by Sarah Maes
Shortly after getting my Master’s degree last year, I got the opportunity to join my first ever expedition to the Arctic on the German icebreaker RV Polarstern. After only a few days, we were woken up by the sound of our vessel forcing her way through the ice. Shortly after that, we put on our isolating suits and packed our stuff to leave the ship for taking ice core samples. After a short helicopter flight to the perfect ice floe, we landed and I set foot on the sea ice for the very first time. As if that was not astonishing enough, we were able to see at least seven polar bears during the expedition. Meeting new people from all over the world with the same passion, sharing knowledge and experiences, living and laughing together in a relatively small space and being able to do research in an extraordinary environment we’re all eager to protect was without a doubt an unforgettable experience.