Now Archived! PolarConnect event with Amanda Ruland and Dr. Jennie DeMarco from the Northeast Scientific Station in Russia on Monday, 8 July 2019. You can access this and other events on the PolarConnect Archives site.

What Are They Doing?

The green needles of larch trees turn brownish-orange and fall to the ground. Cherskiy, Russia.
The green needles of larch trees turn brownish-orange and fall to the ground. Cherskiy, Russia.
Climate change is impacting Arctic regions at twice the rate as the rest of the globe and as a result, ecosystems in these regions are seeing an increase in frequency, intensity and severity of fires in many boreal forests. The primary objective of this research is to delineate the causes of varying post-fire tree regrowth within larch forests of eastern Siberia and determine consequences for climate feedbacks through changes in Carbon storage and albedo (light radiation). The team will be using a combination of field-based measurements, dendrochronological analysis, remotely-sensed data, and statistical modelling. The research will increase the understanding of how larch forests in the Arctic of Siberia respond to a changing fire regime and particularly identify the mechanisms of response.

Where Are They?

Dr. Valentin Spektor of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, splits a permafrost core for bagging and later analyses. Cherskiy, Russia.
Dr. Valentin Spektor of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, splits a permafrost core for bagging and later analyses. Cherskiy, Russia.
Research will focus on larch forests in two regions of the Russian Far East: Cherskii and Yakutsk. While in Cherskii, they will primarily stay at the Northeastern Science Station where dorm-style rooms and meals are provided. They will also travel for one week down river on a barge.

Latest Journals

"Coming home is one of the most beautiful things." -Andre Rieu As we made our way further from Cherskiy the world became strangely familiar. Even though we were still in Siberia, Yakutsk seemed modern. A kick back into the 21st century. Moscow, like a Russian Big Apple. Four days later, I…
On the Path to Becoming A Scientist Jill Young, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her father was in the Air Force, in turn she spent much of her childhood moving from place to place. Her transient youth attributed in many ways, to a love of travel and exploration at an early age. Although…
Amanda in the Arctic: A Photo Diary Amanda Ruland Records Data at a Cherskiy Transect Amanda Ruland uses a point intersect plot to gather information on vegetation Measuring the active layer of soil with a thaw depth probe Removing various forms of vegetation for competition experiment…
The Scientific Method in Action Observe. Question. Hypothesize. Design. Collect Data. Analyze Data. Draw Conclusions. Share. Repeat. Observation: Many factors attribute to whether or not a seed will grow into a mature larch tree. The conditions have to be perfect. Think "Goldilocks and the…
Cherskii and Yakutsk, Russia
Project Funded Title
Collaborative Research: Fire regime influences on carbon dynamics of Siberian boreal forests
Amanda Ruland - Educator
Saratoga Elementary School

Amanda Ruland attended college at Pennsylvania State University, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, with a minor in Psychology. After studying abroad in Blackrock, Ireland she returned to the states and traveled westward. Amanda now teaches in the small mountainous town of Saratoga, Wyoming. 1,600 individuals call this wind-whipped, sage covered valley their home and it is here that Amanda teaches Kindergarteners at Saratoga Elementary School. Amanda teachers all subject areas, but particularly loves incorporating STEAM and Place Based Education into her interdisciplinary approach to teaching. Amanda also works with middle and high school students though a program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). Through this program Amanda provides students with the tools for college success, including opportunities for scientific inquiry to build leadership skills.

Jennie DeMarco - Reseacher
Western Colorado University

Dr. DeMarco is a faculty member in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Western Colorado University where she teaches courses in the science of environmental management, climate change, and data management. Her research focuses on how climate change, land use change, and invasive species impact how carbon and nutrients are cycled in terrestrial ecosystems. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science at Northern Arizona University and her Ph.D in Ecosystem Ecology at the University of Florida. Following graduate school, she completed a postdoc at New Mexico State University and then was an adjunct professor at University of Florida before moving to Gunnison just a year ago to teach at Western. She has conducted research in a range of ecosystems including the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts and the arctic tundra. Last summer she journeyed to Siberia for the first time to begin research investigating recruitment of Larch trees following fire.

Jill Young - Researcher
Western Colorado University

Jill is a master in environmental management student at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. Arctic research is critically important to her, especially with the increase in global climatic shifts. Her research focus is terrestrial ecosystem ecology, and she’ll be investigating soil nutrients and seed recruitment from post-wildfire disturbances in far northeastern Siberia. When Jill is not working, she is out climbing mountains, hammocking, white-water rafting, snowboarding and practicing yoga.

Fire and Carbon in Siberian Forests Resources

The PolarTREC Experience

The Importance of Teacher/Researcher Collaboration

Collaboration such as this offers a window into the science rarely seen by teachers and their students. It allows the public/students to experience, in real-time, relevant data collection of the 21st century.

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PolarTREC Educator Amanda Ruland and researcher Jennie DeMarco describe the research taking place on post-fire tree regrowth within larch forests of eastern Siberia and consequences for climate feedbacks through changes in Carbon storage. This event was broadcast live from the Northeast Science Station in Cherskii, Russia on 8 July 2019.

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