2007 IARC Summer School & IPY Summer Institute

IPY Environmental Studies in the Boreal Forest Zone & IPY Summer Institute for K-12 Teachers

This Summer Institute was organized by the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in collaboration with the A.N. Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia, and the Central Forest State Nature Biosphere Reserve in Fedorovskoe, Russia, and was arranged as part of the education/outreach activities of the International Polar Year (IPY) University of Alaska and the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEEPSI). It  provided a unique opportunity for participants to learn about the climate of Northern Eurasia from leading scientists and educators, in a wide spectrum of polar and Earth system science disciplines from meteorology, biology, chemistry, and earth system modeling, and to witness the magic of exploration as they observed and participated in research activities under the guidance of experienced scientists.

Institute participants included graduate students/early career scientists from six different countries as well as K-12 teachers from Russia. The two groups joined together for several workshop sessions and for the field work components of the Institute. The field work focused on land–atmosphere interactions in the boreal forest zone, and several field trips in and outside the Forest Reserve  highlighted various aspects of studies in this field.

As part of the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) IPY project “Seasons & Biomes” led by Dr. Elena Sparrow, the K-12 teachers were instructed in existing GLOBE protocols as well as new protocols created specifically for the Seasons & Biomes project to study interannual variability of seasons in their own biomes. These teachers then engaged their own students in earth system science research as a way of involving them in the IPY.

Support for the Summer Institute was provided by many institutions and organizations including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA; National Science Foundation, USA; Central Biosphere Forest Reserve, Russia; A.N. Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Federal University, Russia; Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Russia; University of Maryland, USA; “Transparent World,” Moscow, Russia; National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan; University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA; GLOBE USA; and GLOBE Russia.