Day Eight: Disembarkation
Back to Port in Longyearbyen
This morning, we ate breakfast, said our goodbyes, and began to disembark the ship. I cannot believe we are leaving the Land of the Ice Bears! It was hard to leave my shipboard home and all my new friends with whom I have shared this great adventure.
I have a flight to and overnight in Oslo, a flight to and overnight in Newark, and a long flight to Honolulu before I am back home. Though school is not in session until August, I am already thinking of lessons that draw upon this rich experience. I hope my Arctic adventure will foster a more global perspective, encourage environmental stewardship, and inspire a passion for discovery among my students!
Lessons from Svalbard
Gaining a sense of place in the high Arctic was a powerful take-away: feeling the tundra sponge beneath my feet on a hike, smelling the freshness of a massive ice cap, hearing the snow bunting sing its solo in the vast Arctic landscape, and seeing a polar bear navigate from ice floe to ice floe in a seemingly endless scramble of sea ice. It was a sparse, harsh, and beautiful environment, and it has left an indelible impression on me. I now have a first-hand experience in the region, and my biggest take-away is not only a sense of place but also a sense of urgency to protect it.
I have renewed passion about combating climate change and specifically about conserving our polar regions. In Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific islands, negative effects of climate change are already being experienced. I scientifically understood how climate change is a worldwide concern, but my Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic expedition gave me first-hand knowledge of its global reach.
As longtime Maui-resident, naturalist CT Ticknor shared in our April workshop, the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship is a heavy kuleana. Kuleana is a rich, nuanced native Hawaiian word meaning both privilege and responsibility. Now that I have returned from my Arctic voyage, it is my duty to tell the story of my expedition but it is also my honor.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have been awarded a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship. My voyage through Arctic Svalbard has enriched my teaching and changed my life.
8/6/2014 04:44:29 am
That's a nice picture and I like the mountain it kinda looks like diamond head
8/7/2014 11:16:21 am
I would be sad if I had to leave all my new friends but I would be even more sad that I don't get to see my family and friends back home. Nice to have you back Ms. V!!!
8/8/2014 01:01:55 pm
when you applied to go on this trip what was your chances of getting in you think?
8/8/2014 01:03:21 pm
Are you still in touch with Ellen and Aimee?
3/3/2015 09:48:26 am
That is cool that you met Ms. America and taught other kids about "The Land of Ice Bears"
3/12/2015 03:43:21 pm
Like angelo said it was cool that it was cool that you met ms.america. It was so interesting to read about the land of the icebergs whens your next trip?
3/12/2015 03:55:34 pm
i like your idea to encourage the girls about STEM
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This blog contains occasional dispatches from my science classroom and professional learning experiences. Thank you for reading!