Editor’s Note: The Republican Journal presents a new recurring feature with reporting by student correspondents from Waldo County high schools.

BELFAST — On Jan. 6, Belfast Area High School’s social studies teacher Charles Lagerbom departed on a trip to the bottom of the world, better known as Antarctica.

Lagerbom was abruptly invited to be a guest lecturer on an expedition trip that is carrying passengers down from South America to the Antarctic Peninsula. He will get back just in time to give out midterms to his students in late January.

Lagerbom will be introducing Antarctica for the first time to these guests, talking about the science, history, and even politics of this region.

This wasn’t always the plan.

The expedition had someone else for the job, but at the last minute, they had an emergency that needed to be taken care of as soon as possible.

A view of Antarctica from the ship on which Charles Lagerbom is leading a sightseeing expedition. Courtesy of Charles Lagerbom

This left the expedition without an expert. Thankfully, they knew a man who knows the region better than most and is very good at getting the attention of an audience, as he has to deal with 15 to 20 high schoolers at a time.

While Lagerbom loves having the opportunity to help people see and understand Antarctica in a way only achieved by seeing it in person, he also said, “Normally I would have liked to have a bit of a heads-up. But it’s great to be able to help out in a pinch like this.”

Lagerbom has visited Antartica twice previously and has written papers and books about the Antarctic Peninsula, Cape Horn, and the maritime history of this region. He is excited to share his love and knowledge of the region with others along for the trip.

“I’ll be watching them see Antarctica for the first time through their eyes,” Lagerbom said. “I get to tell them about the history and science of the region. The hope is when they come back, they’ll be good ambassadors for the region. I am very excited to have an opportunity like this.”