We Blogged It!
T-5 days and counting! Soon I'll leave the "winter " days of Houston, TX (avg. temp 50's F this past week) to experience the winter days of Barrow, Alaska (avg. -13 F this week)
Dr. Tish Yager and I are collaborating on the development of curriculum and educational outreach based on her research on oceanic carbon sequestration.
I'll join her team (who's just coming off of an 8 week expedition to Antarctica) to conduct water sampling in the frozen Arctic Ocean off the coast of Barrow, Alaska. (My other job is to help manage this blog ☺)
Dr. Yager is the Chief Scientist for this 2 yr. study working with PIs Dr. Marc Fischer(SKIO-USG) and Dr. Debbie Bronk (VIMS). The teams are conducting 3 seasonal studies to capture the changes in temperature and light on autotrophs and heterotrophs. Fieldwork is proposed for the months of Dec-Jan(in the dark), March-April (light, with high nutrients) and August-September (light, with low nutrients).
Samples will be taken in the pelagic zone(10-50m water) to assess carbon and nitrogen inventories; net community production; algal production; nitrogen uptake ; algal and bacterial species composition & activity; and gene expression (N-cycling genes).
This will be a relatively short field experience -only 10 days. Ten days in the dark waning winter of Barrow! However, we will continue the story of this study over the next 2 years as we conduct the seasonal fieldwork.
I first met Dr. Yager in 2007 when we were both members of an international science expedition to Antarctica onboard the Swedish Icebreaker Oden. My participation was sponsored then and now by PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the US. This exceptional program has placed classroom teachers in field experiences in both the Arctic and Antarctica. I will be posting a blog on their website as well and invite you to visit www.polartrec.com to learn more about what other teachers are doing.
I teach 5-8th grade Integrated Earth and Space Science at Redd School in Houston. A few days ago I took the LARGE bag of Polar Services- issue clothing to show my students what I would wear in the frigid temps in Barrow. While they were very interested in the clothing and bunny boots, the size of the bag itself drew more attention. I told them my husband had said that it was so big, that I could fit into it. So naturally, we had to try! (see image)
Stay tuned for more as this adventure unfolds!