Make an Impact: The Arctic in the Classroom (TAC) Workshop 2016

Researchers and teachers gathered for workshop in Barrow, Alaska.Researchers and teachers gathered for workshop in Barrow, Alaska.

About the Workshop

The goal of the workshop was to bring together local teachers with Arctic researchers to collaborate on the development of STEM educational resources related to Arctic research priorities. This workshop is part of a larger ARCUS program. The Arctic in the Classroom program includes the supported ongoing collaboration of workshop participants to use citizen science as a vehicle to bring data-rich lessons and activities into classrooms.

The workshop report is available here:
Download Workshop Report (PDF - 6.8MB)
Download Low-Res Workshop Report (PDF - 370KB)

Workshop Details

When: March 13-15, 2016
Where: University of Alaska, Fairbanks
in association with Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2016

Workshop organizer, the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) aims to bring together:

  • Educators that currently teach in Alaskan Arctic communities, with experience or interest in incorporating local Arctic research into their teaching through citizen science and community based monitoring.
  • Researchers who conduct funded research in the Alaskan Arctic with experience or interest using citizen science practices as a method to expose teachers, students, and local communities to local Arctic research.

Workshop Agenda (PDF - 68KB)

Workshop Participant List (PDF - 32KB)

ASSW Full Program (PDF - 4.7MB)

Presentations and Resources

ARCUS Overview (PDF - 893KB)
Dr. Bob Rich, ARCUS

The Arctic in the Classroom Program Overview (PDF - 548KB)
Sarah Bartholow, ARCUS

Framework for Co-Creation and Collaboration (PDF - 540KB)
Sarah Bartholow, ARCUS

What Makes an Impact Part 1 (PDF - 1.6MB)
Patricia Yager

What Makes an Impact Part 2 (PDF 1.6MB)
Lollie Garay

Citizen Science Overview (PDF - 2.4MB)
Katie Spellman Villano

Bringing in Community and Retaining Knowledge (PDF - 853KB)
Matt Druckenmiller

GLOBE Program Overview (PDF - 168KB)
Elena Sparrow

Collective Resources Shared (DOC - 177KB)

Project Plan Template (DOC - 98KB)

Workshop Writer-in-Residence

Erica Watson

Erica WatsonErica Watson We are excited to bring a unique aspect to our workshop. Writer, Erica Watson, will be attending day one and two of our workshop to record her thoughts on the presentations and work sessions. Ultimately, her writing will become an accessible artifact of our process of learning and collaboration.

Erica Watson lives on the boundary of Denali National Park, Alaska, and maintains strong ties to Arizona, where she grew up. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s low-residency MFA program in nonfiction, where she was a recipient of the Jason Wenger Award. Her work has appeared in Pilgrimage, ISLE Journal, Vela Magazine, Denali National Park’s climate change anthology, and other journals and websites. She was recently selected as a Fishtrap Fellow for 2016. When she isn’t writing, Erica explores her backyard on foot or skis, gardens, and pursues various crafts, with varying degrees of success. She works in a local bakery, and as a substitute teacher and freelance editor. She maintains a presence on Facebook and at her wordpress blog, and has been contemplating Twitter for years.

Workshop Speakers

Lollie Garay

Redd School, Texas
(Virtual Presenter)

Lollie GarayLollie Garay Lollie Garay teaches Integrated Earth/Space Science at the Redd school in Houston, Texas. Her educational mission is to get students, teachers, and the general public excited about learning by modeling a "can-do" attitude! In 2007 Mrs. Garay spent 7 weeks in the Antarctic Seas conducting oceanographic studies with Dr. Tish Yager and an international research team through PolarTREC. Since then, she and Dr. Yager have teamed up on a joint global oceans study that will translate Dr. Yager’s carbon sequestration research into classroom activities and educational outreach.

By immersing students in real-life research and project-based learning, Mrs. Garay strives to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related careers, especially among under-represented groups. When she isn’t working on multiple projects, she and her husband Rey enjoy traveling, reading, and sharing new adventures!

Patricia Yager

University of Georgia - Athens
(Virtual Presenter)

Patricia YagerPatricia Yager Patricia (Tish) Yager is an associate professor in marine sciences at the University of Georgia. Her expertise includes biological and chemical oceanography, marine microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. Her research focuses on the feedbacks between climate change and marine ecosystems. Recent projects include investigating the effects of melting ice sheets on Arctic and Antarctic coastal productivity, and carbon sequestration by microbial communities in the Amazon River plume.

A related resource from Dr. Yager and Ms Garay includes the open access paper:
Garay L, Wotkyns AM, Lowry KE, Warburton J, Alderkamp A, et al. 2014. ASPIRE: Teachers and researchers working together to enhance student learning. Elem. Sci. Anth. 2: 000034. doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000034

Katie Villano Spellman

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Katie Villano SpellmanKatie Villano Spellman Katie Villano Spellman’s research interests include plant ecology, non-native plant invasion, human and natural disturbance, global change biology, species diversity, science education and social-ecological systems, citizen science. She co-authored the Alaska invasive plants curriculum, and trained several hundred teachers in its use through courses and workshops. She has worked as a professional environmental educator, curriculum developer, citizen science program designer and coordinator, scientists in residence at local K-12 schools, and has taught several UAF graduate courses. Her dissertation research combined experimental ecology, experimental education research, and citizen science to investigate the way ecology and education can interplay to build social-ecological resilience to non-native plant invasions in Alaskan communities.

A relevant publication is her co-authorship on the Alaska best practices guide to community-based monitoring.

Olivia Lee

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Olivia LeeOlivia Lee Olivia Lee is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center (IARC). As the science lead for the Alaska Observatory and Knowledge Hub (A-OK) she is working with northern Alaska communities to observe and track cryosphere change and its effect on the seasonal cycle of subsistence activities. Her current research also involves combining community observations of sea ice and marine mammals with satellite imagery to build a better understanding of changes in ice seal and walrus ecology. She has worked in an interdisciplinary, collaborative setting as Principal Investigator for the North Slope Science Initiative Scenarios Project and is a former Knauss Sea Grant Fellow at the National Science Foundation, Division of Ocean Sciences. Lee received her PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.

Henry Huntington

Huntington Consulting, Eagle River, Alaska

Henry HuntingtonHenry Huntington Henry’s research activities include reviewing the regulation of subsistence hunting in northern Alaska, documenting traditional knowledge of marine mammals, examining Iñupiat Eskimo and Inuit knowledge and use of sea ice, and assessing the impacts of climate change on Arctic communities and marine mammals. Huntington has also worked with a number of international research programs, such as the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, the Program for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, and the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. In 2013, he was appointed co-chair of a National Academy of Sciences committee charged with reporting on emerging research questions in the Arctic. Huntington was also a member of the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on Arctic food security. He has written many academic and popular articles, as well as three books. Huntington has made long trips in the Arctic by dog team, open boat, and snowmobile. He lives with his wife and two sons in Eagle River, Alaska.

Samuel Demientieff

Sam DemientieffSam Demientieff Sam Demientieff is an Athabascan who was born in Holy Cross, Alaska in 1939, and grew up in Nenana and Fairbanks, and along the Yukon and Tanana Rivers where his father ran a barge service. He graduated from high school at Copper Valley School in Glennallen, and earned a certificate in mineral petroleum technology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sam worked for Fairbanks Native Association, Doyon, Ltd. and retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sam has extensive knowledge of interior Alaska rivers, going back to his boyhood when he traveled the rivers with his father to his own subsistence travel by boat in summer and by snowmachine in winter.  Sam lives on the Chena River in Fairbanks, and spends many hours traveling up and down the Tanana River in both winter and summer. He is a keen observer of water flow, channel changes, and changing ice conditions. Sam has served as an expert consultant on local observations and understanding of the environment for many scientific projects.

Pausauraq Jana Harcharek

Jana HarcharekJana Harcharek
Pausauraq Jana Harcharek was raised in Barrow, Alaska. She is the daughter of the late Robert, Jr. and Sally Brower and the granddaughter of the late Ned and late Faye Nusunginya.
Pausauraq has worked with the North Slope Borough School District (NSBSD) as Director of Iñupiaq Education for five years and as Coordinator of the department prior to that for seven years. During this time she facilitated a number of initiatives including the Iñupiaq Education Initiative that resulted in the development of the Iñupiaq Learning Framework, which has been adopted by the NSBSD School Board and serves as the foundation for the current Curriculum Alignment, Integration and Mapping curriculum reform initiative.
Pausauraq is an active member of the community and currently serves as a commissioner on the Iñupiat History, Language and Culture Commission.

Sally Kieper

Outreach Program Developer at University of Alaska K-12 Outreach
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Sally KieperSally Kieper Sally Kieper is an Outreach Program Developer. One of her projects includes Raising Educational Achievement through Cultural Heritage (REACH) seeks to provide Native students and their teachers with accurate, culturally relevant science curriculum, that improves student achievement on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) assessments, and trains Native youth to propose solutions to local climate change problems.

Teachers receive hands-on training to improve pedagogy through elder-led culture camps and scientist-led STEM trainings. Classroom lessons interweave Native ways of knowing with mainstream science-learning, to provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of climate change and its impacts in their region.

Matt Druckenmiller

National Snow and Ice Data Center - Colorado

Matt DruckenmillerMatt Druckenmiller Matthew Druckenmiller earned his doctorate in 2011 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he combined geophysical monitoring with local knowledge to study how Iñupiat communities use and rely on a changing sea-ice environment. He has also collaborated with Alaska’s North Slope Borough to investigate the impacts of Arctic sea ice loss on bowhead whales. Matthew joined Rutgers University in summer 2015 to support the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) Program as a science communicator, however, is based at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, CO. Originally from Trout Run, Pennsylvania, Matthew traces his appreciation for the Arctic back to his early years fishing small mountain streams with his father, grandfather, and brother.

Funding Source

Support for this program is provided by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and applicable community service payments from federal court settlements.