Overview

Students will collect soil samples and analyze them with some of the same procedures used by researchers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Soil microfauna (e.g. nematodes) will be extracted from the samples using a Baermann funnel. Students will compare their own data to published data from researchers working in Antarctica.

Objectives

  • Collect and analyze soil samples for
Lesson
Antarctic
About a week
High school and Up
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Overview

Students will collect tardigrades from lichen or moss cushions and then use a dichotomous key to identify the tardigrades by family.

Objectives

Collect, capture, and observe tardigrades found in local lichen or moss cushions. Use a dichotomous key to identify tardigrades by family.

Lesson Preparation

  • Print copies of the Key to Limno-Terrestrial Tardigrade Families and Tardigrade Identification Worksheet in
Lesson
Antarctic
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
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Benefits of a Field Experience


PolarTREC has been an amazing experience, wow! The heart of the PolarTREC program is the field expedition, which allows the teacher to be embedded in a field research team. STEM educators are passionate about what they teach but often lack access to meaningful opportunities to participate in basic research. Programs like PolarTREC provide that missing

Report
Antarctic
All Aged
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Teacher Josh Heward discusses research with the "Tough Tardigrades Team" in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica where they search for tardigrades and other microorganisms that live in the soil.