Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: IPY: Improving the Public's Understanding of Polar Research Through Hands-On Fellowships for Science Journalists in the Arctic and Antarctic (Award# 0732955)

PI: Neill, Christopher (
Phone: (508) 289.7481 
Institute/Department: Marine Biological Laboratory, The Ecosystems Center 
IPY Project? YES
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\EHR\DRL
Program Manager: Dr. Sandra Welch (
Discipline(s): | Education and Outreach |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
Science journalists play a vital role in society by translating the conduct and results of science to the general public, but few have formal training in science or have direct experience conducting scientific research. This grant funds a program for science journalists to increase and improve the reporting of the science of polar environmental change. Modeled after the highly successful science journalism program run by the Marine Biological Laboratory since 1986, it will send 30 science journalists to the Arctic and ten journalists to Antarctica over three years to study and experience polar research in an intensive, hands-on manner. (This database focuses on the project’s arctic work.) The arctic portion of the program has two main components: a week-long Polar Hands-On course at the Toolik Field Station in Alaska during which the journalists conduct science; and a one-week period during which journalists will be teamed to work with polar research scientists. Journalists will submit regular dispatches about their work in the form of a Polar Science Blog and will produce stories about their experience.

Logistics Summary:
Over the course of three years, this grant will fund the participation of some 30 mid-career science journalists in a program to study and experience polar research in an intensive, hands-on manner. During each of three consecutive field seasons beginning in early June 2008, a group of 10 journalists selected to be “Polar Fellows” will participate in a week-long Polar Hands-On Laboratory course at Toolik Field Station in Alaska. The course will focus on teaching journalists about key science questions in polar research; it will also give them personal experience with the unique attributes and challenges of polar research, especially as it addresses the profound physical and ecological changes taking place in the Earth’s high-latitude regions. The principal investigator for the Science Journalism Program will oversee this fellowship program. The Polar Fellows will next spend about a week at Toolik during which, based on their specific interests, they will work side-by-side with LTER research scientists in the field and laboratory.

For each field season, CPS will pay for Toolik Field Station user days and provide helicopter support of up to 2 hours/year to visit remote research sites. IAB will provide access to infrastructure and support services at the station.The PI will arrange and pay for all other support through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2008Alaska - Toolik06 / 22 / 2008 07 / 12 / 200813
2009Alaska - Toolik14
2010Alaska - Toolik06 / 20 / 2010 08 / 11 / 201012

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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "0732955", IPY = "ALL" 
     Number of projects returned based on your query parameters = 1