Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: STEM at the Poles: Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating (Award# 1754290LA)

PI: Adamo, Lauren Neitzke (
Institute/Department: Rutgers University, Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ARE\TREC
Program Manager: Ms. Elizabeth Rom ( )
Discipline(s): | Education and Outreach |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) will administer and implement, "Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating (PolarTREC)", a program that selects U.S. teachers and informal educators and prepares them to participate in cutting-edge field research with polar scientists in various, and often remote, locations in the Arctic and Antarctica. Through hands-on field experiences, participating teachers (pre-service and in-service) and informal educators will improve teaching strategies, develop resources for their careers, and change how they teach STEM in the classroom and to the public. The project's goal is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing educators and polar researchers together in professional collaboration. By integrating research and education, PolarTREC will help sustain and grow the considerable scientific and public enthusiasm for polar research and education. Twelve teachers or informal educators will be recruited, selected, and matched with polar researchers. ARCUS will maintain a website for dissemination of information about the expeditions, provide orientation training for the teachers that includes field safety and communication training, provide travel support for the teachers to meet with scientists prior to deployments and for them to join the scientific expeditions in the field. Participants in the TREC will not only increase their knowledge of polar science and effective teaching practices, but also will develop long-term collaborative professional relationships with polar researchers and become part of an ever-growing educator network.

Logistics Summary:
PolarTREC teacher, Lauren Adamo, will join Dr. Neal Iverson's project (NSF grant 1660972) for approximately 2 weeks at the end of August in Valais Canton of Switzerland developing mathematical relationships needed to predict the sliding speeds of glaciers and ice sheets. The uncertainty of these relationships, called siding laws, introduces major uncertainty in the results of computer models aimed at predicting ice-sheet flow and associated sea-level rise. Improved sliding laws are developed by visiting forefields of seven receding glaciers in the Swiss Alps and measuring in detail the topography of their exposed former beds. This topography is then used as the basis for computer models of glacier sliding that allow sliding laws to be derived. The field site is not in a polar region but the team's work can help predict glacial change that may occur at the poles in the future.

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