Tundra Nutrient Seasonality
Meet the Team
Teacher - Susan Steiner
Ms. Steiner grew up loving the outdoors, spending time exploring the backyard woods with her faithful Bassett hound Falstaff, enjoying family camping trips in the Rocky Mountains, and learning to canoe in the Ozarks of Missouri. A high school Biology teacher inspired her to learn more about the natural world, and early observations of endangered whooping cranes fed the curiosity that led her to major in Biology at the University of Central Missouri. A quest for adventure after graduation led her to the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City, North Carolina, where she spent a number of years canoeing, backpacking, and exploring rivers and trails around the country. She eventually returned to her biological training, and worked as a research technician at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory near where she now resides in Franklin, NC. Besides helping scientists gather a variety of data about soils, forest health, and streams, she volunteered to become involved with a science program for students called the Schoolyard LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) program. She enjoyed teaching authentic science to the kids so much that she decided to return to school for her Master’s degree, this time in Science Education with an emphasis in Biology. She presently teaches high school students at Macon Early College, helping them to learn about and enjoy the natural world through courses in Earth Science, Biology, and Physics.
Researcher - Michael Weintraub
Michael Weintraub is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Toledo, where he studies terrestrial ecosystem and global change ecology. His research program is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying basic ecosystem processes and how they are affected by impacts such as climate change and nutrient deposition. His overall research goal is to understand the controls on ecosystem processes such as decomposition, and transformations of both inorganic and organic soil nutrients. Dr. Weintraub uses a range of research tools in order study questions that range from the scale of microbial communities up to the ecosystem level. Learn more about Dr. Weintraub's research here [http://www.eeescience.utoledo.edu/faculty/weintraub/csas.htm]
Where are They?
What are they Doing?
Since nutrient cycling on the tundra changes throughout the season, the research team will attempt to understand how seasonal changes in tundra plants and soil dynamics are affected by changes in the timing of snow melt and warming. By experimentally manipulating factors such the timing of spring thaw and fall freeze directly on the tundra the team can study how this affects the ecosystem directly. The team will be engaged in a mixture of outdoor field sampling, experimentation, and laboratory work. Through this research the team hopes to better predict the impacts of changing growing season timing and duration on the carbon balance of arctic ecosystems.
|The Plot Thickens||Overview Small groups of students will establish their own phenology plots for long term study....||Lesson|
|The PolarTREC Experience: Real Science for you and your students!||8 November 2012||Powerpoint presentation given at 2012 North Carolina Science Teachers Association professional...||Presentation|
|Scientific Research Study Trips||30 October 2012||Presented Powerpoint slideshow including two interactive activities for two 90 minutes sessions of...||Presentation|
|Macon County teacher featured in Macon County Schools Newsletter||1 October 2012||Susan Steiner, Science Teacher at Macon Early College High School, returns from her summer in the...||Article|
|Polar Express, Expedition puts teacher on top of the world||18 September 2012||Article posted in Western Carolina University's alumni magazine Class Notes section about Susan...||Article|
|Macon County,NC - Public Library Display||1 June 2012 - 6 July 2012||Display at Macon County Library while my expedition is ongoing. Also includes a few hundred...||Image|
|Susan Steiner and the Tundra Nutrient Seasonality Expedition||7 June 2012||In this one hour webinar, PolarTREC teacher Susan Steiner and researcher Michael Weintraub explain...||Event|
|Summer on the Tundra: Steiner to Study Arctic Biology in Alaska||20 April 2012||Interview in The Franklin Press about Ms. Steiner's upcoming expedition to Toolik Field Station in...||Article|