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2 The Human Element in International Polar Year 2007-2008 T even in the geophysical sciences.1 But the rapid and he wide-ranging and significant achievements of International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY ) dramatic changes in the polar regions sparked both required the enterprise and commitment of concerns about the future of the planet and the inquisi- myriad scientists, students, educators, local residents, tiveness of scientists from many disciplines, attracting logistics staff, program managers, and supporters—an them to investigate the many challenging scientific estimated total of 50,000 people worldwide. They questions associated with these changes. The result planned and executed the IPY programs and their was a measurable increase in the number of scientists direct interactions with the stakeholders and the gen- conducting polar research. eral public brought IPY to life. One indicator of growth during and immediately From the beginning, a major objective of IPY after IPY is the increase in U.S. and international mem- was to invest in “people”—that is, to expand human bership of the International Glaciological Society (IGS; capacity in the quest for new scientific knowledge. Figure 2.2). IGS represents scientists who research ice This goal included increasing the numbers of current in any form (including at mid- or low latitudes as well and future polar researchers (Figure 2.1) and inte- as interplanetary ice), but the overwhelming majority grating stakeholders in polar research, particularly are involved in polar research. polar residents. A similar trend is evident in the membership of the A further major objective, strongly stated in the Cryospheric Sciences Focus Group, one of the newest U.S. IPY Vision Report (NRC, 2004), was the creation in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) (Figure of new connections between science and the public. 2.2). In 2003 and 2004, the AGU convened multiple The aim was effective communication of the physical sessions related to IPY at its annual meeting to engage and social polar sciences to increase understanding of the community and communicate IPY planning in the the function of the poles in global systems. Efforts to United States. achieve this goal engaged scientists, educators, and the IPY contributed to a growing trend toward inter- media through a variety of innovative education and national collaboration for polar science, thus marking outreach programs. 1 There were 1,057 members of the American Geophysical Union who in 2010 identified the Cryospheric section of AGU as EXPANDING THE POLAR RESEARCH their primary affiliation. Since 2001, membership in this section COMMUNITY has increased slightly faster than the AGU membership as a whole. Cryospheric section members were 1.2% of AGU membership and U.S. and international polar scientists represent only are now 1.7% of total AGU membership as of 2011 (Anne Nolin, a small fraction of the broader scientific community, Oregon State University, personal communication). 15
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16 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 A C B FIGURE 2.1 Data from ARMAP (Arctic Research Mapping Application) showing (A) the total number of NSF-funded field projects in the Arctic between 2000 and 2011, (B) the geographical distribution of those projects, and (C) the breakdown by discipline of the projects identified as IPY projects (of the 1,407 projects between 2000 and 2011, 188 were recognized by the National Science Foundation [NSF] as IPY projects). Most disciplines experienced a pulse of activity during IPY, especially in education and outreach; data management; and legacy projects, but there is evidence of a recent decline in the number of active projects in many regions and disciplines. Note that the ARMAP database includes only NSF-funded Arctic projects with a field-based component, so not all modeling or remote sensing projects are included. These graphics are intended to be representative of IPY efforts; they do not show the complete data for all of IPY. SOURCES: Craig Tweedie, University of Texas at El Paso; and http://www.armap.org.
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17 THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 a radical departure from the previous polar/geophysical 3000 years, when most of the efforts were national in scope, 2500 logistics, and funding. The United States has been a APECS Membership global leader in polar research for years (Aksnes and 2000 Hessen, 2009)2 and is by far the largest contributor to research in both the Arctic and the Antarctic (fol- 1500 lowed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, 1000 Norway, and Russia). IPY projects thus benefited from substantial U.S. participation and leadership. IPY’s focus 500 on international partnerships motivated many research- ers to expand their collaborations with scientists with 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 similar interests in other nations. For an IPY project to receive ICSU-WMO endorsement, teams were required 800 to include members from several nations. This cardinal feature gave IPY efforts an internationally recognized imprimatur and encouraged the leveraging of multina- IGS Membership 700 tional infrastructure and intellectual assets, thus increas- ing the impact and capability of the project teams. Measures to fuse international research teams 600 into larger groupings addressing closely related topics were adopted by the IPY Joint Committee ( JC) and International Programme Office (IPO) early in the planning process. In 2005 the IPO worked with the 500 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 JC in a transparent process to collect and review more than 1,000 Expressions of Intent (short descriptions of 3000 proposed projects) and urged contributors to partner AGU Cryosphere Membership 2500 with other teams for larger or coordinated ventures. These Expressions of Intent eventually became 422 2000 Primary full proposals with broader focus and larger team size, Secondary and of these, 228 were recommended for implementa- 1500 tion as “endorsed international projects” (Krupnik et 1000 al., 20113), including a number of large-scale inter- national initiatives engaging scientists from multiple 500 nations. Many projects featured particularly strong U.S. involvement, among them the Integrated Arctic 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Ocean Observing System (iAOOS4); Polar Study using Year Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and FIGURE 2.2 The membership of polar professional associations grew during IPY. Shaded region represents the official time 2 Aksnes and Hessen (2009) examine the period 1981-2007; period of IPY (March 2007 to March 2009). Top: Association there is an updated publication in preparation that examines more of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) membership. Middle: recent data including the IPY time period; the relative contributions Membership of the International Glaciological Society (IGS); the of the countries listed here are unchanged (Dag Aksnes, Nordic 2011 value includes members through August 2011. Bottom: Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research, and Education, per- Membership of the Cryosphere Focus Group of the American sonal communication). Geophysical Union. SOURCES: Data from Jenny Baeseman, 3 Understanding Earth’s Polar Challenges: International Polar Year APECS (top); Magnús Magnússon, IGS Office (middle); Anne 2007-2008 (Krupnik et al., 2011), is a summary report of IPY Nolin, Oregon State University (bottom). activities written by the JC. It includes coverage of IPY history as well as a broad overview of international contributions during IPY 2007-2008. 4 http://aosb.arcticportal.org/programs.html.
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18 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Trans- case at large-scale international gatherings such as the port (POLARCAT 5); GEOTRACES 6; Census of AGU and European Geosciences Union meetings, Antarctic Marine Life (CAML7); Circumpolar Biodi- the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and versity Monitoring Program (CBMP8); Arctic Human the International Arctic Science Committee “open Health Initiative (AHHI9); Antarctica’s Gamburtsev science” conferences, and the two major IPY confer- Province Project (AGAP 10); and Norwegian-U.S. ences in 2008 in St. Petersburg and 2010 in Oslo, each Traverse of East Antarctica.11 (See Chapter 3 for more of which engaged several thousand participants from information.) In addition, the United States funded many nations. IPY-relevant projects from national IPY solicitations that were not submitted to the JC vetting process. TRAINING YOUNG SCIENTISTS Later in this chapter, a section on Diversity in the Polar Research Community highlights the sharp con- Most of the science funded by the United States trast in the participation of women since the IGY in for IPY efforts included support for graduate or under- 1957-1958: the number of female principal investiga- graduate students, who worked closely with students tors has increased in the United States over the past 10 and faculty from other nations and became central play- years and, whereas U.S. women were virtually absent ers in both national and international projects. They from the IGY effort, they held strong leadership posi- were also involved in outreach, learning the importance tions in all phases of the recent IPY. of communicating science to a broader audience. Many IPY was tremendously important for engaging of the projects focused on the Arctic created direct with Arctic communities, including capacity building connections between the students and residents of the in areas with little previous experience in polar research region, affording the students a true appreciation of (Krupnik et al., 2011). One major result was a sea the capabilities and experiences of residents and their change in the degree of engagement and active partici- adaptations to climate change. pation of polar residents and indigenous peoples (see An example of an IPY activity that facilitated inter- below and Chapter 5). Arctic residents participated in disciplinary relationships among the new generation many IPY events, resulting in a sharing of observations of polar researchers was the NSF-funded Next Gen- and interpretations with scientists who often study eration Polar Research Symposium in 2008 (Weiler et the poles remotely or visit briefly during the summer. al., 2008). This symposium enabled a diverse group of These expanded avenues of collegial interaction during scientists new to the polar community to interact with IPY offered both polar researchers and Arctic residents both active and retired polar scientists and thus pro- more new and varied opportunities to enhance their vided a new generation with a common sense of history understanding of the Arctic. and research connections for the future. In addition to connections among scientists Another avenue of student participation was the University of the Arctic,12 a network of higher-educa- e ngaged in research, IPY outreach activities and special sessions at scientific meetings fostered com- tion institutions and organizations established in 2001 munication and association. New levels of interaction to promote knowledge, research, and sustainability in inevitably developed as a result of scientists present- the North. The network consists of over 130 member ing their stories and results to audiences at numer- organizations across 8 nations and offers Arctic-focused ous scientific, education, and outreach meetings over courses and joint programs, often in partnership with the almost 8-year-long period of IPY planning and indigenous peoples, and its membership and student implementation (2003-2010). This was certainly the enrollment have steadily increased since its inception. Its importance was evident during IPY as it helped to 5 www.polarcat.no/. coordinate education and outreach activities associated 6 www.geotraces.org/. with international research projects. 7 www.caml.aq/. 8 http://caff.is/monitoring. 9 www.arctichealth.org/ahhi/. 10 www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/gambit/. 11 http://traverse.npolar.no/introduction. 12 www.uarctic.org.
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19 THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 thrived as creativity and energy are replenished, making An outstanding success of IPY was the establish- it one of the most vibrant legacies of IPY. APECS is ment in 2006 of the Association of Polar Early Career a model to inspire youth to consider the exciting and Scientists (APECS13). Sparked by a small core of rewarding potential of a polar research career. enthusiastic and imaginative young polar scientists and a supportive IPO, the group made the most of the quick and effective social networking tools that are especially INCREASING DIVERSITY familiar to the young in this era of global electronic The polar research community has never been communications. APECS has already become “the pre- particularly diverse—50 years ago, planning for U.S. eminent international organization for polar research- efforts in the IGY was carried out by an all-male com- ers at the beginning or early stages of their careers.”14 mittee. In contrast, women had strong leadership roles This self-started activity so fully addressed the IPY in planning U.S. involvement in IPY 2007-2008. There objective of engaging young scientists in polar research was a female director of the Polar Research Board that APECS developed its own early-career program (PRB), a female chair of the PRB during most of the and integrated it into the overall suite of IPY activities. IPY years, and a female chair of the U.S. National APECS achievements during IPY included the Committee for IPY Vision (NRC, 2004). creation of an international and interdisciplinary net- Similarly, a significant difference between IPY work for early career polar scientists to share ideas, 2007-2008 and its predecessors was the participation develop new research directions, and form collabora- of women in project leadership and participation—an tions; promotion of education and outreach as inte- increase from almost no female leads during IGY to gral components of polar research to stimulate future around one-fourth during IPY. As shown in Table 2.1, generations of polar researchers; and arrangement during the 10 years from 1999 to 2009, the number of of opportunities for professional career development female project leaders increased by 10 percent, with an through webinars, workshops, and session leadership at overall increase of 6 percent during that period in women symposia. Indeed, the participation of APECS mem- among principal and coprincipal investigators. Despite bers among the speakers, planners, and session cochairs recent developments, women and indigenous peoples of major IPY-related meetings became essential. in particular remain underrepresented.15 APECS has grown at an extraordinary rate, to a The research community remains far less diverse in total of 2,652 members from 45 countries as of July 2011 terms of race and ethnicity, but IPY offered an excellent (Figure 2.2); nearly 20 percent (499) of APECS mem- opportunity to increase diversity through the involve- bers are in the United States. APECS receives increas- ment of graduate and undergraduate students in the ing support and endorsement from many international science programs (Figure 2.3). For example, the Dart- organizations. Importantly, the association has not only mouth College NSF-funded IGERT (Interdisciplinary survived the rapidly changing careers of its leadership but TABLE 2.1 NSF/OPP Grant Recipients by Gender, 1997-1999 and 2007-2009 PI Co-PI Total Total Male Female Total Male Female Male Female 1997-99 742 84% 16% 330 76% 24% 82% 18% 2007-09 1051 74% 26% 521 79% 21% 76% 24% NOTE: To assess the participation of women in IPY, projects supported by the NSF Office of Polar Programs (OPP) were targeted as a representative sample. Note that these may include education and outreach as well as research projects supported by OPP. Grant recipients were categorized by gender in both 1997-1999 (n=1072) and 2007-2009 (n=1572), by denoting gender-obvious names (e.g., “John” = male; “Clara” = female) and researching and clarifying the remaining names. Genders were thus determined for more than 99 percent of principal investigator (PI) names. SOURCE: Data from http:// www.nsf.gov. 13www.apecs.is/. 14 15 Jenny Baeseman, APECS Director, personal communication, www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/polar_workshop/strategies/com- 2011. munities.html.
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20 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 ENGAGING POLAR RESIDENTS AND BUILDING COMMUNITY CAPACITY IPY represented a sea change in bringing Arctic residents and indigenous peoples into polar research. Both constituencies were valuable contributing mem- bers to IPY activities by virtue of their expert knowl- edge of local environments and their involvement in IPY data collection, local observations, and education and outreach activities. Many IPY projects encouraged this trend through grants that fostered collaboration with indigenous people and through student training about the impor- tance of local communities and of good communication FIGURE 2.3 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field engineer Beth with people living in the Arctic. This was a particularly Burthon (left) and graduate student Adrienne Block (right) from notable aspect of IPY as Arctic residents had little if Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory analyze data in the field any role in the earlier IGY/IPYs, whereas in IPY 2007- as part of Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Province project. SOURCE: 2008 they launched or led four projects and were active Robin Bell. in more than 20 others (Gofman and Dickson, 2011). Graduate Education, Research, and Training) program Also of particular importance was the participation of on Polar Environmental Change, which started during indigenous experts—elders, hunters, reindeer herders, IPY in partnership with Greenlander Aqqaluk Lynge and others—as long-time environmental monitors and the Inuit Circumpolar Council of Greenland, was and researchers in several IPY projects, such as Sea Ice successful in recruiting minorities to this interdisci- Knowledge and Use (Krupnik et al., 2010b), the Ber- plinary PhD program; among others, a female Native ing Sea Sub-Network (BSSN18), EALÁT (Reindeer American biologist and black female electrical engineer Herders Vulnerability Network Study19), and others. are completing their PhD degrees. Another example IPY promoted the practice of returning usable data is the Research and Educational Opportunities in to communities (see section in Chapter 5 on “Providing Antarctica for Minorities (IPY-ROAM) program,16 Critical Information to Users and Decision Makers”). in which university students and high school teachers Furthermore, for the first time IPY data were collected travel to Antarctica and learn firsthand about research and disseminated in indigenous languages: Inuit (Inuk- in the field. titut, Kalaallit, Iñupiaq, Yup’ik, and Yupik), Gwich’in, Some IPY outreach activities specifically targeted Sámi, Chukchi, Sakha, and Nenents. Also for the first certain audiences to deliver the message that polar time, IPY activities documented and supported indig- research is an equal-opportunity career choice. Of par- enous languages and knowledge in the Arctic regions, ticular note was the 2008 National Annual Conference including endangered Native languages (in Alaska), of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and knowledge of marine animals, terrestrial animals, and Native Americans in Science titled “International Polar sea ice (funded by NSF and the National Park Service Year: Global Change in Our Communities.”17 The [NPS]). meeting, which resulted from the determined efforts These successes were despite the fact that few if of the IPO, enabled an important dialogue among any indigenous representatives were active on the IPY Native Elders, students, and polar scientists from many governing bodies at either the international or national disciplines about the health of the poles, polar peoples, level (Krupnik et al., 2011). Also, the impact of IPY global climate concerns, and ways to make positive was very uneven across polar communities. Some (e.g., contributions to the sustainability of the planet. Barrow, Togiak, and Gambell in Alaska; Igloolik, 16 18 http://ipyroam.utep.edu/. http://www.bssn.net/. http://www.arcticportal.org/en/icr/ealat. 17 19 http://sacnas.org/about/stories/tek.
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21 THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 Clyde River, and Iqaluit in Canada; and Kautokeino in In the United States, “Polar Weekend” science fairs Norway) were actively engaged and informed, whereas provided a forum for polar researchers, educators, and many more had sporadic or ad hoc access to IPY performers to engage with a public audience through information and resources. This is a valuable lesson for hands-on displays and presentations. There were three future planning. such events in New York at the American Museum of U.S. scientists, together with their colleagues from Natural History (2007, 2008, 2009, with more than Canada, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Greenland, were 12,000 visitors) and two in Baltimore at the Maryland at the forefront of partnerships with polar residents, as Science Center (2009, 2010). Each fair involved about almost a dozen U.S. IPY projects funded by NSF, the 100 presenters/volunteers representing about 30 insti- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tutions. Recurring Polar Weekends were also held in (NOAA), USGS, NPS, and other agencies engaged Seattle, Washington, and Fairbanks, Alaska; and spo- northern residents and indigenous people in data col- radically at other locations including Kansas, Michigan, lection and other research activities. Research grants and Illinois. Surveys indicated that the public strongly to nonacademic groups further expanded and diversi- valued these face-to-face interdisciplinary programs. fied the body of polar researchers during IPY.20 Such By engaging participants in developing presentations, grants were fairly unusual for the NSF OPP, and the activities, and resources for the general public, these committee applauds the OPP for thus enabling orga- fairs also built the capacity of polar researchers to nizations that had longstanding relationships with local become active and articulate spokespeople during IPY communities to conduct some IPY activities, including and beyond. A large proportion of the participants (46 targeted workshops, websites, webinars, exhibits, popu- percent) indicated that “communicating with the public is now something I consider part of my career.”23 lar books, performance art, teacher training, and public programs. Several activities targeted families and chil- The Exploratorium, a museum in San Francisco, dren with the aim of exciting future generations in polar put the power of the camera and written word into research and showing parents what was being learned the hands of researchers in producing “Ice Stories,” an and why it mattered. Examples of these programs online resource that engaged the public in the adven- include “Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: Integrating tures of polar researchers in their pursuit of scientific Literacy and the IPY in the K-5 Classroom” at Ohio discoveries. Two years of webcasts from the Arctic State University, and “Penguins Teaching the Science and Antarctic provided an “up close and personal” of Climate Change” by Harvey Associates.21 look intended to help the public relate to science and In addition to special events for different audi- scientists. ences (e.g., the general public, government officials, Of the myriad IPY outreach activities, the jointly educators, schoolchildren, and nongovernmental orga- funded NSF and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Polar-Palooza24 project had nizations), IPY featured broadscale public activities, starting from its official opening in March 2007. Most a particularly high public profile. Its cadre of 34 polar notable were seven online “International Polar Days”22 scientists and Arctic spokespeople performed at 24 (some of which actually lasted a full week) that featured museums and science centers across the United States IPY activities about sea ice (September 2007), ice sheets before extending the group’s reach to venues in Argen- (December 2007), changing Earth (March 2008), land tina, Australia, Brazil, China, Norway, and Russia, and and life ( June 2008), people (September 2008), outer the podcasts and online activities and materials were space (December 2008), and polar oceans and marine used in many more countries. life (March 2009). Two polar weeks in October 2009 Polar-Palooza’s “Stories from a Changing Planet” and March 2010 focused on community building. consisted of a professionally produced stage show with exciting music and stunning photography as a backdrop against which scientists and Arctic residents presented 20 http://www.nsf.gov/od/opp/ipy/awds_lists/final_awrds_lists/ ipy_awrds_rev02032011.pdf. 21 h ttp:// www.nsf.gov/od/opp/ipy/awds_lists/2010_awds/ehr_ 23 Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College, personal communica- tion, 2011. awds.jsp. 22 http://ipy.arcticportal.org/feature/item/1113. 24 http://passporttoknowledge.com/polar-palooza.
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22 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 important scientific data and compelling research. and/or the outreach activities and events. Under the guidance of Polar-Palooza staff working with them These efforts complemented academic programs to both in advance and “‘on-the-fly,”‘ the . . . presentations train students to work with local communities. Even- and the multimedia framework of graphics and high- tually, the combination of these two efforts should definition video formed an engaging and coherent continue to benefit both research and local polar com- whole for most respondents. (Perry and Gyllenhaal, munities, promoting not only more rigorous research 2010) methods but also greater communication, trust, and collaboration between the two communities. Although the IPY community receives admiration and acclamation for its collective accomplishments in education and outreach, it has been suggested that more COMMUNICATING WITH THE PUBLIC tangible means for professional recognition need to be Extensive outreach and communication of science developed (Salmon et al., 2011). What the research results to the public were a priority objective of U.S. community learned, in return for their efforts, is that IPY activities (NRC, 2004). As a result, each project the human dimension is essential not only in the con- had to include outreach and education activities as duct of science but also in its communication. Partici- a condition of endorsement. In addition, 57 of the pant feedback repeatedly indicated that the adventure international IPY projects (out of more than 228 total) of the endeavors, the importance of the science, and the specifically focused on communicating IPY science to thrill of discovery were essential to engaging the public. the broader science community, students, educators, policymakers, and general public in a variety of personal PROVIDING RESOURCES experiences (Figure 2.4). The show enabled face-to- FOR TEACHERS face discussions between Arctic residents experiencing the undeniable impacts of climate change and midlati- The effort of informing teachers and other educa- tude citizens for whom the concept of climate change tors about polar science can have long-term benefits, was still difficult to comprehend. The opportunity and IPY included a number of programs that engaged to meet a polar researcher “in the flesh,” to hold the teachers. IPY scientists worked with the National tools used, and to see a real ice core were all power- Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to reach sci- ful methods of engagement.25 The stage shows were ence teachers around the world. NSTA coordinated often accompanied by additional pole-related activities several symposia (face-to-face workshops) at their in local museums and visits to schools to further the area and national conferences, and many teachers said engagement of polar researchers with public audiences, that direct access to scientists was one of the most educators, and schoolchildren. exciting and valuable features of the programs. NSTA Formal outreach activities included organizer and also worked with representatives of multiple federal participant evaluations to quantify their effectiveness. agencies (NASA, NOAA, and NSF) and produced These assessments showed that many outreach activi- effective web seminars (webinars) using the associa- ties were successful in informing their audiences of the tion’s expertise, access to a network of 400,000 science seriousness of observed changes in polar and global teachers, and portal (the NSTA Learning Center). Of climate and of the role of polar research in support- enduring benefit are dozens of webinar archives and ing those conclusions (Perry and Gyllenhaal, 2010). podcasts that are available to all teachers free of charge According to the assessment report for Polar-Palooza, and on demand via the Learning Center—“evergreen” productions that teachers consume on a regular basis. There were strong indications that the Polar-Palooza Science teachers can use these resources for years to model of using real scientists and Alaska Natives as come to inform students, illuminate the human dimen- presenters worked very well for most Polar-Palooza sion of polar research (e.g., by talking about science audience members, whether they attended and par- careers), and hence increase the human capacity of ticipated in the presentations, the educator workshops, polar research. 25 http://ipy.arcticportal.org/feature/item/1113.
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23 THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 FIGURE 2.4 Photos from Polar-Palooza events. Top left: Mary Albert explains carbon dioxide and temperature data from the Vostok ice core. Middle left: Audience at a Polar-Palooza Event. Bottom left: Graduate student Atsu Muto describes the archiving of ancient atmospheres in bubbles in the polar ice sheets to local citizens. Right: Polar biologist Dr. Michael Castellini assists a ìmid- latitude penguinî in answering questions from the audience at the Polar-Palooza event in Fort Worth, Texas. SOURCES: Geoffrey H aines-Stiles and Polar-Palooza website ( http://passport toknowledge.com/polar-palooza). Prepared teaching lesson plans that explicitly education event for teachers at the IPY Oslo Science Conference in 2010.26 address national science standards and other curriculum requirements were made available to teachers. Many of A science education initiative that reached large the larger IPY science programs included an education numbers of teachers and their students in the United and outreach office to create materials for teachers. States and other countries was Monitoring Seasons One such program is Antarctic Geological Drilling through Global Learning Communities, also called (ANDRILL), which created a variety of programs and G LOBE (Global Learning and Observations to activities for teachers during the IPY years as well as an 26 http://www.andrill.org/education.
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24 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 MAINTAINING AND INCREASING Benefit the Environment) Seasons and Biomes.27 This HUMAN CAPACITY inquiry-based project monitors seasons, and specifi- cally their interannual variability, to increase students’ IPY invested heavily in the development of younger understanding of the Earth system (its focus has pro- scholars, partnerships with polar residents, training of gressed from the tundra and taiga biomes to temperate, school teachers and students, and outreach to the gen- tropical, and subtropical forests, grasslands, savannahs, eral public, all with the goal of increasing the human and shrublands). It links students, teachers, scientists, capacity of polar science. There is early evidence that citizens, and local experts in more than 50 countries. these “people-focused” IPY activities were positively Seasons and Biomes has conducted 32 professional received and will support further efforts to inform and development workshops for 600 educators and sci- engage the public in polar issues. Continuing efforts entists, and those who have been trained conducted may build on the fact that polar research yields impor- an additional 23 workshops for 436 teachers and 20 tant results that are of interest to the public as a useful preservice teachers, reaching more than 1,000 educa- source of information about large-scale climate changes tors and an estimated total of 20,000 students from all and their societal impacts. Whether in the physical or over the world. social sciences, human health or public policy, there is a PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring lot of information of use to diverse audiences. The need and Collaborating) is an NSF-sponsored program that for experts in all these fields to investigate, understand, pairs K-12 public school teachers with scientists work- and respond to change is imperative. ing in the field in the Arctic and Antarctic. The teach- Follow-up studies are the only certain means to ers participate in a science field team in the Arctic or track the staying power of the many IPY outreach Antarctic and relay their experiences and adventures to efforts. Decadal or half-decadal surveys of indicators— students at home and around the world through blogs such as the number of active researchers in various and webinars. Once the field season ends, the research- disciplines, number of polar residents and communi- ers traveled to the teachers’ schools to make presenta- ties partnering with scientists, and public knowledge tions about the science and talk with the students. of polar-related issues—would be very useful to the D uring IPY, PolarTREC enabled 48 teachers long-term assessment of IPY. (from elementary through high school) to engage approximately 5,000 students in polar research activi- CONCLUSIONS ties.28 Students and teachers alike reported an increase in their understanding of the polar regions and of The committee identified the following positive scientific processes and practices after the PolarTREC outcomes of IPY efforts designed to engage the public experience. Similarly, scientists that participated in and build human capacity for polar research: the program found that they were able to better com- municate science to a K-12 audience. The PolarTREC • The emergence of the young scientists’ peer net- website29 serves as an archive of webinars and other work APECS, which provided a means for early career resources for classroom activities. scientists in various countries to share ideas, develop new research directions, and form collaborations; • The University of the Arctic, a network of higher-education institutions and organizations, helped to coordinate education and outreach activities internationally; • Major increases in the numbers of researchers, women, and polar residents actively involved in polar 27 http://classic.ipy.org/development/eoi/details.php?id=278. 28 www.polartrec.com/expeditions/prehistoric-human-response-to- research; climate-change-2010. • A significant expansion of collegial links 29 www.polartrec.com. between experienced and new polar researchers, which
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25 THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 in turn benefited the creation of complex international national standards for education and provided a long- projects; term repository of resources and activities; and • A new era of extensive and effective outreach • A new impetus to engage educators in teaching and educational activities, in which polar science polar sciences, and to use polar science to draw students garnered increased attention and was enthusiastically into science more broadly, matched by an increased received; level of activity in the polar research community to • The engagement with and inspiration of teach- meet the needs of teachers and their students. ers by polar scientists through the extensive network of teachers associated with the NSTA, as well as the The education and outreach efforts during IPY legacy of webinars and classroom materials that met raised the bar for the quality of scientist interactions with teachers, students, and the public in ways that increase public understanding of science. Continued funding for strong and effective outreach activities such as those described in this section is critical to continued public engagement in and understanding of polar science.
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