Biospheric Sciences Branch Special Seminar

University of Alaska Fairbanks and National Science Foundation
Increasing Our Understanding of the Polar Regions and Raising Awareness of their Global Importance Elena Sparrow, Director of Education and Outreach of the International Arctic Research Center and the Center for Global Change at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Martin Jeffries, Program Director for the Arctic Observing Network, National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs No, polar scientists do not have trouble with mathematics. The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2009 really is a two-year event, because there are two polar regions and their seasons are six months out-of-phase. IPY 2007-2009, which begins on 1 March 2007 and ends on 1 March 2009, is the fourth and most ambitious IPY to date. In this talk we will give a brief overview of the history of the IPYs, which date back to 1882-83, before moving on to describe the scope of IPY 2007-2009. Unlike previous IPYs, which focused on the physical sciences, IPY 2007-2009 also includes a large number of biological science and human dimensions projects. Moreover, IPY 2007-2009 recognizes the importance of education as a means to raise awareness of the global importance of the polar regions, to communicate the excitement and relevance of polar science, and to develop a new generation of polar researchers, professionals and scientifically-literate citizens. IPY 2007-2009 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for polar scientists to place their research and education at the forefront of the global science and the public's imagination. The Seasons and Biomes Project is an inquiry- and project- based initiative and IPY education project that monitors sea¬sons, specifically their interannual variability, in order to increase K-12 students' understanding of the Earth system. Seasons and Biomes connects GLOBE students, teachers, and communities, with educators and scientists from the International Arctic Research Center (IARC), NASA Landsat Data Continuity (LDCM), and Terra Satellite Missions. For more information, contact Elissa Levine (4-6654) or Jessica Robin (4-6636)