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15 February, 2003

Reflections - by Dr. Brenda Hall, Principal Investigator

Introduction: I have just spent the last six weeks with a wonderful group of individuals. Many of you have read my interpretations and reflections of Antarctica in this journal. I thought it would be nice to hear from some other people I have had the genuine pleasure to work with here on the Ice. Todays entry comes from Dr. Brenda Hall, Principal Investigator of our research team and Research Asst. Professor in the Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies at the University of Maine, Orono.

This was Brenda's 13th season in Antarctica. Her love of the region and her passion for her work were evident to me the first day I met her. Every member of our team has enjoyed working in the Dry Valleys with Brenda. I respect her knowledge and skills, admire her dedication, and appreciate her professionalism and consideration of others. I feel quite lucky to have been a part of this team, and I am eternally grateful to Brenda for having given me the opportunity to work with her team.

Reflections - by Dr. Brenda Hall, Principal Investigator

Mary Ann has asked all of us to reflect back on the field season and to write something for the web site. Its hard to know what to write, but a couple of things come to mind. The first is how much I love this place and the work I do. This is my 13th trip to the Antarctic. My first season was 1990/91. I spent 3 1/2 months in Wright Valley. When it was over, Id fallen in love with the Dry Valleys and was afraid Id never be able to come back again. Little did I know, Id be coming back year after year! Despite the fact that Ive spent (literally) years of my life in the Dry Valleys, they are always as interesting and exciting to me as the first time I saw them. Part of my enjoyment now consists of bringing new people to the Antarctic with me and watching them experience it for the first time seeing their amazement over the incredible wind-sculpted rocks, their smiles after their first helicopter ride (in the front seat!), and their reaction to the 24-hr sun and the stark beauty of the landscape. Im always pleased and amazed at the great groups of people who make up our field teams. Take this year, for example: Most of us did not really know each other before we left for Antarctica. We came from diverse backgrounds, three countries, and had ages spanning nearly four decades. We were thrown together 24 hours a day, every day. Despite that, we all bonded together quickly to make it a successful field season and a pretty enjoyable one at that!

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