People who graduate from UD’s Communication Department have the opportunity to do great things. Some go on to work in film, others in the business world or go to graduate school. Two communication alumni are thinking a bit more globally and are taking the skills and experience they gained during their years at Delaware to Antarctica.
Jeremy Polk ’08 and Matt Stan are traveling to Antarctica in January to produce a series of short documentaries on scientific research founded by the National Science Foundation.
Polk is currently in graduate school at American University and works as a video producer for the National Science Foundation. He received and email, which was sent to American University’s student list serve, requesting student film makers to join a professor in Antarctica for a month in order to document the professor’s research about ice course, the process of drilling into mile-thick ice in order to study air bubbles from long ago and analyze the trapped atmosphere, compare it to current the current atmosphere and look at the effects of greenhouse gases on climate change. Since Polk knew the professor was founded by the foundation he worked for, he emailed the professor back and talked to his boss.
“Knowing that[the research was backed by the National Science Foundation] and having my job here, I sent him an email then we put two and two together,” Polk said. “I talked to my boss here and asked if we could take the project on as something to do for our office. One thing lead to another and then he thought it would be a good idea to bring us on. ”
While at Delaware, Polk and Stan worked together often. The two were executive producers of UD’s Biweekly Show and put together a practicum class for communication majors to work on the STN television show for class credit. Polk kept in touch with Stan after graduating and asked him to help with the project.
“I called him up and asked him if he would like to help,” Polk said. “The two of us worked together a lot when we were at Delaware.”
Stan and Polk will spend a month in Antarctica and will be going in January 2011. They will fly into McMurdo, a research “town” which is inhabited year round, and will spend a few days there for training, orientation and sleeping in heated buildings. Then, they will go to the research camp and stay in tents for the remainder of the time.
“Its a completely flat environment and all you can see snow to the horizon,” Polk said. “There we are going to be staying just in tents. They will have a couple semi permeant buildings and they will be heated and I believe that they will have heated showers. I think that you are only aloud to take like a two minute shower to conserve water.”
Despite the conditions, Polk says he is excited to go. Not only will is he looking forward to producing four videos to add to his film reel, but he cannot wait for the experience of living in Antarctica, something not many other people are afraid to do.
“Its nothing dangerous, but it is certainly an adventure,” he said.