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Quest for Antarctica

New York, NY, August 20, 2008 --( Quest for Antarctica—A Journey of Wonder and Discovery

Noted educator publishes story of how Antarctic exploration leads to challenging us to be more inquisitive at home, in schools and in our civic lives.

“John Barell’s book is a rich and ripping read that will not only captivate but also educate its audience. . . Anybody who has ever been a parent will come away moved. Anybody who has ever been to Antarctica will come away with new perspectives on the continent they thought they understood.” Dr. Susan Solomon, Antarctic scientist, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as co-chair of Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and author of The Coldest March.

“A wonderful book. I couldn’t put it down.” Ross Hatch, Captain, USN-Ret.; Fellow, The Explorers Club.

The key to successful exploration of Antarctica or any unknown territory is a restless curiosity and determination to search for answers.

John Barell experienced such inquisitiveness from the age of thirteen when he read all of Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s accounts of his Antarctic expeditions, met the world-renown explorer and sailed south on his flagship, USS Glacier (AGB-4) during Operation DeepFreeze.

While in Antarctica, Barell explored the islands and dry valleys of McMurdo Sound, visited the former bases of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, interviewed a Russian glaciologist at his base Vostok on the polar plateau and learned how to navigate an icebreaker through the pack ice to break a channel to Hut Point.

Quest for Antarctica describes how you build upon these polar experiences to become an educator concerned with transforming schools and improving the quality of our civic lives.

It is this spirit of inquisitiveness that can revolutionize our students’ educational experiences if we challenge them to pose good questions, conduct purposeful investigations, think critically about what they learn and draw reasonable conclusions.

The same deep sense of wonder and curiosity needs to permeate our civic lives as we encounter the claims and counter-claims of those in public life. Without such commitment to challenging our leaders with important questions, we risk losing the essence of our democracy.

John Barell currently consults with schools that wish to provide an inquiry-based education for all students.

John Barell

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