As expected, the National Science Foundation, PolarTREC, and The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) have officially canceled my participation in the April Arctic science expedition. The Office of Naval Research and University of Washington Polar Science Center are not behind in officially cancelling too.
Hoping that the midsummer Greenland Arctic Circle trip will happen.... yet who knows.
In the meantime, laying low trying not to become part of the problem as an unintentional vector of covid-19. Just moved everything I need for a couple months out of my office and am now set up at home. Thankfully my house has a sunny south facing porch that is blocked from the wind - it may become my favorite new office space.
And for some much needed levity (in case you haven't already seen this on my social media channels) -
I've been googling Covid-19 too much and sometimes I accidentally type in Corvid as well and have seen so many pics of really cool birds. Thought I would share some of these really cool Corvids. Here are only 16 of the 120 corvid species around the world.
Stay connected to those you love and care about, I think the psychological effects of this pandemic is already causing intense emotional exhaustion for everyone on some level. Love your people - even if it's just through phone calls and video chats. I'm definitely feeling it myself.
In it for the long haul, until next time,
February 12, 2020
For Immediate Release
Colorado Educator Embarks on Polar Research Experience
Educator research experiences improve and enliven science education by connecting educators, researchers, students, and the public around the globe.
Going Polar! Sarah Johnson, civic watershed education specialist and founder of Wild Rose Education in Carbondale, Colorado is always looking to explore new landscapes and learn from cutting edge scientists. She will be doing just this by joining the Utqiaġvik Buoy Exercise 2020 led by the University of Washington and the United States Office of Naval Research in the furthest north town in the United States, Utqiaġvik, Alaska for 10 days. The expedition team will be deploying arctic buoys in coordination with the International Arctic Buoy Programme, that maintains a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean providing meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the World Weather Watch (WWW) Programme.
Beginning in early April, Sarah will participate as a research team member (research assistant and public relations officer) during an authentic scientific expedition in the Arctic, joining other educators who will be working in research locations from the Arctic Ocean to Antarctica, as part of a program that allows educators to experience first-hand what it is like to conduct scientific research in some of the most remote locations on earth.
A significant part of the Utqiaġvik Buoy Exercise 2020 is a STEM education experience for the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps that includes STEM training while building buoys for the International Arctic Buoy Program. They are engaging in three training Saturdays before the April expedition. Then they will send two representatives from their group to join the Arctic expedition to deploy the buoys they build. Read one of the Cadet's reflections from the training day here.
So, their first training class was this past Saturday and I was fortunate to be able to 'zoom in' via video conferencing and be the fly on the wall during their entire class (8am-noon EST). Below are some screen shots from the training that helped me understand what the buoys look like and the instrumentation inside. These instruments measure surface temperature, atmospheric temperature, and barometric pressure as well as date and position.
It was also great to get an Arctic introduction from Dr. Ignatius Rigor, our expedition's lead PI (Primary Investigator).
The buoys remind me of gigantic fishing bobbers that open like an easter egg. The creative juices are flowing on how to create effective education and outreach experiences about buoy data.... stay tuned.
Also, enjoy the video below.