Many firsts

Blogging? Posting on a blog site? This is a first for me. I’m old school. Finally, I had time this busy week to read the blogs that students have been posting on the Polaris website. I feel like I know this group and yet I have never met any in person. How strange the world has become? Over the last 4 – 5 months the students and I have coordinated travel for this trip together: Russian visas- check, medical forms- check, Arctic field course- check, along with the countless other travel requests. Tasks assigned were completed independently and punctually….and being the mother of three 20-something year-old sons, I was impressed.

After I finished reading the blogs I leaned back and looked at the map of Russia on the wall behind my desk. Greg Fiske created the map for me in February. I explained to Greg that I knew where Russia was, after all I was watching the Olympics in Sochi at the time, but I had no idea where anything was in Russia. My expertise is coordinating projects in Brazil. I asked Greg to label Moscow, Yakutsk, Cherskiy and Sochi on the map. That map has been my lifeline while coordinating this trip. It is marked with post-its of flight dates and departure and arrival times of each leg of travel, along with the time differences; Moscow +8, Yakutsk +14 and Cherskiy +16. I think there are going to be many firsts on this trip.

I snap a picture of the map for the blog and notice the figurines on the shelf above it. These have been given to me by traveling co-workers; Corcovado, Kwan Yin, Buddha and a Matryoshka doll all gaze protectively at the Russian travel route. The excitement has become contagious as Sunday fast approaches. Watching from the sidelines I wish Polaris 2014 safe travels and many discoveries, both personally and scientifically, as they experience Siberia.

Logistics map

Logistics map

2 Responses to “Many firsts”

  1. June 29, 2014 at 10:20 am, Max Holmes said:

    Kudos to Wendy for doing a fantastic job with the enormous task of coordinating logistics for the Polaris Project – it truly is a monumental undertaking! The Polaris Project really is traveling to one of the most challenging destinations in the world – for both physical/geographic reasons but also for bureaucratic reasons – and Wendy has done a fantastic job of staying on top of all of the details.

    I’d also like to commend our partners Complete Travel and Visa (, who have worked very closely with Wendy to make this all possible.

    The trip starts today – good luck everyone. Have a fantastic adventure and pry some secrets from the Arctic!

  2. June 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm, Don Prior said:

    Well done Wendy! I am sure you will enjoy the Russian Arctic and cultural experiences. It will be valuable to see things from young peoples enthusiastic perspective.

    Leslie and I count our cruise through the Canadian Arctic as one of our most treasured holidays.