Sarah will be heading out to the North Slope in 2022. Stay tuned!

What Are They Doing?

Land-fast sea ice is fastened along the shoreline in Utqiaġvik, Alaska.
Land-fast sea ice is fastened along the shoreline in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Photo by John Wood.
The participants of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP) work together to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme. Data from the IABP have many uses. For example: 1. Research in Arctic climate and climate change, 2. Forecasting weather and ice conditions, 3. Validation of satellites, 4. Forcing, validation and assimilation into numerical climate models, and 5. Tracking the source and fate of samples taken from the ice. Over 1000 publications have benefited from observations from the IABP.

Sarah and the team will be headed out for a second deployment to Greenland in June-July 2020.

Where Are They?

Bowhead whale skulls near the college entrance in Utqiaġvik, Alaska.
Bowhead whale skulls near the college entrance in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. Photo by Melissa Lau.
The team will fly by commercial airline to Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska. While in Utqiaġvik, they will travel around by snow machine along the sea ice to deploy the buoys.

Latest Journals

Weather and Climate Change from the North Pole to the Mainland Youth (and the young at heart) are invited to this virtual event with Ignatius Rigor Ph.D. Director of the International Arctic Buoy Program. Encourage your students to attend by registering here. Tuesday, November 10, 2020 from 5:00 pm…
Five months later, two of the eleven weather buoys deployed by the International Arctic Buoy Program Sea Cadet students are still collecting and sending data. Check out this map to see the buoy named 'Wolverines' in northwest corner of the map out on the Arctic Ocean. Sea Cadet Arctic Buoy Program…
Buoys Deployed in Arctic Ocean A global pandemic could not stop the International Arctic Buoy Program from deploying drifting weather buoys into the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Utqiaġvik, Alaska during these past few months. With the collaborative effort of many partners, buoys were designed,…
Tomorrow, if everything was going as it was only 3 weeks ago, I would be embarking on an adventure of a lifetime with a science expedition team to place real-time weather buoys on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean. We would be making it possible for satellites to transmit observation data through the…
Utqiaġvik, Alaska & Thule, Greenland
Project Funded Title
International Arctic Buoy Program
Sarah Johnson - Educator
Wild Rose Education

Sarah R. Johnson, founder of Wild Rose Education, works to advance place-based education and civic engagement through authentic learning experiences connecting people to the landscape to foster their own personal land and water ethic. She believes in democracy, loves wild places, and strives to create opportunities for people to contribute to their future world through participation in public life. Sarah is committed to continual professional learning and utilizing innovative teaching techniques and best practices throughout her work.

Sarah earned her MAEd: Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, and holds a B.S. Biology from Missouri State University, Springfield, MO. Her graduate research involved case studies of science teacher professional development programs at biological field stations across the country. Sarah's background includes watershed education, outreach, facilitation, environmental education, wilderness trip leading, and interpretation. She, a leader in the field of EE, builds inclusive networks of colleagues committed to excellence. She has served in leadership on the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education board of directors since 2015.

She is excited to find ways to authentically relate the science and landscape study of the Arctic to the rural mountain communities of Colorado as well as back to her childhood home in rural southwest Missouri and to many other communities of friends and colleagues around the country and beyond. Sarah has been based in western Colorado working to protect rivers and public lands since 2004 where she enjoys playing outside during all seasons, gardening, and making music. Learn more about Sarah at Wild Rose Education.

John Woods - Researcher
Office of Naval Research Global

John Woods is a native of Lavallette, NJ and currently resides in Annapolis, MD with his wife and 3 kids. He studied Oceanography at the United States Naval Academy and obtained his master’s degree in Oceanography and Meteorology at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. John served on active duty in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer on the USS Cleveland (LPD-7) deploying to the Persian Gulf two times, and as a Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officer at the U.S. Naval Ice Center. His final tour was back at the U.S. Naval Academy teaching in the Oceanography Department where he created the Polar Science Program. This assignment first introduced him to Polar Operations and Logistics leading 4 different learning activities to the Arctic Region. After transitioning to the Navy Reserves, he was the Project Manager for NASA's Operation IceBridge, successfully executing over a dozen science campaigns to both the Polar North and South. Most recently John was a physical scientist for NOAA at the U.S. National Ice Center until recently transitioning back to the Navy in his current position with the Office of Naval Research, International Engagement Office focusing on collaborations with polar nations.

Ignatious Rigor - Researcher
University of Washington

IGNATIUS RIGOR, Ph.D., is a climatologist at the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and an affiliate assistant professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. Dr. Rigor studies sea ice, and how it interacts with the atmosphere and ocean. His primary tools for research are observations from drifting buoys and satellites.

International Arctic Buoy Program Resources

Springfield Catholic Schools celebrated its alumni, Sarah Johnson for being selected as a 2020 PolarTREC educator. On Facebook, they shared a post celebrating the excitement in this expedition.

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