Betty Trummel is a veteran educator with thirty-five years of elementary classroom teaching experience. She also taught "Science Methods for Elementary Teachers" at Northern Illinois University for ten years. Three Antarctic deployments as part of educational outreach programs for the Cape Roberts, ANDRILL, and WISSARD Projects have been catalysts in her career and life, introducing her to polar science in action. These projects provided the opportunity to spend months working alongside outstanding science researchers doing valuable work in the field of Antarctic geoscience and climate change. Betty strives to bring the voices of these scientists and their experiences back to not only her classroom, but to many others through broader outreach on local, national, and international levels. She and Jess exemplify the model of how scientists and educators can work together to reach learners of all ages and levels of scientific experience. Betty is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois, and Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Northern Illinois University. Betty is just back from a research experience in Arctic Svalbard with a colleague and his high school students and is off to Antarctica again in December as part of the women-in-science and leadership expedition, Homeward Bound.
Dr. Jess Melbourne-Thomas is a marine ecologist who works as a research scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division and is a project leader at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre. She has a PhD in Quantitative Marine Science from the University of Tasmania and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford from 2003 – 2005. Jess has a passion for the marine environment, which extends well beyond the office – she is a keen scuba diver and dive instructor and has had the privilege of being part of a research team in Antarctica. Representing a new breed in leadership, Jess was also integral to forming a group known as Women in Polar Science. This group is supporting each other and other women scientists across the world, and is currently working in partnership with Dattner Grant on the Homeward Bound project and upcoming expedition. Jess is a co-founder of Homeward Bound and Science Program Coordinator.