It’s all setting in

About four and a half months ago, a classmate of mine heard about my plans to travel to northeastern Siberia to study Arctic- environmental science. He was planning on writing a piece for a Science Writing Seminar and wished to interview me for his presentation. He was a good buddy of mine, so I was happy to help and was looking forward to the questions he had to ask.

In my reply, I wrote to Frank:

“When I think of Siberia, I think of an extremely pristine part of the world with natural habitat that has seen little human impact. Knowing that I will be living on a barge (literally a moving boat with cabins) I know it’s going to be an experience of a life time with around the clock scientific work. I imagine a scientific adventure in which the learning never stops. I imagine living on the Kolyma River, by day and…well day, since it will be practically 24 hours of sunlight. I can imagine myself getting up at the “crack of dawn” to the calm and tranquility that one can only experience by living in such an uninhabited part of the world, literally being on the top of the world”.

“I know the Polaris Project will enable me to build upon my previous scientific accomplishments, but will also allow me to connect with students and scientists for future endeavors. I look to engage myself in an area of environmental science that is most important (and of the greatest concern) in light of recent climate change. I especially look forward to forming strong bonds with the scientists and students!”

“Well, I know there will be a lot of mosquitoes, but those don’t really scare me. I could be scared of falling off of a cliff of melting permafrost, but I’ ll be careful. I could also be nervous about being in one of the most remote places on the planet, but that nothing but excites me. So that’s a rather tough question to answer because I’m up for the challenge for the whole adventure! I haven’t been anything but excited so far, and I know as the time comes closer the excitement will only get more intense. So in my copious free time, I look at Polaris Project videos, read scientific articles, and look at previous students’ blog posts. I also tell all of my friends and show them on Google Earth exactly where the Kolyma River is…it’s nice seeing the look on their face when they realize, “you’re going way up there!”

With a lot of good thought, I feel like I gave Frank very honest answers, but I did not feel like everything had set in yet. This was probably because I was in a cloud of school work and responsibilities.

For the past several weeks, I reflected on my soon to be adventure to Cherskiy and the great Siberian Arctic. As I read articles, watched videos, and talked to my friends and family about my future experience, I became ecstatic for the adventure and studies that were ahead. As I now sit on the train, on route to JFK, it’s all setting in and I couldn’t be more excited!




One Response to “It’s all setting in”

  1. July 03, 2013 at 8:01 pm, Anita Hunt said:

    Strange thought – we all think about what it will look like, what the temperature will feel like, but I honestly wonder what the great Siberian Arctic smells like. What does melting permafrost smell like; what does all that water and mosses smell like? Can the scents be compared with places that you have already experienced?