Press Releases

For Immediate Release
February 17, 2011

For more information, contact
Janet Roy
(585) 395-2267

The Last Frontier

Brockport students and faculty visit Antarctica

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An education from The College at Brockport extends beyond the walls of an ordinary classroom. Six Brockport undergraduate and graduate students took advantage of one of the 100+ study-abroad programs available through the College and traveled far beyond Brockport’s campus. Their destination: Antarctica, the southernmost continent on earth.

Over WinterSession ’11, History Professor James Spiller, PhD, led a two-week trip to this forbidding, icy continent. “People rarely think of this beautiful place as a study abroad destination since it is so far off our radar,” Spiller explains. “Yet, Antarctica is profoundly important to humanity and it is a site of uniquely peaceful international relations.” After completing a fall semester course about the history, politics, and critical environmental research in Antarctica, students were well prepared to directly experience the glaciers and Antarctic wildlife that are environmental bellwethers of global climate change.

Brockport was just one of the school groups on the trip organized by the American Universities International Programs (AUIP). The trip to Antarctica proved to be an adventure in itself. Students flew to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. Along with other travelers from around the world, the group boarded an ice-strengthened ship in Ushuaia and sailed for two days across one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world--the Drake Passage-- to “the last frontier” of Antarctica.

Once there, the group had five days to discover the continent’s fierce climate and magnificent ecosystem, while enjoying a full 24 hours of sunlight. Throughout the trip, students had to be very careful not to disrupt the fragile wildlife. They wore special equipment to create as little impact on the environment as possible. A typical day in Antarctica consisted of exploring, whale watching and observing curious penguins. Brockport student Brandon Nunnery ‘13 recalls his south polar adventure: “Antarctica is not just a place, but another worldly experience. The sense of adventure, grandeur, and mystery that surrounds the ‘white continent’ is the force that drew me there. Being able to stand on ‘the last frontier,’ and witness a pristine wilderness as a pioneer was for me a lifelong dream come true.”

Students who attended the trip received three credits and enrolled in the online fall semester course “Antarctica: Human Impacts on a Fragile Ecosystem.” This amazing “trip of a lifetime” is only one of the many study abroad programs available to students at Brockport.

For more information regarding these opportunities, visit or contact the Office of International Education at (585) 395-2119.

The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 *

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