In 2017, this Timpanogos High School biology teacher spent his January in Antarctica with a team of researchers and teachers to study soil ecology with PolarTREC. For five weeks Josh researched microscopic animals called Tardigrades —which look like bears under a very powerful microscope — spending the nights either at the research base or in a tent in a very insulated sleeping bag. Josh has also spent the last 18 years studying black bears in Utah, a hobby that makes crawling into a bear’s den just another day at the office.
Favorite Superhero “Spiderman. I used to have a recurring dream that I was Spiderman and swinging from building to building in a major city.”
Heroic “Ernest Shackleton. Before Antarctica, I read about his Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The survival story of the crew under Shackleton’s leadership is incredible. I admire his commitment to save every member of the crew. I want to be the teacher who never gives up on a student.”
Save the Day “Three years ago, my little brother Brady needed a bone marrow transplant. I was a good donor match and provided the stem cells he needed for the procedure. It was an emotional and scary time for our family. He endured a long and difficult recovery after the transplant. Fortunately, the procedure was successful and today he is healthy and enjoying life with his beautiful family.”
Secret Identity “In the right situation I enjoy acting. In college my dad gave me a set of Billy-Bob teeth and I invented a character, Ellis, to go with them. Ellis would come out when I was bored and visit random apartments selling chicken milk or looking for his lost dog. These days Ellis doesn’t show up often but he has been known to substitute for my classes on Halloween.”