Blog

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

© Chris Linder

Blog Posts

  • AGU: a complex system with a lot to teach scientists

    On learning to navigate the sessions of AGU and preparing for the ever so important poster presentation.
  • A System Within A Bigger System

    An update from AGU: Learning more about how our system fits into the greater global system.
  • Returning Student Application Instructions

    Applications from Polaris Project alumni to participate in the 2014 Polaris Project Expedition are due January 1, 2014. Complete application instructions can be found here.
  • The boat loyally pulled us to our new site.

    To Future Students

    I’ve been home from Russia for a few months. Aside from a slight baggage mix-up at the Seatac airport, travel went as smoothly as I could have asked. But while it’s fresh in my head, I thought I’d throw out some information for people who apply to Polaris 2014.…
  • Northern lights

    The seasonal difference between doing fieldwork in Siberia in summery July and a now autumnal September is obvious in low temperatures and bug-free conditions. Plus the added bonus: dark nights and Aurora Borealis, a.k.a. the Northern Lights.
  • Fieldwork in the Siberian autumn

    In our first four days of being here, we’ve sampled about 15 sites, spanning streams and rivers all the way from Duvannyi Yar to the tundra. With summer coming to a close, we’ve decided to take advantage of the warm and mosquito-free days that this Siberian autumn has offered us with a whirlwind of boating and sampling adventures.
  • Record breaking in Yakutsk

    We experienced this first hand as we exercised (and nearly ran out of) patience in the form of a 100-hour delay in Yakutsk – a new Polaris record!
  • Back to the promised land

    With three red-eye flights 4 hours in front of me, the GRE 4 hours behind me, and a final pile of fruits and vegetables in front of me, I feel ready to take off for the land of moose meat, confusing weather, big bugs and epic science.
  • Living the Dream

    As an environmental scientist who is interested in understanding the global carbon cycle and how humans and our activities are changing it I love my job. Everyday I get to work on interesting questions that have ramifications for everyone on Earth. To answer these questions I travel to field sites all across the globe from the Congo to Alaska to the Amazon to Siberia.
  • No Core Experience

    When Heather Alexander tried to thank the Zimovs for hosting us at the Northeast Science Station, Sergey Zimov reprimanded her saying “We are all family, we do not say ‘thank you’ to family.” Today I leave one family to return to another.…
  • Life as a soil scientist

    When most people look at the ground they probably see lifeless brown material that they call dirt. First, dirt is not the same as soils and they should never be confused as it insults the integrity of soils. Dirt is valueless, unearthed soil.…
  • Threads of an Old Life

    Reflections on moving forward after a whirlwind summer of research and adventure
  • Animal and Plant Interactions

    I have a fascination with the interaction of animals and plants. Although the relationship may appear to be as simple as an herbivore eating a plant then digesting it, there are more complex mechanisms at play. Plants use a lot of energy to create leaves, which in turn provides food for the plant through photosynthesis, and new growth to cover more of the area around it.…
  • Mission Accomplished!

    Well as forecasted, the last few days of Polaris were some hectic ones…but I can happily say…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
  • Colleagues and Friends

    …I knew Polaris 2013 would be something new, but I had no clue what to expect and I don’t think anyone could have predicted what its impacts were going to be…
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