WASHINGTON, D.C.-National Environmental Education Foundation's Ann Posegate will embark on a journey from the District to the geographic South Pole next month as part of an effort by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to communicate Antarctic programs and research to the public.
Posegate, who was selected in a national competition to be one of six members of the media to travel to Antarctica, is the outreach coordinator for the Foundation's Earth Gauge program. Earth Gauge provides meteorologists with environmentally focused information tied to the weather report. The service is now in 110 media markets reaching more than 200 million Americans.
Through her work in Antarctica, Posegate - who will work alongside Dan Satterfield, a meteorologist at WHNT in Huntsville, Ala. - will create a series of articles, video segments, photo essays and blog postings about NSF research, including an ice-core drilling study that will reveal to scientists the Earth's climate nearly 100,000 years ago; the current status of the "Ozone hole" and its impact and a look at the new South Pole telescope.
The trip commences in early January, summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Daytime highs at her first stop will be around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. At the geographic South Pole and a remote field camp she will be visiting, temperatures routinely reach minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit with the potential for hurricane-force winds.
"Some of the most important climate-science research in the world is taking place in Antarctica," Posegate said. "I'm grateful for the experience to view the impacts of climate change on polar regions with my own eyes, meet scientists who are working in the field and communicate their research to the American public."
In addition to producing content for meteorologists through Earth Gauge, www.earthgauge.org, she will be providing high school students and teachers with information from Antarctica through NEEF's www.planet-connect.org Web site. She will also have video, photos and other information on NEEF's primary Web page, www.neefusa.org.
"To have one of our staffers selected for this important trip is a testament to Ann's fine work and NEEF's reputation as an important and impartial source for environmental education," said Diane Wood, the foundation's president. "Her research and observations will allow our students and teachers as well as our Earth Gauge audience of trusted meteorologists throughout the country, to learn about this remote place that is so critical to our understanding of the Earth's climate."
Posegate will amass frequent flier miles at an impressive rate, departing Washington, D.C. for a training program in Christchurch, New Zealand. From there, she will travel to and around the continent on U.S. government planes. All told, she will travel about 25,000 miles during her journey. Her "carbon footprint" will be offset through Sustainable Travel International.
While she will become quite familiar with airplane seats (and food), she is no stranger to extreme weather. She worked as an educator for the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, known as the "home of the world's worst weather" in 2003 and 2004.
To schedule an interview with Ann or to receive her blogs, photos or video, please contact Dan Seligson, communications director, at 202-261-6481.