpreting it, perhaps for the first time...

The arctic continues to pull and inspire me. Now having spent 3 summers in the arctic (Alaska 1985 and Baffin Island, Canada 1986) I feel more in touch with my entire planet. It allows me to truly appreciate so many things that most of us take for granted. A large rock to step behind in a strong wind can inspire gratitude, as can a hot cup of tea from a friend in the field. The little things that help you survive in a difficult environment take on huge significance.

I did read about Maggie's adventures in a recent Courier article, but I really learned about them a couple of nights ago over at the Crossroads Center, where she made a presentation... an audience including local teachers, college students and even neighbors, like Sam and Linda who took me.

She talked of the stark beauty of the cold Norwegian island where the project, studying climate change, took place...

...explained some of the science measurements and experiments in which she participated...

...and showed how she could even take advantage of today's communications technologies to keep her students up to date on her scientific findings and what it's like out in the field in the Arctic.

It's a pretty cool idea for a science teacher to keep her hand in field work -- and to share the experience with her students. Do take some time with Maggie's journals; among other things, she posted a lot of very fine photos of her adventures (note the photo gallery link).

(I don't know if there's any relationship, but it turns out that there was another Kane family member who was big in Arctic exploration in the 1800s -- Elisha Kane. One of those factoids one comes up with when consulting The Google.)


Kelvin said...

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Linda G. said...

Lovely blog G.J.


Granny J said...

So I checked out Krazy Kelvin, he of 10+ blogs -- and no computer at home -- if you can imagine!I hope he drinks a lot of coffee over in that electric cafe! And in the meantime, I am flattered like all get-out for this attention! Thank you Kelvin.

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