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.  Instead of a single large group traveling to and from Cherskiy together, in 2013 we will adopt a Core and Satellite model.

In brief, the Core in 2013 will consist of 4 faculty and 7-8 undergraduate students who have not yet participated in the Polaris Project.  All members of the Core will live on the barge, and all Core students will be exposed to a great diversity of arctic environments, research questions, and experiences.  All students will develop and conduct research projects while they are in Cherskiy, but they will not be expected to come to Cherskiy with specific projects already designed.  While most projects will require some lab work, all projects will be expected to be primarily field-based, maximizing the “Arctic Experience” while minimizing the amount of time spent in the lab.  That is, the focus will be on the long-term development of future arctic scientists instead of the short-term research productivity.

Satellite groups will be smaller and will be primarily focused on research.  Each satellite will include faculty and students, but the students will be returning undergraduates or graduate students, not undergraduates who are new to the Polaris Project.  Training and development will remain important activities in the Satellites, but the emphasis will be on research productivity.

The application process for undergraduates interested participating in the Core will be similar to past years, with applications due February 1, 2013.  Another blog post describes the application process for returning students (due December 15, 2012).

The preliminary plan for 2013 includes the Core plus 4 Satellites.


Dates in Cherskiy

not including travel


Lead shown in Bold


Satellite 1–Lakes / Aquatic Survey ~June 11 – July 9 Frey, Vonk 2-3 returning/grad
Core ~July 5 – 26 Bunn, Schade, Mann, Natali 7-8 first-time undergrads
Satellite 2–Permafrost ~July 8 – August 12 Spektor, Kholodov 2-3 returning/grad
Satellite 3–Terrestrial ~July 12 – August 9 Loranty, Natali, Alexander ~3 returning/grad
Satellite 4–River “Carbon Bomb” project ~Aug. 23 – Sept. 17 Spencer, Mann (Linder, Striegl, Krabbenhoft shorter stay) 1-2 returning/grad

One Response to “Core and Satellites”

  1. November 12, 2012 at 4:34 am, Mark Paricio said:

    That sounds like an outstanding model to maximize research and investigate over a longer period of time. Good Luck!