I taught Morse code to my fellow Boy Scouts and eventually reached the rank of Eagle.  Throughout high school I enjoyed making contacts with other Hams around the world and volunteered to pass messages from soldiers in Viet Nam to their families in my neighborhood as a Navy Military Affiliate Radio Station (Navy-MARS).  Later, in engineering school, I found the practical, hands-on electronic skills learned through Ham Radio helped in the understanding of all the technical theory I was learning – and made me feel very at home in the laboratory.  Ham Radio skills have enhanced my professional career as an electrical engineer. I had learned how to diagnose, fix, design and build electronic gear – and could do it in the field with little more than a Swiss Army knife and a pair of Leatherman pliers.  That practical knowledge has in part been responsible for opportunities to do research in the Arctic and Antarctica.  I have even operated a Ham Radio in Arctic Alaska, Greenland and Antarctica.

Bert's Antarctic QSL card and photo taken while operating ham radio in a tent near Byrd Surface Camp on the Antarctic Plateau.