Hello again! After my “Lindsay in the Arctic” expedition last year, I am now embarking on an Alaskan adventure! The University of Alaska Fairbanks is holding an International Summer School in Glaciology, and I will be participating as the Instructor for Science Communication. Taking place this August 2014 in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, it is truly an international program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, The Glaciology Exchange Program GlacioEx, the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences, and the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The goal of the course is to provide graduate students with access to firsthand research frontiers in glaciology, including remote sensing, glacier geology and hydrology, glacier dynamics, surging and tidewater glaciers and ice streams, glacier response to climate change, and more.
Twenty-seven graduate students from 9 countries who focus on glacier-related research will join 9 instructors for 10 days at the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, Alaska. Instructors will be joining from the University of Alaska, the University of Birmingham in the UK, the University of Oslo in Norway, Alaska Pacific University Anchorage, and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami (that’s me).
There is a good reason why the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami is participating in this summer school on glaciers – and that is sea level rise.
Much of the general public is probably not aware of the research being conducted on glaciers, nor how this research may apply to their own lives and environments on the other side of the continent or world. The oceans connect us all, and here in Miami we are particularly attuned to the potential impacts of sea level rise on our beaches and reefs, and the availability of our abundant freshwater. Melting glaciers and ice are one reason sea levels are rising, and the Museum would like to connect you to cutting edge research on the subject. One of the ways we do this is to connect the public with the scientists engaged in this research, and this Glaciology Summer School is an extraordinary opportunity to do that. As an instructor, I will be expanding on the Museum’s local Science Communication Fellows program. I will work with scientists on skills and strategies to effectively communicate their research to the public, and they will share not only their research on glaciers but also their Alaskan adventure with all of you!
And that is what you will get to see here on this blog – in real time! See what they’re doing, you’re your questions, and follow along! And I will help guide the process, so that everyone will understand what brings a Science Curator from Miami, who still lives above sea level, to an Alaskan glacier.