Author Archive

  • Examining Core

    Last Minute Tree Sampling

    Over the last two days, many of us accompanied the researchers out to collect any nonpermanent sampling equipment, place long-term equipment to gather data over the next year until the Polaris Project returns, and take any final samples.
  • Scott Zolkos in snow

    Parting Shots – A Cold, Windy, Snowy Day

    It is never far from winter here, but it is always beautiful. Although everyone is working hard to cleanup in preparation of tomorrow’s departure, it is with mixed emotions that we will leave.
  • Three Eagle Scouts hold a Pleistocene bison skull

    Polaris Project Student Research – Seth Spawn (St. Olaf College)

    This morning, I went out with Seth and Dr. Karen Frey of Clark University to take the last few samples of Seth’s experiment and to collect an ingenious sampling platform of Seth’s creation that held bags of water at various depths for a week so the photodegradation at each level can be determined and compared.
  • Sam and Dr. Karen Frey on Lake

    Student Research – Eric Taber (Colgate College) and Sam Berman (Clark University)

    To me as a teacher, one of the most rewarding aspects of the Polaris Program is watching mentoring relationships develop between students and researchers from the same university. Taking education out of the confines of the university and into the field, raises the level of thinking and problem solving beyond what can be accomplished in traditional settings.
  • Maddie LaRue

    5th Annual Polaris Project Symposium.

    Last evening, the undergraduate and graduate students of the Polaris Project presented the results of their research at the 5th Annual Polaris Project Symposium. To do this, we transformed the dining hall of Orbita into a conference center. Each of these 15 students presented their research for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions and answers.
  • Peter Gazlin and Bradi Jo Petronio

    Student Research – Brandi Jo Petronio and Peter Ganzlin (University of Florida)

    Peter and Brandi Jo tell me that in order to understand the value of their research it is important to know that the excellent insulating properties of the thick moss layers have a large impact on how deeply the permafrost soils thaw in the summer months, and consequently, how much stored carbon may be released into the environment.
  • cotton grass

    North to the Windy Tundra

    For our final large group adventure, we headed north at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, our Barge being pushed by a tugboat in a similar fashion to our trip to Duvannyi Yar. This time, our goal was to visit and take samples from the tundra ecosystem and up to the mouth of the Kolyma River to the Arctic Ocean.
  • Student Research – Lindsey Parkinson and Dylan Broderick

    The university students of the Polaris Project each work on independent projects. Periodically, I will share the stories of these remarkable young people... Featuring Lindsey Parkinson and Dylan Broderick.
  • Pleistocene Part workers house

    Life at Pleistocene Park

    As the cold weather blew in, we stopped drilling for a couple of days and headed back to the Northeast Science Station, I pause to reflect at the tough life of the workers in the wilderness that surrounds Pleistocene Park.
  • The pattern of silt and ice in one permafrost core.

    Two Tales of Drilling in Pleistocene Park

    The interesting part of fieldwork is that, as we begin to collecting the data, we have also collected some interesting stories.
  • Wild horses getting a dietary supplement.

    Pleistocene Park

    What was it like to live in the time of the mammoths? How was the environment different then? What animals lived then, and what was their ecosystem like?
  • Eugene models the glasses connected to the helicopter’s camera.

    A New View on the Environment

    As scientists, sometimes we need a bigger picture to understand what is happening.
  • Ludda begins the process of dissolving one of her many organic soil samples.

    Highlight on Student Research – Ludda Ludwig of St. Olaf College

    Ludda’s research is looking at the rate that the microbes in the soil respond after these different types of burns by looking at enzyme activity in the soil.
  • Vasily Lebedev and Dr. Karen Frey boat out to the sampling site on Shuch’ye Lake.

    Highlight on Student Research – Vasily Lebedev

    The university students of the Polaris Project each work on independent research. Periodically, I will share the stories of these remarkable young people. Vasily Lebedev – Graduate Student at Moscow State University
  • Device 1: The plexiglass cube above has five solid sides but no base.

    Creative Contraptions

    Creative Contraptions... What are these two devices used for?
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