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Polar Chains and Webs

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“Every time I present to adult and student audiences alike about my experiences living and working at the Amundson-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica; I’m amazed at the number of people who ask me if I saw any polar bears there in addition to the penguins.

People seem to know that the penguins live in Antarctica but not the bears. I reply that there are no penguins at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. Silence from the audience. They are thinking that they know penguins are located there and that I have to be making things up.

‘So where do penguins live in Antarctica,’ I ask, ‘and what do penguins need in order to live? Does the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station provide what penguins require for life? Where might you encounter animal life in Antarctica and why?’ I ask, and ‘How is this different or similar to the Arctic? Why?’

Since my experiences in Antarctica, I have had the privilege to be assigned a field experience on board the icebreaker USCGC Healy in the Arctic Davis Strait. I now have had the spine-tingling opportunity to see polar bears and penguins each in their own polar habitats! Yes, they are as beautiful as the photos you have seen. Just as incredible as their beauty, I was taken by the vastness of their habitats and the seemingly aimless movement of these animals. Where are they going? What are they searching for?” Sandra Kolb

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