When I got the call from National Geographic back in February that I had been chosen as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, it was quite a shock. I was congratulated on my selection and informed I would be exploring "the land of the ice bears." Wow, I thought, I am going to the Arctic! Then, "You will be on an expedition of Svalbard in June." After saying thank you repeatedly, crying uncontrollably and finally hanging up the phone, I looked at my laptop in front of me and promptly googled "Svalbard."
Where in the world is this region I have the opportunity to explore?
During my summer expedition, I can expect variable temperatures ranging from 30-50°F and a lot of daylight! Though some areas are untouched wildness, Svalbard has been used over the years by hunters, fishers, mining companies, and scientists and actually has the northernmost permanent settlements in the world.