Liane Benning, Editor, asked me to write this article in 2015 during my last expedition to Svalbard. We were sitting in a restaurant, drinking a beer, when she put the question to me. Immediately, I wanted to scream “Yes!”, but coyly thought about it for a minute before replying, “What an honour. I’d love to.” Owing to the many obligations I have at the University of California as a faculty member, chair of the department, and Institute Director, I needed a block of quiet time without too many distractions to begin to write. A sabbatical leave from UC Riverside...

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