Update

Live PolarConnect Event!
We had a great live event with Emily while in Greenland on Monday, 16 June 2014. You can see the video, listen to audio, and access a pdf of slides all in the PolarConnect Archives!

Researchers Blogged Too!
The team researchers are part of a great science program called IGERT. You can subscribe to blogs from researchers in the program here. Here is a blog by research team member Ruth Heindel.

What Are They Doing?

Dwarf Fireweed flower
Dwarf Fireweed flower
The research focuses on the interactions between plants and their pollinators, which are animals that aid in plant reproduction through transporting pollen. The aim is to understand how changes in temperature and precipitation may influence plant-pollinator interactions and plant reproduction. Temperature and water availability may alter the timing of flowering and floral traits that attract pollinators, such as nectar volume and flower size. In addition, temperature may alter what pollinator species visit flowers and how often they visit. The combination of these effects on plants and pollinators may influence plant reproduction, measured as the number of fruits and seeds a plant produces. The researchers hope to relate changes in the abiotic environment to floral attractive traits, pollinator visitation, and ultimately the reproductive success of plants. Three focal plant species, blueberry, harebell, and dwarf fireweed are used because they are common in the area and flower at different times of the season.

This work can have important pan-Arctic and global implications. The majority of flowering plants in nature and one third of our crop plants depend on pollinators to produce fruits and seeds. As temperatures rise in the Arctic, successful adaptation and range expansion of many plants, including plants migrating into the Arctic, will depend on pollinators. This study will help us determine which mechanisms may most strongly drive changes in plant-pollinator interactions and plant reproduction.

Where Are They?

The view outside of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
The view outside of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
The research team traveled to Kangerlussuaq on the west coast of Greenland. The climate in Kangerlussuaq is arctic, with temperatures ranging from -25 to 18 degrees Celsius throughout the year and averaging between 5 and 18 degrees Celsius during the summer. The team camped and worked outside of the town where most sites were reached on foot or by truck. The team occasionally spent a night at the local science station in order to charge instruments and take advantage of a hot shower.

Latest Journals

A Year as a PolarTrec Teacher As the anniversary of traveling to Fairbanks, AK for training has approached and passed I can't help thinking of all I have done as a PolarTrec teacher the past year. To start with, I remember the joy of being accepted in December, 2013 and finding out that I would…
The research will occur in Greenland's vast tundra. The Arctic tundra is a stark landscape where the the soil is permanently frozen. This frozen subsoil is referred to as permafrost. Because of this frozen soil it is very hard for trees to grow, so instead the tundra produces lots of moss and…
Sandstorms and Sandy Beaches The pollination project has been gong really well. We have finished the Salix minus some observations which have been delayed due to the weather (I will explain in a bit). We had time to hand pollinate all of the supplemented Salix twice before they started to become…
Explore Your World I am standing in front of the ice sheet. From a distance Kangerlussuaq may seem plain and sand filled, but if you take the time to really look, you can see the beauty that this place holds. I love all the passages the ice melt has made. Every morning I get the privilege…
Dates
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Location
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Project Funded Title
The influence of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions and plant reproduction: using a natural climate gradient
Emily Dodson - Teacher
Teacher
Crawford Middle School

Emily Dodson graduated with a BS from Georgetown College in environmental science with a minor in sociology. After graduation she completed a MS in secondary education at Georgetown College to certify her to teach grades 5 to 12 integrated science and biology. Upon graduation she traveled to Kyparissia, Greece and worked for Archelon, a sea-turtle conservation society, assisting with field research studying loggerhead sea turtle nesting.

Emily is now in her second year of teaching integrated science at Crawford Middle School. Her teaching style involves lots of hands-on activities that are inquiry-based. In addition, Emily is the head coach at Crawford for "Girls on the Run." This is an international program where female students work on positive body images and train and run a 5k. Finally, Emily has recently been selected to work on the Science Curriculum Design and Development team for Fayette County Public Schools. Emily's hobbies include backpacking, photography, and reading.

Christine Urbanowicz - Researcher
Researcher
Dartmouth College

Ms. Urbanowicz is a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate program at Dartmouth College. Her research explores the effects of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions. Pollinators and plants might have different responses to climate change, which can have important environmental and agricultural consequences. She is currently focusing on the Arctic, where environmental change due to climate change is rapid. This research focus translates to many happy hours in the field, collecting data about flowers and their visitors. More information about Ms. Urbanowicz's research group can be found here.

Climate Change and Pollinators in the Arctic Resources

Overview

PolarTREC teacher Emily Dodson participated in a scientific expedition in the summer of 2014 at Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Emily’s book is a telling of the science story behind the teams work and Emily’s participation as an educator and field assistant on the PolarTREC expedition.

Activity
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
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This one hour webinar is a great look at the PolarTREC 2014 Arctic expeditions. Each teacher presents a little about the research projects, implementation in the classroom, and outreach into communities.

Event
Arctic
About 1 period
All Aged
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Emily Dodson-Snowden, a sixth-grade science teacher at Morton Middle School, didn’t have a typical summer break. She spent three weeks in Greenland studying how climate change influences plant/pollinator interactions and plant reproduction as part of PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating).

Article
Arctic
n/a
All Aged
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This 1 hour webinar is hosted by PolarTREC teacher Emily Dodson in Greenland. Her team is studying climate change and pollinators in Greenland.

Event
Arctic
About 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share