Leading in the Dark | Jeanne Suchodolski | TEDxUofW

Jeanne Suchodolski is a multi-year veteran of the United States Antarctic Program. In 2009-2010, she wintered-over as the leader of McMurdo Station, the largest of the Program’s three research facilities. The Station is a bustling town of over a thousand people during the summer: with three airports, a shipping port, a research lab, a fire station, and all the infrastructure one would need to run a small municipality of that size. But as the hectic summer of field science ends, the population dwindles until only two hundred souls remain to face the six month darkness of the Antarctic winter. On the afternoon of March 5, 2010, the message: “Wheels are up!” scrolled across the screen of Jeanne’s pager, marking the departure of the very last flight home. The crew of McMurdo Station was now isolated and alone until late August.

In her talk, Jeanne tells her story of being a part of an arctic expedition and the challenges that come with such a journey. She turns the lens back onto her team and the mindset required to accomplish such a feat. Jeanne C. Suchodolski, Explorer's Club MN '09, is a multifaceted woman with titles such as engineer, lawyer, pilot, and polar expedition member. She has remained within the technology and aerospace world throughout her career, from working as a rocket engineer at Boeing to acting as patent and corporate counsel for companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Honeywell. Jeanne is a multi-year veteran of the United States’ Antarctic Program and wintered-over as the Station Manager of McMurdo Station. She is currently earning an LLM in Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx