People are really fascinated by the icebergs and really surprised by how the ice in the Antarctic region is changing. It’s exciting when I’m out in a Zodiac giving a presentation and can just grab a piece of glacier ice out of the water and hand it to a passenger; when they hold it, they can see how clear it is and better understand the processes that made it that way.
As a scientist, it’s one thing to publish articles and share knowledge with other scientists, but I believe it’s my responsibility to educate the public, too, especially about climate change issues. One Ocean allows me that outreach opportunity because it offers a communal experience, where the guides and experts are living with the passengers — it’s like you become a big ship family, sharing memories, whether it’s holding a piece of a glacier or having a group of humpback whales surface to check you out and then surround your kayaks.
When passengers feel that way, I think it gives everyone the opportunity to talk about Antarctica, to ask and answer questions about the glaciers and the icebergs. We’re not just limited to the time we spend on the water in kayaks or Zodiacs, or to the onboard presentations that I do.