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

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • Returning Student Applications

    Applications for Returning Students and Graduate Students are due December 15.
  • Core and Satellites

    Although the Polaris Project has enjoyed remarkable success in the past, each year we try new things as we strive to continuously improve. The evolution of the Polaris Project will continue in 2013.
  • Reflection

    Walking on to Western Washington University's campus five years ago, I was sure that I was going to be a business major.
  • polaris logo

    Travel Update!

    After seemingly days of travel and delays, we seem to be making headway. The crew have all made Moscow safely and are now slowly saying their long goodbyes before jumping on to different flights to the US.
  • 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.
  • Why Do I Do This?

    There are many easier things to do in life than to lead a group of 33 people to the Siberian Arctic for a month-long expedition. So why do I do it?
  • 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.
  • polaris logo

    Polaris Project Research Symposium

    Students in the Polaris Project are asked to do the impossible: travel more than half way around the world to the Siberian Arctic, design and implement a research project, and less than one month later present the results in a research symposium.
  • 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.
  • What’s an Allometrist?

    In ecology, a fundamental objective is taking our measurements, observations, and analyses from a manageable sampling and scaling these up to assess their implications on a large landscape. While remote sensing and modeling are a key part of ecological research, having reliable data from the field to 'ground truth' these techniques is equally crucial.
  • 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.
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