Only 23 days until I fly to Alaska! The logistics of the next few weeks are beginning to become real, and some might say overwhelming.
Not only am I considering all the logistics of packing, attending a week long orientation in Boulder March 15-20, and then participating in an Arctic science expedition; I'm also in full swing of running my own business Wild Rose Education, designing a new fall course syllabus for Colorado Mountain College SUS-440 Watershed Science and Land Use Impacts, finalizing the logistics for five graduate level educator classes this summer, presenting at three conferences between now and the end of April, making sure I've got taxes and bills paid, and looking for new housing here in my community. Yet, I'm confident it will all happen and turn out quite well. Thankfully I'm really good at planning and paying attention to details. And hopefully I can prove to be incredibly flexible. As with any expedition, things change at any given moment and one has to be ready to flex, and also try to be okay with the new situation.
One phenomenon I'm really hoping to experience are the northern lights or aurora borealis. It will be my first time to experience them.
Thanks to the MOSAiC Expedition, I found these really neat website links:
While traveling to the Arctic with my expedition team April 1-11 and then again in the summer, I will be collecting land cover, tree, and cloud data for NASA's Globe Observer program. This is in addition to the International Arctic Buoy Program buoy deployment project. I would like to invite you to also collect land cover, tree, and cloud data.
NASA uses numerous satellites to constantly collect data on land cover, biomass (carbon), hydrological cycle, and more. They need people like you and me on the ground to verify their data by taking photos using a simple protocol through an app we can download to our smart phones. Our photos help scientists better understand what is really happening on the ground that the satellites may not be able to sense.
So, if you're up for it, please join me and many others around the world collecting Globe Observer data for NASA. Here's how.
A lead scientist for NASA's GLOBE Observer program reached out to me a few weeks ago to ask that I collect data from the Arctic when I go as they have so little data from the regions of Alaska where I'm going. When he found out we are also planning on teaching students in Whittier and Utqiagvik, we quickly made plans for me to create an hour long class for the students to learn how they can provide important data from their unique perspectives to help everyone better understand Earth's changing landscapes. I'm looking forward to be able to facilitate a learning opportunity that celebrates their long standing understanding and perspective of their home land and sea ice.
I do need to practice teaching this class; so please join me at a mini-workshop (details below). Also, I am in search of duplo bricks (large legos) to teach with and am guessing that some of you may have some old ones sitting around that no one plays with anymore. If so, please send them my way.
I love learning places. It's important to me to learn about places from a broad scope and on many scales; one way to think about this is 'from from the rocks to the politics'. To learn a place requires giving a bit of yourself to a place so you can become part of it and it can become part of you.
One way to begin to learn a place is to explore its culture And for me, music is a rich inroad to learning about culture. Music celebrates nearly every experience of the human condition and it occurs in a place or is influenced by a place. So I began to think about some songs and even a poem or two I already knew. Then with a bit of further pondering I realized these songs written by men of European descent, did not even begin to represent the music of the Arctic. So with the help of google, an entire evening was spent diving in to the native peoples' music of their homeland.
What I have learned thus far, is the traditional throat-singing of the Inuit people is still alive today in some millennial musicians. Throat singing mimics the natural sounds of the Arctic landscape: wind, ice, sea birds and more. Listen to a few songs and watch one of the videos below.