I’ve published four novels, two plays, and two nonfiction books, Rounding the Horn and To Follow the Water. Researching the latter, I discovered physical oceanography. I’ve been captivated by the ocean since childhood, and I’ve been to sea in small sailboats, including high-latitude trips to Spitsbergen, East Greenland, Iceland, and Cape Horn (this summer I circumnavigated Newfoundland), but I’d never been to sea aboard research vessels, never thought about the ocean in scientific terms until 2005. Those experiences changed my life as a writer.
In 2008 I met Bob Pickart. With photographer and web designer Chris Linder, we collaborated on an outreach project for Bob’s Irminger Sea Expedition aboard r/v Knorr that the NSF called “a model outreach program.” (www.whoi.edu/cruise/irmingersea) It’s a pleasure and a privilege working with a scientist of his stature who is genuinely interested in talking to the public about the wonders of the ocean. In these confused and troubled times, that seems an important endeavor. And in October 2011, we’ll return to the Irminger Sea.
I remain committed to the science and its subject. In 2010, I did similar outreach work on Dr. Lisa Beal’s (RSMAS) Agulhas Current Timeseries. In 2011, I traveled to eastern Siberia with Dr. Max Holmes and his Polaris Project.
I teach writing workshops for grad students and post-docs at the Max Planck Institute, RSMAS, and the University of Hamburg.
I come to the Knorr by way of Knoxville, Tennessee where I am the Owner/Operator of Knox Upholstery - a furniture upholstering business. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduating from Millikin University with a B.A. in Communications my background includes Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations however, I have always been a hands-on creative soul. From wheel thrown ceramics to drawing and singing in my university choir as a first soprano, I have always loved the arts. My latest passion, photography, has taken me 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle in 2010 and now takes me off the coasts of Iceland and Greenland to document this amazing journey through photography.
I taught in public elementary education, grades 4-8, for forty years before I retired in 2009. My career started in suburban New York. I moved to Falmouth on Cape Cod having fallen in love with the area after participating in the Sea Education Association's (SEA) Sea Semester in 1980. I spent six weeks at sea aboard the SSV WESTWARD doing oceanographic research, applying what was learned ashore in Woods Hole. I was hooked on marine science!
Waiting for an opening in the Falmouth school system, I took a one year position teaching the children of GE employees living in Spain while constructing a nuclear power plant in a small city near Valencia. I finished my career teaching fifth grade in Morse Pond School in Falmouth.
Living so close to SEA and Woods Hole afforded unique teaching and learning opportunities. Along with other teachers in my school, I took advantage of scientist parents and volunteers willing to come in and show our students what they do. Each year I buddied my students up with students in an SEA class. They would interview them about the projects they planned to do while at sea then we'd follow them during their cruise.
I had the privilege of taking a two week course on microbiology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, a three week course with SEA and many day long courses at WHOI, all geared to teachers. WHSTEP, an organization dedicated to melding the science and education in the Woods Hole area provided teacher field trips to USGS and the National Marine Fisheries as well as WHOI and the MBL.
I have always been an adventure junkie and thought my adventuring days were over. During my last year teaching, my class and I followed Bob Pickart's 2008 cruise in the Irminger Sea aboard the Knorr. That led to a cruise on the icebreaker Healy and this position on the Knorr. There is adventure after retiring!
I am a PhD student at the University of East Anglia, UK, studying the atmosphere and oceans along the southeast coast of Greenland. A few years ago, I spent 30 days in the Irminger Sea (between Iceland and Greenland) with Dr. Bob. I was launching weather balloons during intense storms that pass through the region, trying to understanding how they occur and develop as we were being tossed in 10 meter waves below. This was a slightly scary (but exciting!) experience and now I find myself back out to this part of the world once more. On the Knorr I will be putting aside my science duties and focusing on documenting the cruise on video with the aim of producing a short documentary about oceanography on my return. As part of this, I will be putting short clips up on to the website for you to get a flavour of what's happening on the ship.
I am a student of Journalism at the University of Bergen, Norway. Having a keen interest for imparting science, I am also working at 'VilVite', Bergen Science Centre. Here I develop and build exhibits for VilVite's exhibition, and give lectures to visiting pupils, to mention a few of the many and varied tasks.
I am very interested in photography, and have, over the last couple of years, also developed an interest for film. This has led me to participate in several interesting projects, on both professional and hobby basis.
I have been asked by the University of Bergen to contribute with content in Norwegian from the cruise.