Carol Arnosti grew up in Wisconsin, where she developed an early appreciation for snow and ice. As an undergraduate at Lawrence University, she majored in chemistry, studied history, and played intercollegiate basketball. After completing a Ph.D. in oceanography at M.I.T. and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, she went to the Max-Planck Institute in Bremen, Germany, where she rapidly became involved in a new project investigating microbial life at low temperatures. Continued involvement in this project since moving to Chapel Hill in 1995 has led to repeated research work in the Arctic as well as a trip to Antarctica, and a permanent case of ‘Polar Fever’.