Blog

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

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • 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?
  • 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.…
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • More Questions!

    The core students have been working hard in the field collecting, mapping, photographing, and measuring their plots, streams, and ponds. Now that we are into the last days of our time in the tundra the focus has turned toward extracting the numbers from the various samples.
  • Pleistocene Park Part II: Mammoths, Microbes, and Machines

    Even though mammoths are absent from the park, we still have a plethora of arctic megafauna influencing our sites. The animals leave signs of their presence in the form of hair, trails, browsed shrubs, and especially dung.
  • Back from the Tundra

    The main Polaris group has returned safely from the tundra. All are now in Cherskiy, where they'll spend their remaining days analyzing samples and working on data.
  • Pleistocene Park Part I: The Earth’s Spheres

    To test big ideas we need big minds and big spaces. That’s why just south of here the Zimovs created Pleistocene Park, a 16 square kilometer experiment in ecology and biogeochemistry.
  • Soil Lab Party!

    Only a handful of returning students are still here at the North East Science Station. The Core and the rest of the students are up in the tundra, working on their projects. Although historically being sent to the tundra is a bad thing, I can’t help but feel a little jealous as I pull yet another tiny tin of soil out of the oven.
  • Halfway There!

    It is very exciting to watch the core students and listen to how their conversations and questions develop and evolve as they experience the tundra firsthand and receive insights from the faculty members. This team has shown a huge amount of support for each other and a high level of understanding about what it takes to conduct successful polar science in the field.
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