Preparing to Work in Antarctica: An Interview with Michelle Brown


Using a Satellite phone1. What is your name?

Michelle Brown

2. Where are you currently?

Austin, TX

3. What do you do (occupation)?

6th Grade Science Teacher

4. Where are you going?

Antarctica – McMurdo Station

5. How did you find out about this opportunity? What did you have to do to be considered?

I discovered it through PolarTREC (, which provides science teachers with opportunities to work with polar researchers and communicate what they are learning back to their schools and the general public.  I applied three years in a row, and finally was accepted! I had to be a science teacher, complete an application, and attend an orientation.

6. What will your responsibilities be when you get there?

My responsibilities are to assist the research team I will be working with (what that means and looks at, I will not really know until it begins!), and to write journals on an online blog, conduct webinars and answer questions on the PolarTrec website. Also, I am expected to share my experience with my school, other schools and as much of the public as possible.

7. How are you planning to pack for this adventure?Packing for cold weather

I’m going to ask people who have been there for advice! Luckily I will be provided with a lot of the necessary gear when I transfer from Christ Church, New Zealand to McMurdo Station. There is a warehouse there with all the necessary garb (including the famous big red coat) which they will lend me for my stay.

8. Have you traveled abroad before? Where?

Yes, I have lived in Ankara, Turkey for 9 months, Cambridge, England for a summer, and have done bike tours through Europe (mostly France, and other nearby countries), and vacationed in Central American countries.

Preparing for Antarctica9. What is your dream destination?

Tuva!! (An area in Russia, near Mongolia, where Tuvan Throat Singers are from)

10. What one piece of advice would you offer to someone who is going abroad on their first trip?

Pack light, don’t over-plan, leave room for the unknown, and when you find yourself panicking because you lost your luggage or you are stranded on an island in Greece, stop and get something to eat–you’ll feel better!  (I guess that’s 3 pieces, but they all seem so important!)

Follow Michelle’s adventures and work in Antarctica on her journal page on PolarTrec. We will have many more guest posts from her as she settles in.

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