What explains the ‘pull of the Poles’? What motivated early explorers to undergo great hardships to investigate the Arctic and Antarctic, and what did they discover about these regions? What have we discovered in the intervening decades, and what do we still not understand about polar regions? Why do the Arctic and Antarctic play such a critical role in global climate? This seminar will combine scientific and historical perspectives to investigate the ‘ends of the earth’, the Arctic and Antarctica. We will begin by surveying the geography and oceanography of these regions, and then step back into the past and follow in the footsteps of some of the early polar explorers through their own accounts of their explorations. Modern accounts will help us compare and contrast these early explorations. The seminar will also include readings and discussions about current questions and problems of the polar regions, in particular human impacts and potential effects of global warming. A ‘Makerspace’ component is an important feature of the class – students will be supplied with materials to work on a design/build challenge, testing, revising, discussing, and consulting with one another to improve their efforts through the course of the semester. This ‘making’ experience is highly relevant to the experiences of early polar explorers as well as modern oceanographers, who often have to improvise and fix or build or create things on the spot, with materials at hand, in order to solve specific problems. Note that no experience in Makerspace, and no design or build experience, is assumed, expected, or required for this seminar. There are no prerequisites for this seminar.