During, before, and after the field course, Polaris students and faculty share their thoughts through journal entries.

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • Nigel Golden (2014) holds a captive audience as he discusses the effects of arctic ground squirrels on soil carbon storage.

    AGU 2014 Honors and Congratulations!

    The 2014 AGU meeting was better than I could have been expected. Our Polaris presence just keeps getting stronger and stronger every year.
  • Erika Ramos presents her research at AGU 2014.

    Polaris reunion at the American Geophysical Union conference

    The 2014 American Geophysical Union(AGU) Conference in San Francisco was a wonderful experience for the Polaris Project as well as for outreach to educators.
  • Seth Spawn, Erin Seybold, and Megan Behnke at Megan's poster. Photo by John Schade.

    Presentation Adrenaline or, That’s a Charming Polygon! Here, Look at Mine

    The night before my poster at the American Geophysical Union meeting, I barely slept. I had expected nerves and excitement, but I surprised myself with the level of anticipation I felt as I tossed and drifted in the hotel bed.
  • MeganBehnke

    Preparing for the Ball

    In the short term, I will need to communicate clearly at AGU when I present my poster in December. I will need to not only explain the research I did, but also answer questions from scientists who know far more about this field than I do. In some ways, it feels as though I am preparing for a debutante ball--an entrance into the scientific society that I wish to be a part of.
  • One of the study streams.

    I’ve Got Gas, Let’s Leave…

    Streams make up only a few percent of the total surface area of a watershed, but as we have seen with lakes in ponds in Siberia, small parts of the landscape can have disproportionate impacts.
  • Seth Spawn, Sam Dunn, Leana, and Craig Connolly.

    There’s liver in it

    I think of Leana almost like our Russian “mother:” she always makes sure we don’t head out to the field without a lunch, often puts out our favorite snacks for late night lab work, and looks out for us with a watchful eye.
  • behnke

    These Questions Remain

    In the aftermath of our symposium presentations at the Northeast Science Station, I thought about what further analyses to run on the data I collected in the tundra. I have found a few exciting initial patterns, but I have to work much harder to understand my more complicated measurements. I have a nagging question. How does knowing what I now know help?
  • Field photo

    Home Safely

    We have returned safely back home, with mixed feelings, at least in my case. I’m happy to be back, but miss the friends we left behind at the Northeast Science Station, and the immersion in a world unlike anything else I ever get to experience.…
  • Sam Dunn at the tundra study site.

    The Calm after the Storm

    The core group has been gone from Cherskiy for not an hour, and already an eerie silence has settled over the Northeast Science Station. Craig Connoly, Seth Spawn, and myself, along with some German students, are all that remain here.
  • Tundra_Basemap

    Bringing it all together…

    The last 3 weeks for me have been a whirlwind of mapping and on-the-fly spatial analysis. In a geospatial sense, our tundra expedition had landed in almost completely uncharted territories.
  • Olga and John

    Making Outreach Connections

    Today was a very special day for me. I was able to meet with one of the local elementary school teachers in Cherskiy.
  • In the field.

    Expectations Exceeded

    All of the expectations that I had of the tundra did not amount to the beauty and indescribable features of the landscape nor the vast variety of questions that met my scientific interests.
  • Jess and Kenzie mix their water samples for analysis.

    Out of the Field and into the Lab

    Since we have returned form the tundra the core students have been working endlessly on preparing their samples and collecting the various measurements in the laboratories at the station.
  • Core students return to the barge from their last hike on the tundra.

    Voyage South

    I knew I did not want to leave the tundra. As I stood with friends on the cliff next to the sand spit where the barge was parked, I leaned into the wind from the south. Something was welling up inside me. At the time, it came out as song—all five of us were belting as we watched dark blue storm clouds pierced with lightening in the northern sky and bronze sunlight dancing on the Kolyma River water to the south.
  • Kenzie surveys the tussocky terrain.

    Stumbling Through the Tundra

    Before I came to the tundra, I imagined it to be a vast, flat landscape. And it is indeed vast, but flat is the last word I would use to describe the tundra. The topography is dynamic, just on a very tiny scale.
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