Melissa Lau spent a month in the tundra ecosystem gathering data using a device called a Greenseeker. This device measures exactly how green a plant is by calculating its NDVI or Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. In this lesson, students will explore light waves, how they interact with plants, and find out how green is green.
This lesson investigates the effects of different insulators (fur and blubber) on maintaining the body temperature of polar animals. Water balloons filled with warm water simulate the marine mammal. The blubber insulator will be simulated by covering the balloon in vegetable shortening. The fur insulator will be simulated by placing another balloon over the “marine mammal” and adding an
Scientists are studying the effect of climate change on vegetation in the Alaskan tundra. In this activity, students will analyze data collected from control plots and plots with Open Top Chambers (OTC's) over them. An open-top chamber is like a tiny greenhouse that increases the temperature in a vegetation plot an average of 2-3 degrees, simulating the effects of
What does it take to run a research station on the least habitable continent, thousands of miles from civilization? For those interested in Antarctica (and McMurdo Station) these are really nice interactive 360 degree and 3-D (for VR) web pages. To get the really cool 3-D experience, you will want to use VR goggles. As a note of interest Elaine
Ice is a medium that nearly everyone is familiar with. We put it in drinks, skate on it for hockey and scrape it off our windshields in winter. Ice can be turned into sculptures and can even make for some fantastic winter scenery. Ice can also turn into a kaleidoscope of color and patterns under the right circumstances. Science
This lesson is intended to introduce students to the concept of using ice core samples to learn about the past. Students will be “collecting” a sample from a model of ice. They will then evaluate the sample to see how the layers change as the depth changes.
At the completion of this lesson, students will gain a greater
Operation IceBridge is an aerial survey that measures both land and sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic. There are many reasons to monitor the polar regions. The cryosphere is essential in helping to maintain global climate. One important reason is to investigate sea level rise. Land ice can cause sea levels to rise, when it melts, by adding
This lesson allows students to consider navigation around Antarctica, where longitudinal lines converge at South Pole. Through this study, students should learn about polar stereographic projection, satellites, navigation using various instruments, Antarctic geography, and NASA’s Operation IceBridge airborne mission. In the first part of this 55-80 minute lesson, students will be faced with a dilemma. Their task will be
Oftentimes called “ghost particles,” neutrinos can travel through nearly everything (the sun, the earth, you!) undetected. Because they are nearly massless, gravitational fields do not affect neutrinos; Similarly, because they are chargeless, electric and magnetic fields do not con affect neutrinos. This lack of interaction is advantageous for IceCube researchers – when they detect a neutrino, it is a
This lesson allows students to learn about the Arctic through a challenging question and answer game format. Inspired by experiences in the Hidden Ocean 2016: Chukchi Borderlands expedition, the game includes “careers”, “animals”, “equipment”, “climate change”, and “geography” components. The game may be used as a learning tool, a review tool, or an assessment tool.