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Arctic Tundra Dynamics

Meet the Team

Teacher - Rob Wilder

Rob Wilder's picture
Spartanburg High School
Spartanburg , South Carolina
United States

Rob Wilder has been teaching high school science in Spartanburg, South Carolina for 19 years. He serves as the faculty advisor for his school's Envirothon team, coaches cross-country and track, and serves as a reader for the College Board AP Environmental Science exam. Mr. Wilder uses a hands-on approach to teaching Environmental Science, and has been known to cook meals in his solar oven in the school parking lot. Mr. Wilder enjoys the outdoors, where his hobbies include running and beekeeping.

Researcher - Steven Oberbauer

Steven Oberbauer's picture
Florida International University
Miami , Florida
United States

Steven Oberbauer is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Florida International University in Miami. Dr. Oberbauer received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from San Diego State University, where he was first introduced to arctic research. He completed his Ph.D. at Duke University studying the ecophysiology of tropical trees in Costa Rica. Dr. Oberbauer currently researches climate change effects in both the Arctic and the Tropics, specifically how plants adjust to changes in their environment and resource availability.

Journals

February 25, 2009 A Day of Field Trips

Today was a very cool day here in Fairbanks and it was cool in two ways, one being that the high was only about 20*F and the other is that we were able to see the completion of the Yukon Quest dog sled race. This year it began in Whitehorse of the Yukon Territory in Canada and finished in Fairbanks...
Today was a very cool day here in Fairbanks and it was cool in two ways, one being that the high was only about 20*F and the other is that we were able to see the completion of the Yukon Quest dog sled race. This year it began in Whitehorse of the Yukon Territory in Canada and finished in Fairbanks...

February 23, 2009 Polar TREC two years later

It has been a while since I wrote one of these. Two years ago I was here in Fairbanks preparing for what would be one of the most exciting summers of my life.  A lot has happened in those two years but the excitement is still in the air as a new group of teachers prepare for their own TRECs...
It has been a while since I wrote one of these. Two years ago I was here in Fairbanks preparing for what would be one of the most exciting summers of my life.  A lot has happened in those two years but the excitement is still in the air as a new group of teachers prepare for their own TRECs. ...

August 21, 2007 My Polar Reflection

Read what being in Barrow, Alaska for five weeks meant to me.
Polar TREC Reflection

July 6, 2007 Skin Boat Racing

Something is always going on in Barrow. How about a skin boat race?
Jack’s weather report: Wow!.....it was near record temperatures today in Barrow as the string of beautiful days continue. It was in the 60’s by this afternoon. Today actually began yesterday when I woke up for my last turn at taking diurnal measurements of carbon flux. I say that because I did...

July 6, 2007 A Night at the Museum

I was told, "No trip to Barrow is complete without going to Joe's Museum."
Jack’s weather report: Wow!.....it was near record temperatures today in Barrow as the string of beautiful days continue. It was in the 60’s by this afternoon. No trip to Barrow is complete without a trip to Joe’s Museum. Joe works at one of the restaurants in town called PePe’s. They...

Project Information

Climate Change and Tundra Ecosystems in Barrow, Alaska
Barrow, Alaska
31 May 2007
7 July 2007

Where are They?

Mr. Wilder and Dr. Oberbauer lived in the village of Barrow, Alaska and worked at sites outside of the village. Much of the field work took place at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, where many long-term environmental studies have been undertaken.

What are they Doing?

The team investigated the role of carbon in arctic tundra ecosystems. Approximately one quarter of the world's soil organic carbon is stored at high northern latitudes in permafrost and soils. As the arctic environment warms, this carbon may be released to the atmosphere in the form of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The goal of this project was to understand how changes in a warming and drying arctic environment may affect the balance and stability of the arctic soil carbon. The team measured soil moisture, permafrost depth, carbon dioxide and methane gas in the soil and atmosphere, and surveyed plant composition, function and primary productivity. They also used remote sensing as part of a larger project to investigate patterns of change across the tundra at various scales, from small local changes to landscape level changes.

 

Before Mr. Wilder joined Dr. Obermeier’s team he had the opportunity to work on an archaeological project outside of Barrow with Anne Jensen. Ms. Jensen has been excavating remains in Nuvuk, the northernmost village in Alaska, in order to learn more about the history of the region over the past 1200 years. Click here to learn more about the project.

Resources

Title Date About Type
Touring the Poles Overview The students' task is to produce a brochure for both the Arctic and the Antarctic. These... Lesson
Arctic Tundra Dynamics with Elizabeth Eubanks in Barrow, AK 10 July 2008 Archive of Live from IPY! event held 10 July 2008 with Elizabeth Eubanks and the Arctic Tundra... Event
Rob Wilder at work on the Alaskan tundra 1 September 2007 Ed Epps writes about PolarTREC teacher Rob Wilder's adventures in Northern Alaska. Article
Visiting teacher seeks clues to the greenhouse effect 14 June 2007 Article covering Rob Wilder's PolarTREC expedition. Article
Arctic Tundra Dynamics in Barrow, Alaska with Rob Wilder 22 June 2007 Arctic Tundra Dynamics in Barrow, Alaska with Rob Wilder. Event

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