The public is invited to come learn about scientific expeditions in the Antarctica with Joee Patterson, who has been a marine technician on nine expeditions. The Zoom talk will be Wednesday, Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m.

Antarctica is home to some of the most inaccessible places on earth. The harsh environment, alien landscapes, unique inhabitants and sheer vastness of this continent are difficult to imagine, yet all these things are crucial components to understanding a changing planet.

Stories of glacial collapse and sea level rise are common in the news these days, as are stories of intrepid scientists traveling to the ends of the earth in search of the truth behind these events. Scientists are studying everything from microscopic planktonic life to glaciers that would dwarf the state of Maine in order to better understand the history and potential future of this frozen continent, and behind every scientist is a team of field technicians who keep the project up and running in some of the harshest conditions on earth.

Patterson will share stories of life on an icebreaker, a sampling of the scientific expeditions that she has facilitated and of course, close encounters with the wildlife. This lecture will give a brief overview of Marine Operations for the U.S. Antarctic Program and a discussion of the science conducted on these missions (from the perspective of a layperson) combined with personal stories and observations.

Register at bit.ly/marinetechnician. The program also will be streamed on the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands NWR Facebook page. For more information, email info@mainecoastislands.org or call 594-0600 x5.