As a native-born Floridian, Louise Huffman's favorite place to be is walking barefooted on a white sand beach, sailing on clear blue oceans, and fishing with her husband, Terry, and two sons, Cody and Hunter. So when "thinking south" how did a warm-blooded beachcomber like her skip all the way to the Antarctica? It's not often that people can point to a moment in time that changed their lives, but in Louise's case it happened in 1989 at the National Science Teachers' convention. By chance she chose a session where polar explorer Will Steger spoke of his plans to cross the continent of Antarctica by dogsled. Louise admits at the time to knowing little more about Antarctica than its location at the South Pole, but Steger's stories of the harsh climate and challenges he would have to meet were intriguing to her. He was at the convention to enlist teachers and students in an effort to raise people's awareness about the fragile nature of the continent and the need for the continuation of the Antarctic Treaty to protect this wilderness. Louise was hooked and wanted to know more.
In 2002, Louise traveled to the Dry Valleys of Antarctica as a TEA (Teacher Experiencing Antarctica) and worked on the Stream Team. She and Jenny Baeseman, a member of that science team, have continued to work together on outreach efforts since that on-Ice experience. Today, they both chair subcommittees on the International Polar Year Education and Outreach Committee.
Louise retired from teaching in June, 2007, after 34 wonderful years of teaching. Most of her career was spent working in the Naperville, Illinois, public schools She has taught special education, regular grades from 1st to 6th, and gifted 7th and 8th grades. She also enjoys working with teachers and leading workshops for the Golden Apple Foundation and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
In the summer of 2007, Louise was hired as ANDRILL Coordinator of Education and Public Outreach, and she thinks this is the perfect job for her. It combines her love for Antarctica with working with teachers and students. What could be better? Follow the adventure at www.andrill.org!