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Can you see the octopus on the right? The picture was taken from the underwater camera called a yo yo cam. Photo: Glenn Clark
Can you see the octopus on the right? The picture was taken from the underwater camera called a yo yo cam. Photo: Glenn Clark

Parishville-Hopkinton teacher coming home from Antarctica

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With the continuing cold weather here in the North Country, it might feel like we're in Antarctica, but Parishville-Hopkinton biology teacher Glenn Clark has one on us in that regard. Clark returns to the North Country later this week after nearly two months in the real Antarctica; he was one of 17 teachers selected from across the country to work with the Arctic Research Consortium's PolarTREC program, studying climate change.

Clark lived and worked aboard the RV Palmer, an ice breaker research vessel near the Totten Glacier System on the eastern Antarctica coast, one of the most remote, uncharted regions of the world.

He's journaled about his experiences online, and spoken by phone with his students throughout the trip. Todd Moe caught up with him via satellite phone as the ship was heading north and he was packing up for the return trip (listen here.)

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Reported by

Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

Clark has been amazed recently by photos, taken with a "yo yo cam" (so called because it bounces along with the motion of the ship), that show some of the sea life where he's traveling.  

A single boulder teaming with sponges, bryozoan and brittle stars , taken at about 600-770 meters below sea level.

A single boulder teaming with sponges, bryozoan and brittle stars , taken at about 600-770 meters below sea level."it's just kind of hard to imagine that they can exist at such a depth, the pressure, complete darkness, but there is a lot of life down there, it's not what you'd expect in our lakes and ponds where we live, but it's pretty amazing stuff and beautiful in its own way." Photo: Glenn Clark

Deploying the yo yo cam off the back deck. 

Deploying the yo yo cam off the back deck. Photo: Glenn Clark

Clark says he's anxious to get back to land: "It's beautiful down here, but we are land organisms, and we're kind of getting ready to get back to land I guess we belong on land. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back and seeing my kids and my friends."

Clark with

Clark with "some new Australian friends" on board the RV Palmer. Photo courtesy Glenn Clark

"I'm definitely going to be a  better teacher, I'm also going to appreciate what researchers do, and science itself. It's not easy, it's a lot of work, it's a lot of redundancy, it's the repetition, it's meticulous, you can't make errors, you have to have the facts correct. So I'm very respectful of the people that do it, as well as the crew that ran the ship. They're top notch. I definitely have a new attitude towards teaching and what I will expect from my students when I get back. It's been a great experience and it's definitely going to make me a better teacher."

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