Hiking the Arctic Desert
It is hard not to mark this day with lasts: Oh, this is our last hike, our last lunch, our last reindeer, etc...But it is a fact that this is our last full day in Svalbard. And I am not ready to leave. This windy morning, the ship entered Bellsund and was finally able to find a suitable anchoring spot so we could go ashore. The staff reported not often landing in this particular place, but I think it was a happy accident. The scenery was breathtaking. Ellen, Aimee, and I had a good long hike in this Arctic desert, and for a last hike, it was amazing.
Guests were piling into Zodiacs and heading back to the ship. As Karen kept watch on the hill for bears, Brian finally got his interviews with Aimee and myself. We had to duck down to get out of the whipping wind. Before he could complete Ellen's interview, Karen announced we had better get going. I think Ellen was relieved!
Below is the segment of the VER about the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship that Brian filmed today. It was difficult to be articulate in a spontaneous interview out in the cold, but I was excited to share my appreciation for the program!
Last night on the Explorer...
In some ways, Svalbard is exactly as I had pictured and imagined, but my experience has no doubt been full of lovely surprises. Over 60% of the archipelago is glacier-covered, and I certainly have seen plenty of ice in various forms. However, I have also hiked on the spongy green tundra dotted with colorful wildflowers. Svalbard's geology is also quite varied and has rich occurrences of fossils; in fact, there is bedrock from almost every geologic period present here. I was prepared for the cold temperatures but taken aback by the dryness of this climate. People generally associate deserts with heat, but this region is technically an Arctic desert due to lack of precipitation. Arctic deserts are defined as being located above 75 degrees north latitude and receiving less that 10 inches of precipitation annually, an amount comparable to the Sahara.
Tonight was also the last nightly recap in the lounge. Lucio explained the disembarkation procedures in detail before our last delicious sit down dinner. People used the shared computers to upload photos from yesterday's polar plunge and share photos for a guest slideshow.
Tonight, we enjoyed a bit of social time in the lounge with crew and guests. Aimee, Ellen and I spent time packing and reviewing our journals and photos. Tomorrow our voyage ends where it begins back in Longyearbyen, where the ship will dock and we will disembark. My Lindblad-National Geographic expedition is coming to an end. However, my missions of incorporating all my new learning into my curriculum and of sharing my Arctic story with as wide an audience as possible is just beginning.
All photographs by Cristina Veresan unless otherwise indicated.
Read the Lindblad Naturalist Daily Expedition Report (DER) here.
6/25/2014 12:46:13 pm
hi Ms.V Hope you have a good summer and it's cool u being on the news and it was my science teacher!
6/25/2014 12:47:30 pm
Your face from the video on the top xD
6/28/2014 12:52:10 am
Sean, it was pretty cold that day because it was so windy. I was bundled up my my face was exposed! Such an amazing voyage, though-- the cold was worth it! Hope you are having an awesome summer.
8/5/2014 03:48:48 pm
Miss V thank you for so much information and didn't the water was cold? I wish I could jump from the ship. I want to feel it to!
8/5/2014 03:51:38 pm
Hey miss V ! how was the hiking at the arctic desert? does it feel smooth like sand in Kailua beach? ^^
8/6/2014 04:45:03 pm
the deer are soo cute :)
8/9/2014 03:43:45 pm
Do the reindeer ever grow antlers?
2/11/2015 04:23:31 am
Thanks so much to Mrs. V and The Nature Center for planning this amazing field trip!
2/11/2015 08:08:41 am
I remember how we looked at the plankton with the microscope
2/11/2015 08:09:47 am
Hi ms.v this was a very fun field trip. I hope we can go again and the nature center is the best. You are the best science teacher in the world
2/11/2015 02:35:24 pm
Thank you for taking us on the Sandy beach field trip. It was a fun experience and helpful for the environment. I want to go again.Also I liked the Nature Center. I learned a lot and I told my mom about it. I want to take her to the Nature Center.
2/12/2015 12:49:30 pm
Wish I could be there it looks like fun, and it was cool seeing the nice plankton. Too bad I wasn't there.
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This blog contains occasional dispatches from my science classroom and professional learning experiences. Thank you for reading!