Bunn, students gain invaluable experience working with Polaris Project

Submitted by admin on Thu, 10/01/2009 - 8:17am

Andy Bunn, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University, participated this summer in the Polaris Project in the Siberian arctic. It was the second consecutive summer that Bunn took a pair of WWU undergraduates on the summer research project to study the effects of climate change on these ecologically vital and sensitive areas.

Bunn and the undergraduates, Kayla Henson of Spokane and Max Janicek of Golden, Colo., left for Siberia July 2.

The Polaris Project is a two-year-old initiative coordinated by the Woods Hole Research Center to study the rapid and profound changes under way in the Arctic in response to global warming.  While in Siberia, the students and scientists will be based at the Northeast Science Station, which is located approximately 80 kilometers south of the Arctic Ocean on the Kolyma River, near the town of Cherskiy.

In addition to the field course, the Polaris Project includes several new arctic-focused undergraduate courses taught by project co-primary investigators (PIs) at their home institutions, the opportunity for those co-PIs to initiate research programs in the Siberian Arctic, and a wide range of outreach activities. All project participants, both students and faculty, will visit K-12 classrooms upon their return to convey the excitement and importance of polar research.

Check out the video below by Chris Linder to learn more. The Polaris Project is online at http://www.thepolarisproject.org/.