A Carnoustie lecturer has returned from the “amazing” experience of a successful all-female expedition to Antarctica.
The voyage was the culmination of a year-long programme to develop leadership, strategic and communication capabilities.
Dr Beth Christie, a lecturer in education at the University of Edinburgh said: “My aim in being part of the expedition was to meet like-minded inspiring women and to experience a relatively untouched part of the world.
“Specifically, I was keen to meet others who were working in related areas of sustainability education to share the work that we have been developing in Scotland on Learning for Sustainability.
“I also felt extremely excited and privileged to be given the opportunities to visit one of the most fragile and largely untouched continents in the world, and I wanted to ensure that I was able to bring the stories of Antarctica back to schools in Scotland and tie it into our national curricular emphasis on Learning for Sustainability.
“I worked with the UK Polar Network and a number of schools across the UK to take flags, designed by pupils, out to Antarctica with me to tie into learning happening in their classroom.”
Dr Christie revealed one of the flags she took on the voyage was designed by Erin Geekie, a pupil at Carlogie Primary School in Carnoustie, and she is looking forward to visiting the school later this week to show them where their flag has been and share stories and pictures from the voyage.
The social scientist said: “The class have been following the expedition and studying Antarctica so have lots of questions to ask me.
“This opportunity to work directly with schools gives an exciting and perhaps more hopeful opportunity to look at both the global and local effects of climate change issues.”
Beth also paid tribute to the support she has received from her family, husband David, and children Drew and Ruby: “As I was unable to be in contact for most of the expedition, my daughter organised for my friends and family to write to me so that I could have something to open when I was missing home.
“She kept this a secret and surprised me on the day I left with a wee care package of letters and my favourite sweets to keep me from feeling homesick.
“It was an amazing experience to be able to share with my children, even if it simply lets them see that exciting adventures are still possible, regardless of gender or age!”
“There is no doubt that the collaborations and networks I’ve forged have been enhanced due to the shared experience of voyaging to Antarctica.
“I’ve spent 21 days living in close quarters with a number of inspiring individuals such as nobel laureates, marine biologists, zoologists, and we’ve a number of international and theme-based research projects in development.” Dr Christie added.