Antarctica Day 2020!

Antarctica Day

The international polar community will celebrate Antarctica Day on the 1st of December to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. There are many ways to celebrate this year to learn more about this amazing continent and the research being performed there, and the scientists who conduct it.

For more information regarding these events, please contact the event organizers directly through the links provided.

International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration

The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration is holding an Antarctic Week Festival from 30 November to 4 December. Students and the public will have a unique opportunity to listen to those working on the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration and ask questions. Each day, there will be a talk about what it's like to live and work in Antarctica. The talks are 30 minutes long, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers. These webinars are hosted by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and will be recorded and posted on the website.

The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) has invited everyone to join them in celebrating Antarctica Day. Learn more about each of their events and register for their online videos on the APECS website.


  • For those who want to learn more about Antarctica but are teaching virtually, check out the YouTube series called, Tiny Ice: Bits from Antarctica that highlight the travel, science, and life at the South Pole, created by Jocelyn Argueta. The videos have been created in both English and Spanish.

  • You can also view PolarConnect Archives of live Antarctica Day events with PolarTREC educators who were in Antarctica on December 1st in previous years.

  • For more resources specifically on Antarctica, please visit the PolarTREC Resources section and type Antarctica in the search box.

New Bi-lingual Video Resources about Antarctica Available

Jocelyn Argueta at the Ceremonial South Pole

PolarTREC informal educator Jocelyn Argueta traveled to the South Pole in 2019 with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and Askaryan Radio Array Expedition. She created a YouTube series Tiny Ice: Bits from Antarctica to highlight the travel, science, and life at the South Pole, both in English and Spanish. In this 10-part series, each topic is explained in 2-minute, digestible segments which include photos and videos from her trip, as well as anecdotes to help viewers get a personal perspective of Antarctica. You can find the English version here and the Spanish version here.

Virtual Resources Now Available

PolarTREC teacher Mark Buesing (2013) practicing virtual teaching

Teachers in the U.S. and abroad are adapting to virtual and hybrid classrooms during the pandemic. To assist teachers during this time, a number of PolarTREC lesson plans have been identified and assembled into a Virtual Resources Collection. We hope that you will find these resources useful for online learning situations. Other lesson plans are currently being adapted for online learning, so remember to revisit our website for additional resources.

Sarah Slack's Expedition Photos from Antarctica

Sarah Slack's Expedition Photos from Antarctica

Full resolution photos are now available online for PolarTREC educator Sarah Slack's 2020 expedition (part of the 2019-20 cohort) aboard the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer icebreaker in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica near Thwaites Glacier. The expedition took place from January 26th to March 26th, 2020.

2020 ARCUS Annual Meeting

Meeting announcement image.

The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) invites registration for the 2020 ARCUS Annual Meeting. This meeting will take place virtually on Thursday, 29 October 2020 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. AKDT.

The ARCUS Annual Meeting is an important opportunity for the Council of ARCUS Institutional Member Representatives, ARCUS Individual Members, and other members of the broader Arctic research community to connect with one another, the ARCUS Board of Directors, and staff.

The meeting will be open to all interested participants and there is no cost to attend.

ARCUS Virtual Backgrounds

One of the many virtual backgrounds available for downloading.

The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) supports a rich range of Arctic research, education, and communication activities. Our Polar Media Archive is a valuable resource that is home to over 20,000 beautiful photos from across the Arctic. Of these, we’re proud to present 30 handpicked images to serve as virtual meeting backgrounds.

MOSAiC Update

The Polarstern is visible on the horizon beyond a semi-frozen melt pond. Photo courtesy Lianna Nixon, 2020 (CIRES and AWI).

The MOSAiC expedition has met another milestone! On 29 July, researchers and expedition crew began the process of dismantling research equipment, loading it all back onto the Polarstern, and evacuating the ice camp. Want to read more about what happens next? Read educator Katie Gavenus' latest journal online.

New issue of Witness the Arctic

Witness the Arctic

If you haven't yet, check out the latest Witness the Arctic issue from Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). This issue includes updated news about the new NSF Director, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, updates from NSF’s Office of Polar Programs, summaries of recently released strategic plans from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), science articles about understanding circumpolar bear ceremonialism and about the changing carbon cycle of the Arctic Ocean, updates on the PolarTREC program and the Sea Ice Prediction Network–Phase 2 project, overviews of the first Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) Investigators Meeting and of the sixth annual APECS conference, comments from the ARCUS Executive Director, Board President, and other board members, and a highlight of ARCUS member institution, Kawerak, Inc. Enjoy!

New Lesson Plans Available


We are excited to announce new resources available through the PolarTREC website. Whether you are a classroom teacher looking for new lessons for next fall, or an informal science educator looking for new ideas to use with your audiences - PolarTREC has resources for you!

Recently Published:

Growing Up on Ice
In this STEM-based lesson, students analyze Weddell seal pup growth data, collected by the Growing Up on Ice, B-030, research team.

Don’t Clam Up - The Effect of Warming Seas on Respiration and Biomass
This lesson plan is designed to teach students about the importance of the benthic community in the shallow portions of the Arctic and how climate change may affect their respiration.

Jumping Into Warming Seas
This lesson introduces students to the impacts of increasing ocean temperatures on marine life.