Our Palmer station visit was a fabulous success. Not only did we hear and learn about the station, but we drew their crew into the Homeward Bound worldview and they graciously opened up to us.
Overnight we have retraced our steps into the Gerlache Strait. Let's find whales!
07.00. Breakfast will be available
09.00. HB sessions
12:00. Lunch is served
14.00. Ashore on Cuverville Island, Errera Channel
19:00. Dinner is served
This morning we worked on our visibility: What was our story? How does this come across to others? Who are the audience? To be authentic, credible, strategic, humanistic and have courage. To this end, we worked on our communication. We learnt that improvisation is to listen and respond to what is in front of you and that the audience is key to your message: Be connected; Communication is not self serving; Have a meaning; Think about others; Show empathy.
We were in pairs (back to back). One person had a complex figure (a series of shapes) which they had to describe. The other person had to draw this from only the spoken description/instructions (we were not allowed to say the name of the shape). This was quite difficult. The moral was to start with the big picture: Where on the paper are the shapes? How big are they going to be? How many are there? The second time was a lot easier, as we had learnt from the previous example. Shapes were described as everyday examples, details like shading were not missed. Trust had been established; the big picture meant that details could be captured correctly and we had empathy for the person drawing (as we had swapped roles).
Communication is such a big part of being a scientist. As many scientists have said: You can make groundbreaking discoveries; It's pointless, however, if you cannot communicate these. In my research, this would often be about where antibiotics come from, what antimicrobial resistance is and why it matters that we discover more medicines.
We then got into peer coaching groups (of three participants) to put GROW (goal, reality, options and wrap up) into practice. This can be a useful method in leadership. It ensures a framework for discovering what warrants discussion and clarification.
For example: The goal is what a participant wants to be discussed. Sometimes a goal can be reclassified after the session. However, it is important to stay on topic. Therefore setting the main subject up front allows the conversation to be kept on track.
The Reality stage comprises of lots of open questions like 'Why and what would you do differently?', reinforcing goals, coaching, keeping the conversation on track.
Options stage : determine feelings, coach to alternatives.
Wrap-up stage: Review progress. Small scale steps for solutions. If not the coach or coachee, we were the observer.
When I was coached, it offered me a way forward for something I had identified during the HB journey (pre-ship) and had been working on during the past two weeks.
After lunch was a landing on Cuverville Island, which is 1.5-2 km long. We were instructed by Greig not to walk on the moss as it takes decades for plants to grow in such harsh climates.
Certainly not monochrome. Here we are. 78 women with a science background, selected from around the world. We have diverse careers, diverse knowledge, diverse expertise, diverse experiences. However, we all share a common goal, let's increase women in science leadership positions for the future of our planet. Also, 77 of my new best friends <3 (I am the third person up from the top right corner of the flag). Photo credit: Oli Samsom.
Cuverville Island is home to a large (thousands) Gentoo penguin colony. Under the Antarctic treaty you are not allowed to approach Antarctic wildlife and must stay at least 5m back. However, it is fine if they approach you. I couldn't believe how curious they were, in this photo my foot is just out of shot. There is our ship, the MV Ushuaia in the background between the icebergs.
An ambitious Gentoo penguin tries to collect a rock that's a bit too big
Gentoo penguins swimming
Light fading as we depart Cuverville Island, through the icebergs
Leopard Seal - these are the second top predators in Antarctica, after the Orca (killer whale)
Hard to believe this was all in one day, isn't it? Wonderful people, incredible setting.