Now Archived! PolarConnect event with Stan Skotnicki and Mike Loranty from the Northeast Scientific Station in Russia on Tuesday, 12 July 2016.
You can access this and other events by visiting the PolarConnect Archives. https://www.polartrec.com/polar-connect/archive

What Are They Doing?

Peter Ganzlin and Bradi Jo Petronio at one of their moss plots. Photo by Mark Paricio.
Peter Ganzlin and Bradi Jo Petronio at one of their moss plots. Photo by Mark Paricio.
The goal of our project is to understand how terrestrial ecosystems influence permafrost temperatures. There are places in the Arctic where climate is warming but permafrost temperatures are stable, while at other places permafrost temperatures are rising rapidly with climate. Soil and vegetation that sit on top of permafrost can either promote heat transfer or act as insulators. Our project will use field measurements at research sites throughout Alaska and Siberia to identify broad trends in relationships between ecosystems and permafrost temperature dynamics. At research sites in Siberia we will make detailed measurements to identify the processes responsible for these trends. This work will help to understand the effects of Arctic vegetation change on permafrost temperatures.

Where Are They?

A tugboat pushes the barge past the old river port of Cherskiy, Russia. Photo by Mark Paricio.
A tugboat pushes the barge past the old river port of Cherskiy, Russia. Photo by Mark Paricio.
We will be working from the Northeast Scientific Station near the town of Cherskiy in the Siberian Arctic. The station is located on the Kolyma River, only 60 miles from the Arctic Ocean by boat. We often work long hours because the sun doesn’t go down, but we are well fed on a steady diet of moose. At places where the river bank is eroding and thawing the permafrost we sometimes find mammoth bones!

Latest Journals

Home I spent a little over five weeks in the field with Mike Loranty, but it feels like we left just last week. Time really does fly when you are having fun. Our days were packed with field work, lab work, good food, great conversations with incredible scientists, and creating new friendships…
Fun with power tools Now, I've been lucky enough to do some pretty cool stuff this trip in the name of science, but these last couple days are going to be tough to top. There is something about using two-cycle gas-powered equipment and lot of grit to drill a meter into frozen ground, pulling out…
Tundra The Northeast Science Station (NESS) is located about 30 miles south of the Arctic ocean just off of the Kolyma River. The station is located above the Arctic circle, 68 degrees north of the Equator right in the midst of a boreal forest full of larch trees. That's where we have been doing…
Hell Hole View of the high severity burn site named the "Hell Hole" Always up for the challenge Today I visited a new site across the Kolyma River called the "Hell Hole," which was named by the researchers that have been doing work there for the last few years. The Hell Hole is an area that was…
Cherskiy, Russia at the Northeast Scientific Station
Project Funded Title
Vegetation and Ecosystem Impacts On Permafrost Vulnerability
Stanley Skotnicki - Teacher
Cheektowaga Central Middle School

Stan Skotnicki teaches Earth Science and Physical Science at Cheektowaga Central Middle School outside of Buffalo, New York. He is in his eleventh year of teaching science and holds a B.S. in Earth Science Education and a M.S. in Educational Technology from SUNY College at Buffalo State. In the classroom, Mr. Skotnicki helps his students to see how their daily activities impact climate change locally and on a global scale. He hopes to inspire curiosity and questions in the minds of the young scientists in his classroom. When not teaching, Mr. Skotnicki enjoys spending his time with his wife discussing books or exploring the outdoors by cycling, surfing, hiking, and skiing. During the summer of 2015, Mr. Skotnicki worked as a field assistant studying how vegetation impacts the depth of permafrost in Alaska. He is excited to continue the research by becoming part of the PolarTREC team of educators.

Mike Loranty - Researcher
Colgate University

Mike Loranty is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Colgate University who studies how carbon, water, and energy are exchanged between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Dr. Loranty’s current research projects are focused on understanding how boreal forest and arctic tundra ecosystems respond and feed back to climate warming. His work utilizes field observations, models, and satellite remote sensing. Much of his work is focused on the Siberian arctic, and this summer will be his sixth field season there.

Vegetation Impacts on Permafrost Resources

Bringing the Field to the STEM Classroom

Teaching science gives me the satisfaction of sharing my passion for the natural world with others. I try to create opportunities for students to experience science outside of the classroom much like I did in college, through local field trips, or even identifying and mapping out the various large landscape rocks scattered around

Download and Share


Attached is a resource for lessons and simulations that involve studying the Greenhouse Effect and how it affects temperature readings on our planet. The simulations created by PHET are incredible. https://phet.colorado.edu/ Aside from the Greenhouse Effect simulation in this lesson, this site has a large variety of resources for any grade levels to be used as lessons, labs

About 1 period
All Aged
Download, Share, and Remix


This lesson is a modification of what Dave Hess and I, Stan Skotnicki, use in our Earth Science classes at Cheektowaga Central High School. It is an extension of our lesson on Celestial Motions as we track the apparent path of the sun across the sky at different latitudes. Prior to this Lab activity they would have already

Less than a week
High school and Up
Download, Share, and Remix

PolarConnect Event with teacher Stan Skotnicki and researcher Mike Loranty with the Vegetation Changes in Permafrost project. This event was live from Northeast Scientific Station in Russia.

Newspaper article in the City & Region section of the Buffalo News highlighting Stan Skotnicki's trip to Siberia this summer as a middle school teacher through the PolarTREC program.

Local Newspaper article featuring Stan Skotnicki traveling to Siberia on a scientific expedition through the PolarTREC program.

All Aged

Presentation at the Western Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS) mini conference at the Buffalo Museum of Science on March 16, 2016. The focus of the presentation will be to highlight upcoming PolarTREC expeditions, an introduction to the programs educational opportunities, lesson plans and activities for teachers at all levels.

All Aged