Friday, September 25, 2015

A Few Words from One of the Newest BURECSers, Nisha Kishore

A Few Words from One of the Newest BURECSers, Nisha Kishore

“√Čtudiants au revoir!” I heard my French teacher say as I exited the classroom. With my head held high and an overwhelming smile on my face, I made my way downstairs to the beginning of an indescribable adventure: my orientation for BURECS.

As I entered the room, I couldn’t help but admire the beauty of the moment. 19 freshmen, from different colleges, aspirations, and backgrounds, all coming together for the purpose of research. I took my seat and took a mental image of the faces in the room, knowing that they would momentarily become my colleagues.

Dave began the orientation by introducing the course syllabus and content. We will be studying the Earth’s climate change this semester, and two different students will present the chapter every week. I’m looking forward to learning from my peers and being able to create my own presentation. After the introduction, Dave gave us an innovation-style questionnaire to help us understand our personal style of coming up with ideas. I was certain that I would be considered a visionary, so I was surprised to find out that I’m a philosopher. I learned that I’m stimulated by ideas and I tend to view a situation from a more thoughtful perspective.

I’m looking forward to being a part of this amazing group of students and faculty. I am excited to see what we can accomplish together and am confident that this semester will be unforgettable! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fame and Excitement!

Hi everyone!

This poster went up on the side of Warren Towers yesterday! If being famous means your friends send you pictures of a poster of yourself in a parka on the side of a college dorm, then I am clearly now a celebrity. Here I am awkwardly posing next to the picture Emma, Dan, and I took earlier this semester, sporting extreme cold weather (ECW) gear, while it was 80 degrees in Boston. 

Often times, when I tell people about going to Antarctica they tell me I’m crazy or brave or that they would never do what I’m going to do. I feel neither crazy nor brave. I just feel incredibly lucky. I see it as taking advantage of a tremendous, life-changing opportunity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Communication is Key

   Today, the faces of BURECS’s Antarctic Ambassadors were posted on the side of Boston University’s Warren Towers! Besides making a cool profile picture and helping Natalie, Emma, and I score our 15 minutes of fame, this publicity represents one of the most important features of the BURECS program: communication.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blood, Sweat, and Wisdom Teeth? - Emelia Chamberlain

Blood, Sweat, and Wisdom Teeth?

Something they don’t tell you before you apply travel to Antarctica, is that you have to be really really really healthy. Now it makes sense, medical treatment is very far away at the end of the earth. However that still did not prepare me for the rigorous medical and dental vetting process I endured this summer.

First, you simply fill out some travel forms - not too bad, but a lot of paperwork. Then you download the medical forms. The normal process is to get the physical from your normal doctor, get some x-rays from your normal dentist, then send it all in – easy peasy. However, this process becomes infinitely more difficult when you are a college student living on your own in a brand new city, with no known doctors or dentists and with a student health services that doesn’t accept your insurance. It then becomes even more difficult when you find out you need nine cavities filled and oral surgery within 2 months.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Emelia Chamberlain - Your Antarctic Ambassador

Meet Emelia Chamberlain, Your Antarctic Ambassador

There are few moments in a person’s life that can be described as once in a lifetime. In fact, by definition that seems to be the case. There are many other ambiguous moments, often fleeting, that occur infinitely until finally that person’s chances are up. Now, these moments are punctuated by memories, smiles, laughs, tears… and most importantly those special once in a lifetime moments that everyone talks so much about.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dan Rybarczyk - Your Antarctic Ambassador

Meet Dan Rybarczyk, Your Antarctic Ambassador

The Antarctic Dry Valleys are among the most remote and lifeless areas on earth. It is therefore necessary to take significant precautions to ensure the health and safety of researchers in the field there. Essentially, this is a formal way of saying that if you want to go to Antarctica, you will first have to fill out a large stack of paperwork detailing the past and present condition of every aspect of your health, inside and out. This stage of preparation is tedious— multiple visits to both doctors and dentists are required. Some of the mandatory examinations include X-rays, blood tests, shots, and an EKG. The results of all of these tests must then be collected, shipped to a medical center in Texas, and processed. Any insufficiencies warrant a notification requesting more paperwork, signatures, and a repetition of the mailing and processing procedure. Although the thoroughness (as well as the expense) of all of this testing can seem rather excessive, it is actually an exciting reminder of Antarctica’s unearthly austerity. The entire continent has remained largely lifeless for millions of years, yet now we have the opportunity to study its harsh, unyielding climate firsthand.   So, complain as I may about the red tape involved with the expedition, when I actually stop to think about why it’s necessary, I can’t help becoming both very excited and very thankful that I actually have an opportunity to experience the joys and pains of living in an otherworldly frozen desert at the bottom of the world.
--Dan Rybarczyk 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Natalie Robinson - Your Antarctic Ambassador

Meet Natalie Robinson, Your Antarctic Ambassador

My name is Natalie Robinson and I am one of the students who will be traveling and working in Antarctica this semester! I am beyond excited for this adventure and can’t wait to share my journey with you along the way. I first heard about the BURECS program at Orientation, the July before my freshman year at Boston University. I was initially enticed by the unearthly and beautiful photos displayed before me, but had no idea the scientific value behind the landscape, and the extent to which I would eventually become involved in this project.