I arrived home from Ushuaia, Argentina on March 3rd, in a fog of fatigue and disorientation. Seattle was my fifth stop and the whole voyage took over 30 hours. Nonetheless, my flights were smooth and my baggage arrived sans problem (whew). After one spending one day decompressing, I set up for Polar Science Weekend at the Pacific Science Center, co-sponsored by the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center. It’s a marvelous opportunity for scientists to share their work with a wide audience of youngsters and family, and I’ve been delighted to join them for the past two years.
The event ran for four days (March 6 – 9) with nearly 7700 visitors. All in all it was great fun, albeit tiring to be on my feet all day talking. I met some inspirational people including Mark Schrader is a renowned sailor and member of “Sailors for the Seas.” He’s organizing a two year voyage “Around the America’s” to raise awareness for ocean health. The Pacific Science Center is partnering with his project to promote exhibits and educational opportunities. I think it’s a wonderful idea and am considering ideas for a possible expeditionary art component.
Another interesting fellow I met is Warren Buck, a physics professor from the University of Washington and avid artist. Warren shared stories with me of his endeavors to oil paint underwater! And I thought polar conditions were challenging…
Throughout the weekend, a highlight was meeting young people and watching their eyes light up while looking at my paintings. “You painted these?” They’d ask. One young girl (maybe 6 or 7 years old) looked over my paintings and said in a firm, low voice, “I hate climate change.” She continued with, “I wish it were like the olden days, when we didn’t have to worry and had things like the electric car…” We talked about small changes we can all make, taking the bus, cycling, and buying more local foods. I commend this young lady for caring!