International Team of Scientists and Students Departing for Field Course in Russian Arctic
July 2, 2010
Scientists and undergraduate students from the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are departing July 2 for a four-week field course in the Russian Arctic. The program – The Polaris Project – is training future leaders in arctic research and education, and informing the public about the impacts of climate change, essential goals given the rapid and profound transformations underway in the Arctic in response to global warming.
This is the third year of the Polaris Project field course. The focus of the students’ and scientists’ work will be the transport and transformations of carbon and nutrients as they move with water from terrestrial uplands to the Arctic Ocean. The connections among the land terrestrial and aquatic components of the ecosystem will be emphasized.
Dr. R. Max Holmes, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and director of the Polaris Project, “From its start, the Polaris Project has tried to make substantial contributions to research and education. As the project matures, I’m particularly pleased that have we are maintaining that balance, even as productivity in both research and education are rapidly accelerating.”
In addition to the field course, The Polaris Project includes research experience for undergraduate students in the Siberian Arctic, several new arctic-focused undergraduate courses taught by project co-primary investigators (PIs) at their home institutions, the opportunity for those co-PIs to initiate research programs in the Siberian Arctic, and a wide range of outreach activities. All project participants, both students and faculty, will visit kindergarten through Grade 12 classrooms to convey the excitement of polar research.
This work is being supported by a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
In addition to the Polaris team, additional colleagues and collaborators from the Woods Hole Research Center and the University of Florida are joining the trip. Led by WHRC Senior Scientist Scott Goetz, this group will be studying the forests in the region. This work is part of a project funded by NASA that seeks to understand the impacts of fire on boreal forests. Specifically, Goetz and his team are interested in understanding how the severity of a fire affects post-fire forest regeneration.
To learn more, visit whrc.org and www.thepolarisproject.org. Follow the progress of the trip on Twitter (PolarisProject) and Facebook (www.thepolarisproject.org).
For more information, please contact:Associate Director of Communications
Woods Hole Research Center