Northward Bound!

The Polaris Project will give undergraduate students the opportunity to witness the changing Arctic first-hand as they participate in a field course and research experience in northeastern Siberia (8 time zones east of Moscow!). After completing an on-campus course associated with the Polaris Project, a select group of undergraduate students will travel with project scientists to the Siberian Arctic. Once leaving the US in late June 2008, we’ll first spend a few days in Moscow, then travel to Yakutsk (capital of the Sakha Republic), and finally to the Northeast Science Station at Cherskiy (north of the Arctic Circle on the Kolyma River).

To get a feel for the Northeast Science Station and team member Sergei Zimov look here.

Students on the field course will be introduced to a variety of arctic environments including boreal forest, tundra, lakes, rivers, estuaries, and the coastal ocean and conduct their own mini research projects and help project scientists plan extended field courses that will take place in 2009 and 2010. In fact, 1-2 of the student participants from 2008 will have the opportunity to return as course assistants in 2009.

The interdisciplinary approach emphasized throughout the Polaris Project mirrors the way that complex environmental science is actually done. We’ll stress the links between the different environments and explore how climate change is impacting them. Students will work closely with leading scientists and share in the excitement of scientific discover. The Polaris Project will be superb preparation for students wishing to pursue graduate studies in environmental sciences, but we seek a diverse student body which might also include non-science majors.

We expect that the Polaris Project will be an exceptional learning experience and tremendous adventure for all participants. You’ll see an extremely remote part of the world, get a first-hand view of “global warming”, conduct your own research project, and be part of a team of enthusiastic undergraduate students and scientists working together to understand the changing Arctic. If climate change, the Arctic, adventure, and teamwork appeal to you, please apply to participate in the Polaris Project 2008 field course in Siberia! Don’t forget, online applications are due February 1, 2008.