About the Author
Antarctic Exploration

John Barell became an explorer at age thirteen when he first read Admiral Richard E. Byrd's books about Antarctic Exploration. From this story of intrepid adventurers camped out on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 1928, Barell developed so many questions: Why did they sail south to explore? How did they survive? What kept them safe and secure? What did they discover and what is the future of this southern continent enshrouded in mystery, snow and ice? He wrote Admiral Byrd who not only answered with four letters, but  also urged him to explore Antarctica.

Barell sailed to Antarctica on board Admiral Byrd's flagship, USS Glacier, and served as Operations Officer during Operation DeepFreeze '63 and '64. Subsequently, Barell became an educator attempting to explore the many possibilities for educating young people in non-traditional settings in New York City and at Montclair State University (NJ). His published writings reflect an attempt to challenge students and their teachers to take risks by adventuring into complex problematic situations there to inquire, solve problems and think critically. Antarctic Exploration, once a dream for a young reader, has become a metaphor for all educational adventuring.

Now professor emeritus at Montclair State University, Barell worked for several years as a consultant to The American Museum of Natural History in New York City helping teachers and students develop their inquisitiveness about the wonders of earth and space.

Current research involves assessment of inquiry and problem-based learning; determining how students are improving in their use of 21st century skills: inquiry, problem solving, critical/creative and reflective thought.

Ross Ice Shelf



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