Blog originally posted on The GLOBE Scientists' Blog: http://blog.globe.gov/sciblog/2012/09/22/xpedition-day-one-basecamp/
Mt. Kilimanjaro from a distance
Today marked Day 1 of The Xpedition. Before the team begins their journey through the biomes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, our bloggers were asked the following question: What are your expectations--personally and scientifically--for The Xpedition?
My expectations are very open-ended! I don't want to get my heart set on anything because I know the mountain is ever-changing and shows us a different trek every year. Regardless, I expect to be blown away by the beauty and science behind Kili. Entertained and impressed by the wonderful group of climbers, and more knowledgeable about the world around me in general. Being here has already put so much in perspective: it's so easy to get caught up in myself back home. Here I'm able to take a step back and appreciate how small I truly am, and how much there is to the world. Kilimanjaro was here long before me, and will still be here long after I'm gone. I'm extremely lucky to be able to experience something so marvelous!
The answer to this question is the same for me both personally and scientifically. Every once in a while, I believe it is important to view the world from a different perspective than what I experience in my normal everyday life. I will be able to achieve this with the combination of traveling to Tanzania and participating in the GLOBE Xpedition. I am very excited to look at new (to me) ecosystems and interact with the students, teachers, and scientists as they make their observations. Each of these people will have a unique perspective and approach to their own scientific questions. Through these interactions, I hope to be able to take away new ideas and approaches to my day-to-day scientific research.
This expedition represents a wonderful opportunity for myself as a teacher, as well as the students who get involved from their classrooms and homes. I expect to gain a great deal of knowledge that will help me prepare lessons and activities for the kids. Learning about the biomes of Kilimanjaro and seeing how they really work will help me a lot towards understanding ecology and volcanoes. Sharing with the students and letting them see the scientific data that is being collected should get them all pretty excited!
On a personal note I expect to experience new places and meet new people. I cannot imagine how it will feel to stand at the top of the volcano and know that I have reached a goal that was set many years ago. I am also looking forward to being a part of a team effort where we will learn about each other as well as ourselves.