Polaris 2017


The Polaris Project is thrilled to announce that we’re back! After a year-long funding gap curtailed operations following seven straight years in the Siberian Arctic, the Polaris Project will once again be advancing scientific understanding of the changing Arctic, training the next generation of Arctic scientists, and engaging the public and decision makers using the example of the Arctic to captivate, educate, and inform.

Max and the Polaris faculty worked in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in June 2016.

Max and the Polaris faculty worked in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in June 2016.

 

The big change is that our annual research expedition will now target the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska, a remarkably significant and vulnerable environment due to its relatively “warm” permafrost and vast stores of ancient organic carbon.

The tundra is transformed into a patchwork of colors by fire--black patches show where the lichens and moss have burned away. Yukon delta, Alaska.

The tundra is transformed into a patchwork of colors by fire–black patches show where the lichens and moss have burned away. Yukon delta, Alaska.

 

The 2017 expedition will launch in late June and extend most of the way through July. In addition to the time spent at a remote tundra field camp, the group will also spend ~2 weeks at the Woods Hole Research Center at the end of the trip, where participants will analyze samples and the resulting data, present their projects to the Woods Hole community, and prepare conference abstracts. Participants will also travel to Woods Hole for 2-3 days in spring 2017 for project orientation and safety training, and most of the group will reconvene at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco in December.

John Schade hauls a cooler of scientific equipment (or sausage?) from a float plane to the camp, Yukon delta, Alaska.

John Schade hauls a cooler of scientific equipment (or sausage?) from a float plane to the camp, Yukon delta, Alaska.

 

Approximately 12 students will be selected to participate in the 2017 Polaris Project, mainly undergraduate students but also 2-3 graduate students. Travel expenses will be covered and each student will also receive a stipend. We will recruit a diverse group of students, from Alaska and from around the country. We will also recruit two Visiting Faculty members, with at least one of the Visiting Faculty members coming from a minority serving institution.

Applications will be due January 15, 2017, but will be accepted at any time after the application instructions are posted in October.

For more information, please contact us at info@thepolarisproject.org.