HomeDecember 2016You’re Going Where?!!

Schools, Families, Community Members, and Global Science Enthusiasts,


Greetings!  In exactly 23 days, I will embark on a trip of a lifetime. I will be traveling to Palmer Station, Antarctica as a member of Dr. Lee’s Antarctic Research Team. We will depart in late December and travel 8,000 miles by air and icebreaker ship to reach the southernmost continent in the world. While there, we will conduct research on the largest land animal in Antarctica…any guesses?


By following this blog, you will have access to cutting-edge polar research at the coldest, windiest, driest region on the planet. Here, I will chronicle my Antarctic experiences as I prepare for the research expedition, travel to the ends of the earth, live and work at Palmer Station, and traverse the remote environment. Being a member of the MADE-CLEAR project, I am especially interested in exploring the impact of climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula.

 Check back frequently for updates or follow me on Twitter  @aflyonthepole or Facebook www.facebook.com/aflyonthepoleHold on tight. The countdown is on. Let the polar adventure begin! 

continentsPolar Ponder #1: Find the southernmost continent in the world. Would you want to visit there?  Why or why not? 



You’re Going Where?!! — 28 Comments

    • Hi Ro,

      Thanks for following along. So glad to have arrived safely to station. Stay tuned for many new updates this week. It turns out my birthday is yet to come… January 23rd! Stay tuned for a birthday celebration, Palmer style!

      • Have you noticed a difference in the glacier level since last year? Evidently a huge crack has developed in the ice shelf. It has been very cold this weekend here with lows in dingle digits. Stay warm. Enjoy summer at the pole!

        • Hi Ro,

          Unfortunately, the glacier here at Palmer Station (Anvers Island) has continued to retreat. From my first trip here to now (2012-2017), the melting ice has even unveiled a small island, which was fully hidden by the ice, near the station. The crack that you are referring to is located on the ice shelf on the opposite side of the Antarctic peninsula.

  1. Hi Natalie
    Hope you are having a great trip! I’m proud of you. I wanted to let you know that I am sharing your website with my Pre- K teacher and class. They are learning about Penguins/ Antarctica/ glaciers. I’m sure you will be hearing from them!


  2. Hi! Pete Lawrence sent me the information for your study. We are very excited to join you. I teach K-1-2 at Jamestown Elementary in Jamestown, Colorado. Our school is very small. We have two classrooms and two teachers. My teaching partner teaches grades 3-4-5. We would love to Skype with you sometime!!!! Thanks you for letting us learn with you. Sincerely, Gay Paxton

    • Welcome, Jamestown Elementary! I am so excited to share my team’s Antarctic adventures with you. Here’s a big THANK YOU to Pete, who works here at Palmer Station, for his help connecting us. Stay tuned for updates on the blog and feel free to leave me questions or comments along the way. Let the polar adventure begin!

  3. Good Luck on your last trip! I can’t believe how much you have done since you left Crestwood. Enjoy your trip!
    Jolene Reese

  4. I’m an elementary librarian. Our kindergarten students are studying polar exploration and how environmental factors influence adaption of living things. They will enjoy your pictures!

  5. I really loved all the pictures of the penguins! They’re so cute. Hope you’re Antarctica trip this year is safe & you discover even more fun & interesting things about the Continent!

  6. I love following your blog. I found it interesting that it is colder here in Park City, Utah than it is in Antarctica. Hope your research is going well. Be safe and have a GREAT birthday my friend 😘

  7. Hello from Mrs. Christensen’s 5th grade class @ Whitesides El in Layton Ut! We love the pictures of the cute Penguins. Where do you sleep and are you cold at night? What do you eat? Is there any Diet Coke? 🙂

    • Hello Mrs. Christensen’s 5th graders! Thank you for following our Antarctic research adventures. You have asked some good questions here. Palmer Station can house up to 45 scientists/support staff at one time. Being summertime here, we are at full capacity at the station. Our living conditions are very comfortable; similar to a dormitory, with bunk beds, closets, and a desk. The station is quite cozy. For more adventurous people on station, we also have the option of camping outside in a tent (weather permitting). I typically wear a lot of layers and sleep in a warm sleeping bag. The view is amazing – Arthur’s Harbor and the Marr Ice Piedmont Glacier. The temperature here at Palmer Station is much more mild than the other two U.S. research stations. See: https://www.usap.gov/videoclipsandmaps/palwebcam.cfm.

  8. Hi Natalie,
    We just finished our video conference with you- This is NP High school. Students did enjoy your presentation, though wanted to see more of the outside! There are some questions the students didn’t get to ask:
    What exactly are you allowed to eat?
    How long will you be there doing your research?
    Has anyone ever died at your research center?
    What is the temperature of the water?
    How often do you see penguins?
    Do you get homesick?
    Is it difficult to be away from your family so long?
    Do you have to share a room?
    Is there a reason that you were only able to talk for 30 minutes?

    Have you or the researchers, tried to isolate and recreate the gene that allows the flies to survive 7 days without oxygen?

    Some student comments:
    I thought there would be less people at the station.
    It seems like the station is big.
    I was surprised that she didn’t wear a coat outside.
    I liked those sunglasses.

    Thank-you for sharing!
    Talk with you soon!

  9. Hello from Mrs. Olivieri’s Kindergarten class. We just received this information about your wonderful trip. We have been talking about penguins and all the ways they get around and things they can and cannot do. Looking forward to seeing your pictures. Thank you and be safe.

  10. Hi Nat. I’d like to schedule a day and time so we can do a live chat, maybe Skype, with my marine bio students. What’s your schedule like?

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