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. One of the dominant benthic animals in the Arctic, the bivalve Macoma sp., is an important food source for higher trophic level organisms such as walrus and Spectacled Eiders
This lesson plan is designed to teach students about benthic biodiversity in the Arctic by analyzing data from the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO). Although you can’t see them from the surface, the organisms found on the ocean floor are important indicators of ecosystem health and provide information about productivity. Students will explore sites throughout the Bering and Chukchi Seas
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.
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
This lesson plan transports students to two field sites outside of Fairbanks, Alaska to investigate the interconnected relationships between climate change and permafrost. Students will use authentic field data from site photographs, soil temperature, and thaw depth measurements to draw inferences. An ESRI StoryMap, faux field journal, and 360 site images are used to engage students in the inquiry
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 was created by 2017 PolarTREC teacher Steve Kirsche who took part in the Dynamic Observations of the Microstructural Evolution of Firn expedition. The lesson is intended to introduce students to the concepts of isostasy and postglacial rebound through a demonstration and related instruction. Students will then see how postglacial rebound is an important factor when assessing the