Meet the scientists and crew, and learn more about the tools they use
Every day, we'll add photos and journals about our experiences at the North Pole
During the expedition, email your questions to the researchers
Learn more with hot topics, videos, animations, and interviews.
Postcards from the Ice, puzzles, quizzes and more!
Interviews, Videos, Animations, and Sound

Meet Kristin Poinar

Kristin Poinar

Kristin Poinar
Graduate Student
Polar Science Center
Applied Physics Lab
University of Washington

Role in the expedition?
I will be helping out with the field work: retrieving instruments and downloading data.

Why I do what I do?
I didn't always know I wanted to study glaciers. In second grade I wanted to be an astronaut, but my teacher told me that "the sky is the limit," an expression I didn't know, so I think I gave up on that dream sooner than most kids do. The next year, I happened to do a school project on Antarctica, and years later, when it was time to choose a graduate school or a "real" job, I remembered how excited I was about that. I knew I wanted to study something physical about the outdoor world, too, and glaciers' huge size and uniform composition allow us to represent them pretty well mathematically. It was a good match for me. So here I am - still on Earth, but in a neat place nonetheless.

Where did I grow up?
I have lived 99% of my life in Ohio - I grew up in Akron and went to college in Cleveland.

What were my favorite and least favorite things about school?
I liked something different every year - especially in grade school, it seemed to depend mostly on the teacher. I usually liked science and math, and sometimes I liked social studies. I almost always hated English class, though. One of my English teachers said that she became a teacher so that she would learn to like public speaking. This didn't make any sense to me until I was in college, where I realized that I had liked English all along. I immediately made it my second major and learned how confusing grade and high school could be.

What do I do to procrastinate?
Jigsaw puzzles.