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Pat Patton Interviews
Pat Wilson - Eagle on Ice
Reviewed by Pat Patton
Tuesday, October 05, 2010

 Local Author Dr. Patricia Potter Wilson celebrates the 100 year

Boy Scouts of America Anniversary at her book signing of Eagle on Ice


On Saturday, September 26, 2010, local author Dr. Patricia “Pat” Potter Wilson celebrated the 100 Year Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America at the Cockrell Center Scout Shop which hosted a special author reception, book signing, and presentation that focused on her book Eagle on Ice.


Sam Houston Council scout leaders, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and their families were in attendance at her book signing at Cockrell Center in Houston, Texas. The Sam Houston Council is the fourth largest Boy Scout Council in the United States


At the book signing, Wilson announced her new Eagle on Ice website, (, and also that Eagle on Ice was selected for sale at Boy Scouts of America Scout Shops throughout the United States.  Eagle on Ice is the story of Paul Siple who was chosen from thousands of Boy Scouts to go on an expedition to Antarctica with Commander Byrd in 1928. The 19-year-old Eagle Scout went on to become a world-famous explorer and scientist. He developed the formula for wind chill, became the first leader to winter over at the South Pole Station, and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.


Over the past few months, Pat has appeared on Deborah Duncan’s Show: Great Day Houston, as well as Bay Area Houston Alive ( Articles on Pat have appeared in other media such as Bay Area Houston Magazine and University of Houston’s Egret Magazine. She has also enjoyed recent book signings at events such as the Antarctican Society Annual Meeting in Maine, the Bay Area Council Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary Scout Expo at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas and the Sam Houston Council Boy Scouts of America Scout Fair at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. Book signing receptions in New York City, San Diego, California, and Louisiana, as well as area libraries and universities, have highlighted Eagle on Ice.


Dr. Wilson said, “Although Eagle on Ice was written for teens I am thrilled that so many adults enjoy this historical tale. Eagle Scout Paul Siple is an outstanding role model for young people. His captivating story of living in tunnels and houses buried under the snow and ice with Commander Byrd, 40 other men, and over 90 yapping sled dogs during the harsh 1929 Antarctic winter will interest all adventure seekers and history buffs. Eventually when spring arrived, another historic event took place--Commander Byrd flew his epic flight over the South Pole.”


Wilson is an educator, author, community leader, and world traveler.  She is a retired University of Houston-Clear Lake professor, and has written seven books.  Wilson is the recipient of numerous teaching awards including the coveted UHCL President’s Distinguished Teaching Award.  She has visited every continent and more than 150 countries, as well as the North Pole.  An avid volunteer, she enjoys sharing her love for travel, cultural experiences, and education with various community groups. 


Dr. Wilson was inspired to write her book, Eagle on Ice, after hearing lecturers aboard the ship, World Discoverer, on her journey to Antarctica with her husband Wendell in 1988.  She learned that a nineteen-year old Eagle Scout named Paul Siple was selected to go on Commander Richard Byrd’s 1928-1930 expedition to Antarctica after thousands of scouts from across the United States applied for the trip to accompany Commander Byrd. After returning home from Antarctica, Wilson contacted Paul Siple’s widow, Ruth Siple.  They established a close relationship, and Mrs. Siple shared many photographs and stories about Paul who had died in 1968.


After retiring, Wilson seriously pursued the research and writing of the book about the 1928-1930 Byrd Antarctic Expedition.  In 2006, Pat and her husband, Wendell, returned to Antarctica on a Russian icebreaker and followed in the footsteps of Commander Byrd, Eagle Scout Siple, and the other explorers from this early period of Antarctic discovery.  With the new knowledge gained from this unique experience, Pat was able to complete Eagle on Ice with co-writer Roger Leslie.  Wendell Wilson provided many of the recent photos taken in Antarctica in the book Eagle on Ice


Autographed copies of Eagle on Ice are available for purchase at the Eagle on Ice website, (, website (, and at the Boy Scouts of America Scout Shops throughout the United States.  For more information about Dr. Wilson, or Eagle on Ice, visit the Eagle on Ice website (

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