This lesson will provide students with an opportunity to design and carry out an experiment that mimics the conditions causing accelerated ice melt along the face of the Thwaites Glacier off the southwest coast of Antarctica. Created by Sarah Slack during her expedition to Thwaites aboard the icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer, this activity aligns with the Science and Engineering
This is a STEM-based lesson that can be taught in class or online. Students will analyze Weddell seal pup growth data, collected by the Growing Up on Ice, B-030, research team. To use this lesson virtually, include the data cards and have students either construct graphs and upload an image of their graph, or construct a graph and share
Scientists in Siberia are seeing trends of more severe and widespread wildfires. Larch seeds are dispersed by wind. Experimentation is currently underway to determine distances larch seeds can disperse from viable, mature larch trees. Students will explore how various types of seeds are dispersed to get what they need to survive.
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
This activity was prepared by David Walker (LASA High School) and Rose Cory (University of Michigan), based on work conducted at Toolik Field Station in Alaska. The purpose is to introduce students to Van Krevelen diagrams, which are used to interpret results of high resolution mass spectrometry and characterize the compound classes present in complex organic mixtures. Students will
In this activity, students will use data collected about two male arctic ground squirrels by researchers at Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska. Each squirrel had a lightlogger to record light intensity (lux) and an implanted data logger to record internal body temperature (°C). Students work individually or in pairs to analyze the data sets and interpret the results
This lesson is intended to help students make connections to polar science while discovering how and why sea ice drives deep ocean currents. Students will also learn key terminology related to sea ice and using actual salinity content charts, will graph a typical sea ice core’s salinity as it relates to depth.