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Woods Hole Research Center to lead undergraduate initiative in the Siberian Arctic
Date:10/2/2007

A new initiative at the Woods Hole Research Center known as the Polaris Project, led by Associate Scientist Max Holmes, will train future leaders in arctic research and education, and inform the public, both of which are essential given the rapid and profound changes underway in the Arctic in response to global warming. This work is being supported by a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, announced today.

According to Dr. Holmes, The Arctic is central to the global climate change issue, and Russia has by far the largest share of the Arctic. Yet few western scientists, much less students, ever get the chance to work in the Russian Arctic. This project will be a unique collaboration among students, educators, and scientists from distinct cultures working together to address a critically important scientific challenge.

The Polaris Project includes a field course and research experience for undergraduate students in the Siberian Arctic, several new arctic-focused undergraduate courses taught by project co-primary investigators (PIs) at their home institutions, the opportunity for those co-PIs to initiate research programs in the Siberian Arctic, and a wide range of outreach activities. (See graphic for a visual guide to the partnering institutions and outreach activities.) All project participants, both students and faculty, will visit kindergarten through Grade 12 classrooms to convey the excitement of polar research. Materials related to the project will be featured in the GoNorth curriculum, which is used in thousands of schools worldwide. The guiding scientific theme will be the transport and transformations of carbon and nutrients as they move with water from terrestrial uplands to the Arctic Ocean.

Holmes adds, A key factor in the success of this ambitious initiative will be the superb team of young scientists and educators that has been assembled from across the US and Russia. It is an interdisciplinary, cr
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Contact: Elizabeth Braun
ebraun@whrc.org
508-540-9900
Woods Hole Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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