I leave Thursday on an expedition for Norway’s fjords and arctic Svalbard (the northernmost continuously inhabited human community on earth) as part of a Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship I was awarded earlier this year. There are more polar bears than people on Svalbard, so I asked one of our second grade classes to create some origami polar bears and write questions they have about polar bears on the back. I’ll use their paper polar bears to create videos of the National Geographic naturalists (and perhaps guests) answering their questions as we travel.
I use iNaturalist quite a bit with students to give them a tech-bridge between nature and science, and have created a project on iNaturalist for all Grosvenor Teacher Fellows to contribute observations of plants and animals from their respective expeditions (each specific expedition will have its own project, mine is here). The Fellowship takes selected educators to some of the most remote remaining wild places on earth for a once-in-a-lifetime professional development experience and I cannot wait to see what their cameras capture.
If you want to keep up with my expedition, follow this blog, the iNaturalist project, and I’ll try to post on Twitter. We’ll not have much connectivity while traveling, but I will try to update when I can and the “quick burst” of twitter might be the easiest platform to access.
One of the things that excites me uniquely about this expedition is that the place we will disembark from the National Geographic Explorer is where Ludovico Einaudi (my favorite contemporary composer) filmed a video for his song titled, “Elegy for the Arctic.” At least once during the filming of the video he had to return to the vessel from the performance platform due to waves created when part of the glacier calved. Have a listen…