International Polar Year, or IPY (2007-2009) is by far the most exciting international scientific and educational opportunity of this century. For the next two years, all eyes will be focused on the physical, social and human dimensions of our planet's polar regions. Watch this blog for news related to Canadian outreach and education efforts related to IPY. Of particular interest to educators! Note: This blog is created independently of any official IPY organization

Monday, October 20, 2008

IPY and the 5th World Environmental Education Congress | Earth, our common home

5th World Environmental Education Congress | Earth, our common home:

Polar Year partners and circumpolar environmental educators are encouraged to consider participation at the World EE Congress in Montreal next May. There is a specific symposium planned for IPY and Polar Issues. Please distribute to EE partners in other circumpolar nations!! "The International Polar Year Canada is a circumpolar nation and participant in International Polar Year research and celebrations. This symposium provides an opportunity to invite environmental educators from other circumpolar nations to present their work (all strands), and to bring circumpolar perspectives into discussions. But this is also an important opportunity to initiate and foster North-South dialogues around one or more of the 3 congress questions." Call for papers Deadline October 30

Monday, September 22, 2008

Free bilingual event webcast at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on September 24.

As part of International Polar Year, the Polar Year Secretariat Office invites you and your students to be part of an exciting and free bilingual event at the Canadian Museum of Civilization on September 24.

September 24 is International Polar Day – “People at the Poles” – as part of International Polar Year, a multi-faceted research and communications effort involving over 60 countries. Canada will be hosting a live webcast at 10:00 am until noon from the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, QC. Canadian researchers will lead discussions regarding human-related studies and issues. Students on Ice and Schools on Board and free refreshments will be served.

We invite you to share this announcement and invitation to view and participate in Polar Day activities. If there are any questions and/or if more information is needed, please contact Barbara Robinson at 519.515.0338. Note there may also be a possibility for funding support to provide buses to transport high school students.

Thank you for your interest in International Polar Day!

Barbara Robinson IPY Program Consultant

"People at the Poles" Polar Day - Join us and celebrate on September 24! This is the first IPY to include the human health, social, political, and economic aspects of the Polar Regions in its research program and to engage polar communities in research development, implementation and dissemination and we are developing innovative ways to share this story with the broader IPY community and public. More information is available directly at

Whether you are a researcher, a teacher, a public educator or just interested in life at the poles, there are a number of ways you can get involved.

    • Local and Global Discussion: Students can debate and discuss life in polar and non-polar communities, share their ideas with other students around the world and ask an expert about northern research. If you would like to get involved, download a flyer in your language, share around your networks, and talk to students in your area and around the world on People Day!
    • LIVE Radio events: For 24 hours on People Day CKLB Radio will be connecting people around the world through a webstream at or tune in live to 101.9FM in Canada's North. From 1:00-3:00pm EST, hear researchers and community leaders who work and live at the poles talk about their experiences. Students, general public, researchers - anyone - can call in toll free (1-877-217-2552) or blog ( to speak LIVE with the radio show announcers and experts.
    • Polar Day Public Event in Ottawa and Live Webcast: A Polar Day public event will be webcast live at 10 am EST from the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, where IPY researchers will discuss their people-related research in the North. Invitees to this event will include representatives from the Ottawa Inuit Community, Students on Ice and the Circumpolar Young Leaders Program, as well as members of Northern Aboriginal organizations, Ottawa universities and high schools. This event will also be broadcast live on the web on the IPY Federal Program website - Join us at the museum or tune in and watch the show!

We hope you will circulate this around your networks and Get Involved in IPY! We are still looking for northern schools to get involved in all three Polar Day activities, please contact Kristi Skebo ( for more information.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where in the World" page: ANDRILL

Hello IPY teachers, Check out ANDRILL's two new websites: and Go to the "Where in the World" page and add a marker showing where your school is! Hope you will join us as our ANDRILL science team heads to Antarctica with teacher, Shakira Brown in Oct. Let me know if you have any questions! Louise -- ANDRILL Coordinator of Education and Public Outreach 630-460-3688 ANDRILL Science Management Office 126 Bessey Hall University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE 68588-0341 402-472-6723

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Education, Communication and Outreach – Linking Research to Public Policy and Environmental Awareness

Dear colleagues and researchers,
Education, Communication and Outreach – Linking Research to Public Policy and Environmental Awareness Session Announcement and Call for Abstracts – Oral and poster presentations Arctic Changes 2008 Quebec City, QC - Canada 9-12 December 2008 Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, September 26 2008. Abstract submission guidelines are available HERE . As you may already know, ArcticNet ( and its national and international partners are welcoming the international Arctic research community to Quebec City for the International Arctic Change 2008 Conference. Coinciding with the pinnacle of the International Polar Year and the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, Arctic Change 2008 welcomes researchers, students, policy makers and stakeholders from all fields of Arctic research and all countries to address the global challenges and opportunities brought by climate change in the circum-Arctic. With 36 topical sessions and over 500 participants expected to attend, Arctic Change 2008 will be the largest trans-sectoral international Arctic research conference ever held in Canada. The conference will be held at the Quebec City Convention Centre from 9-12 December 2008. One of the sessions being offered this year is Education, Communication and Outreach – Linking Research to Public Policy and Environmental Awareness Session Description: This session will feature a wide continuum of programs and initiatives that have successfully integrated education, communication and outreach into scientific research. We invite researcher, graduate students, educators, and outreach providers to take this opportunity to share their successes and ideas by submitting an abstract for an oral presentations in one of the following categories: 1) effective research partnerships between scientists and schools, 2) unique field experiences, 3) successful community-based monitoring and mentoring programs, 4) public education and 5) outcomes from IPY – sustaining the momentum! The session will be complemented by a dedicated poster session highlighting outreach projects and initiatives. This poster session will make it possible for anyone who is doing outreach within ArcticNet (on any scale) to showcase their initiatives and the people (ie students, teachers, public etc.) or institutions (school, museums, media etc.) that they are working with. The poster session will be accompanied by a Smithsonian exhibit - The Arctic a Friend Acting Strangely. All posters will be accepted, and presenters, do not have to be present. The aim is to show the breadth of outreach activities that is occurring within the Arctic research community. Schools on Board will present an outreach award to recognize an individual or group that is taking a leading role in scientific outreach. Please forward this call to people within your network that may be interested in this session. For further information, please go to: Or contact: Lucette Barber, Schools on Board Email: Tel: 204-799-7328 --------------------

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RE: PolarTREC non-US teacher participation

Dear Lucky, My name is Kristin, and I am the other PolarTREC project manager. Applications form non U.S. teachers will be addressed on a case-by- case basis with NSF program officers. Please feel free to apply and make sure to clearly describe how your participation will benefit the students and community you work with and your professional career. Best luck, Kristin Timm

Friday, August 29, 2008

Celebrate International Polar Day on 24 September, 2008!

This particular Polar Day will focus on the human dimension of IPY and we have created four (4) activities around this Day that will allow classes of all ages and subjects, as well as the general public, to get involved in the celebration For more information about any of the events, contact: Kristi Skebo ---------------------------------------------------- Here are the (4) ways in which you can celebrate IPY day: 1. Launch a Virtual Balloon Show the involvement of your class or school in these Polar Day events ( and watch balloons fly around the world. See if you can find some of the other classrooms who participated in these activities! 2. Connecting Communities From Pole to Pole We encourage classrooms around the world to engage in discussions about the changes (climatic, socio-economic, political, health) affecting their own communities and lives. These discussions will all come from very different places and perspectives and part of the exercise will be to think about people living in other places dealing with similar changes, for example, polar regions or non-polar regions for those who live in the Arctic. An English-language flyers and translated versions of this activity (French, Italian, Greek, Inuktitut to name a few) will be available from over the next couple of weeks. 3. Global Student Discussion As a follow-up to the classroom discussion listed above, we encourage those classes or teachers with internet access to join in a GLOBAL DISCUSSION - share your class ideas, videos, artwork, poems, songs, etc. in an online forum at The on-line classroom is now live although we are still making some adjustments. You can register your class ahead of time and look around the site. During the week of September 22, social science researchers from around the world will be available to answer questions that arise from your discussions, questions about their work and what¹s it like to live in the polar regions. Teachers can exchange lesson plan ideas on the Polar Day website ( Be sure to share a description of your class (school and class name, location, grade, subject) ­ classes from grades 3-12, in any subject (English, Geography, Science, etc) are encouraged to participate. WE ARE LOOKING TO RECRUIT SCHOOLS IN ARCTIC REGIONS (CANADA, ALASKA, GREENLAND, EUROPE, SIBERIA) TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GLOBAL DISCUSSIONS. WE HAVE NUMEROUS SCHOOLS FROM NON-POLAR REGIONS (U.S.A., BRAZIL, ZAMBIA, CONGO, etc.) WHO ARE INTERESTED IN EXCHANGING IDEAS DIRECTLY WITH NORTHERN CLASSROOMS. PLEASE CONTACT KRISTI SKEBO AT THE CANADIAN IPY SECRETARIAT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS DIRECT EXCHANGE ( 4. Live Radio Event CKLB Radio - an independent aboriginal community radio station based in Yellowknife, NWT, is proud to be hosting a new type of live event celebrating our connection with the North. For 24 hours CKLB will be connecting people around the world through an Internet radio stream which can be found at There will be three opportunities for students to speak LIVE with the radio show announcers and experts. They can also send in questions by email or blog real time questions through the CKLB website. Each radio show will be 2 hours long and include interviews with researchers, community leaders and teachers involved with polar research and activities. Some of the topics include: · Caribou migration and health of Inuit community health · Discussion of climatic, social and health issues in indigenous communities in Australia and Canada¹s North · Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy (link) · The University of the Arctic: Providing Higher Education and Outreach Programs for the International Polar Year · Map of Arctic People project (link) · Discussion of what it¹s like to overwinter at the Mawson Research Station in Antarctica · Antarctic Tourism · Storybook exchange between schools in Alaska and Tasmania (Australia) The times for this event are: Europe - Sept 24 1330-1530 UTC+2 (7:30-9:30 am EST or 5:30-7:30am in Yellowknife) North America - Sept 24 1300-1500 UTC-4 (1:00-3:00pm EST or 11am-1pm in Yellowknife) Australia/Asia - Sept 25 1300-1500 UTC+10 (11pm -1am EST or 9:00-11:00pm in Yellowknife) Tune in, stream from the internet, ask questions, and use the information provided to stimulate debate in your classrooms about important IPY projects and issues. All broadcasts will be archived on CKLB¹s website ( so if you miss one on Sept 24, you can ³tune in² at a later date! CKLB would love to put your students on the air and allow them to ask participating IPY project representatives questions directly, live during the broadcast. WE ARE LOOKING FOR 3 OR 4 CLASSROOMS IN EACH TIME ZONE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS EXCITING OPPORTUNITY. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT KRISTI SKEBO ( WITH A SCHOOL PHONE NUMBER WHERE YOUR CLASS CAN BE REACHED DURING THE BROADCAST. CKLB WILL SET UP A TIME WITH YOU IN ADVANCE TO CONNECT WITH YOUR CLASSROOM DURING THE PROGRAM SO YOUR STUDENTS CAN ASK QUESTIONS LIVE ON THE AIR. We hope to see lots of balloons flying on the map on September 24! Kristi Skebo Communications Coordinator Canadian IPY Secretariat Z-908 Biological Sciences University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, CANADA, T6G 2E9 Tele: 780-492-0486 Fax: 780-492-0493 Website:


PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) program is currently accepting teacher applications from teachers for the third year of teacher research experiences. Teachers are invited to submit an application to participate in field research learning experiences during the 2009 (Arctic) or 2009-2010 (Antarctic) field seasons. More information and application forms are available at: ABOUT THE PROGRAM PolarTREC is a three-year (2007-2009) program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) focusing on a wide variety of research activities occurring in both the Arctic and Antarctic during and after the International Polar Year (IPY). PolarTREC pairs K-12 teachers with researchers to improve science education through authentic polar research experiences. The program integrates research and education to produce a legacy of long-term teacher-researcher collaborations, improved teacher content knowledge, and broad public interest and engagement in polar science. The International Polar YearIPY presents an outstanding opportunity for researchers to share their passion for polar research through topics that naturally engage students and the wider public. PolarTREC is funded by the National Science Foundation. Through PolarTREC, over 40 U.S. teachers will spend two to six weeks in the Arctic or Antarctic, working closely with researchers in the field as an integral part of the science team. PolarTREC teachers and researchers will be matched based on similar goals and interests and teachers will be trained to meet the program requirements prior to the field season. While in the field, teachers and researchers will communicate extensively with their colleagues, communities, and students of all ages across the globe, using a variety of tools including satellite phones, online journals, podcasts, and interactive "Live from IPY" events and web-based seminars. Teachers and research projects will be selected and matched to fill the openings available. All major expenses associated with teacher participation in PolarTREC field experiences are covered by the program, including transportation to and from the field site, food, lodging, and substitute teacher costs. We expect that teachers will be notified of selection decisions in December 2008. APPLICATION DEADLINE Teacher Application Deadline: Monday, 29 September 2008 POLARTREC INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR Interested teachers, researchers, and the public are encouraged to participate in a PolarTREC informational webinar (web conference), scheduled for Wednesday, 10 September 2008, at 2:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (12:00 p.m. HST; 3:00 p.m. PDT; 4:00 p.m. MDT; 5:00 p.m. CDT; 6:00 p.m. EDT). Please register early! An online webinar registration form is available at: Instructions will be sent to all registered participants. Participation in the webinar is free, optional, and is not a prerequisite for applying to the PolarTREC program. Webinar Registration Deadline: Tuesday, 9 September 2008 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION More information about PolarTREC, including program goals, requirements, expectations, and frequently asked questions, is available at: For further information, please contact: E-mail: Phone: 907-474-1600 Funding for PolarTREC is provided by the National Science Foundation (Award Number: 632401).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Students on Ice set to leave

Dear friends,

As sure as the Arctic Tern’s annual flight from Antarctica to the Arctic each year, Students on Ice are getting ready for another Youth Expedition to the Canadian North! We hope you will share this upcoming journey with us via We will be updating the site each day with student journals, videoclips, photos, scientific updates and more beginning August 2nd. With more alarming news from the Arctic this week, such as another large chuck of the Ward Hunt Iceshelf breaking away, it is more urgent than ever that we show the youth of the world what is happening in the Polar Regions due to Climate Change and inspire them to take action! Protect the Poles – Protect the Planet is the mantra for Students on Ice this year… help spread the Word! And here are some of the highlights of our upcoming journey:

- International Polar Year / Students on Ice Arctic Expedition August 2 – 17, 2008

- We are dedicating the expedition to our great and recently departed friend Dr. Fritz Koerner!

- Our expedition is endorsed by IPY Canada and IPY International and represents one of the largest IPY education events in the world.

- 20 northern Canadian students from the Yukon to Labrador generously funded by Canada’s IPY Federal Program and other northern partners will join our team.

- Canadian students from 10 provinces and territories

- 65 Students in total from 10 different countries, including Afghanistan, Norway, United States, Austria, United Kingdom, Monaco, Australia, Mexico and Canada.

- 70% of the participating students have been fully sponsored thanks to the generous support of many people and organizations all listed at

- Twenty international polar scientists, educators, artists and northern leaders, including the Hon. Ann Hanson, Commissioner of Nunavut, will lead lectures, workshops and hands-on activities.

- Topics studied during the expedition will include marine biology, earth sciences, history, sustainable development, culture, Arctic sovereignty, and environmental issues.

- Students will participate in numerous ‘hands-on’ activities – including an exciting ocean current experiment with the Institute of Ocean Sciences

- Everyday students will be involved in something new – visits to Inuit communities, participation in community feasts and meetings with elders and Inuit youth, zodiac cruises through pack ice and along huge bird cliffs, spotting for whales, polar bears and seals, visits to ancient Inuit historic sites, searching for evidence of climate change in the Arctic, etc.

- The main expedition goals are to inspire these future leaders, create polar ambassadors and environmental stewards, connect the youth to the Natural World, and make issues like Climate Change real and personal.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer! We will say hi to the Polar Bears for you…

In the expedition spirit,



Geoff Green

Executive Director | Directeur Éxecutif

Students on Ice Expeditions | Expéditions Students on Ice

Natural Heritage Building | Édifice du patrimoine naturel

1740 chemin Pink

Gatineau, QC J9J 3N7 CANADA

Toll free | Sans frais: 866-336-6423

Tel.: 819-827-3300 | Fax: 819-827-9951


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Integrating IPY research with public outreach or education?

Hello (apologies for cross-posting)
Have you been integrating IPY research with public outreach or education? If so, please consider submitting an abstract to the AGU session, ED03: IPY: Science and Outreach In Polar Partnership Note: AGU allows presenters to be first author on oral sessions in both science and education categories so you are allowed to submit an abstract to this, and also to your relevant science session.
Abstract: The International Polar Year 2007-8 continues to lead the integration of outreach, education and communication into research projects. Scientists and educators within the polar community have been working together to develop and share effective methods of communicating the important role of Polar Regions in the global system. This session is an opportunity to celebrate and profile successful partnerships between IPY science and outreach, explore best-practices, and set recommendations for future collaborations. We welcome abstracts from all areas of polar science and outreach, especially those that used IPY as an opportunity to explore new collaborations, techniques, audiences, and technology. We are interested in approaches used for international to local activities, evaluation of these, and how these might be applied to a different context.
The submission deadline is 10 September 2008, 2359 UT. To submit an abstract, please visit
Session details and convener contact information can be found at:
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Rhian Salmon, Jenny Baeseman, Louise Huffman, Nicola Munro, and Elena Sparrow

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Arctic Community Curriculum

22. Arctic Community Curriculum

From the Will Steger Foundation’s Global Warming 101 initiative, Arctic Community Curriculum focuses on community, solutions, and positive messages of hope and action in response to the challenge of climate change. Based on the idea that we are all members of the community of Planet Earth, the curriculum looks in detail at a specific area, namely the Arctic, to help us appreciate the meaning of community. The Arctic Community Curriculum is free of charge and compliments the other educational resources available through the Web site.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Request For Proposals Environmental Stewardship Project - Departments - Government of Yukon

Request For Proposals Environmental Stewardship Project - Departments - Government of Yukon: Request For Proposals Environmental Stewardship Project Project Description: To facilitate the planning of the Department of Education’s environmental stewardship project, including research of best practices, assessment of current departmental operations, development of strategic improvement plan, identification of resources and communication with partners. Proposals clearly marked “with the above project title”, will be received up to 4:00 pm local time, Tuesday, July 29, 2008, at Contract Services. Terms of Reference may be obtained from Contract Services, (867) 667-5385, Department of Highways and Public Works, Second Floor - 9010 Quartz Road, P.O. Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 2C6. Technical questions may be directed to Gordon deBruyn at (867) 667-3741."

Arctic Live from IPY Events for July-August, 2008

Contact: --------------------------------------- Arctic summers are busy! Here at ARCUS, we have been very busy getting teachers out on expeditions in the Arctic through the PolarTREC (Teachers & Researchers Exploring & Collaborating) program . A number of the PolarTREC teams have scheduled Live from the International Polar Year (IPY) events in July and August. What are Live from IPY events? * These are real-time, interactive events that utilize the Internet and phone for presentations. * These events allow participants to learn about the research being conducted in the field first-hand from the researchers and teachers while they are in a remote Arctic location. * Events are free to the public and at minimum require a phone or Internet access. How do you join an event? In order to participate in any Live from IPY event, we ask that you register online at . Instructions on how to join these events are sent out in an email once you register and are available for downloading on the website. Here is what is coming up on the Live from IPY schedule of events: 17 July 2008 - Join PolarTREC teacher Cathy Campbell and the research team at Toolik Field Station in Alaska. Learn more about their tundra ecology research. Event starts at 9:00 AM Alaska Daylight Time [7:00 AM HDT, 10:00 AM PDT, 11:00 AM MDT. 12:00 PM CST, 1:00 PM EDT]. 21 July 2008 - Join PolarTREC Teacher Jillian Worssam and the research team aboard the USCGC Healy in the Bering Sea. Learn more about the Bering Ecosystem Study '08. Event starts at 10:00 AM Alaska Daylight Time [8:00 AM HDT, 11:00 AM PDT, 12:00 PM MDT, 1:00 PM CDT, 2:00 PM EDT] 28 July 2008 - Catch up with PolarTREC Teacher Jillian Worssam and the research team aboard the USCGC Healy in the Bering Sea. Learn more about the Bering Ecosystem Study '08. Event starts at 10:00 AM Alaska Daylight Time [8:00 AM HDT, 11:00 AM PDT, 12:00 PM MDT, 1:00 PM CDT, 2:00 PM EDT] 8 August 2008 - Join PolarTREC teacher Missy Holzer, REU students, and the researchers from Svalbard, Norway. Learn more about changes that are occurring in the high Arctic. Event starts at 10:00 AM Alaska Daylight Time [8:00 AM HDT, 11:00 AM PDT, 12:00 PM MDT, 1:00 PM CDT, 2:00 PM EDT]. Questions? Please feel free to contact either Janet Warburton or Kristin Timm with questions about these live events. ************************************************************* Janet Warburton PolarTREC Project Manager Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) 3535 College Road, Suite #101 Fairbanks, AK U.S.A. 99709-3710 Phone: 907-474-1600, ext. 612 Fax: 907-474-1604 Email: Websites:;

Friday, July 11, 2008

IPY Canada newsletter

If you are having difficulty viewing this email properly, please click here:

Issue 13: Canadian IPY News June 2008

Latest Edition of Canadian IPY Newsletter

The Canadian IPY Secretariat recently released a hard copy of the Canadian IPY News that provides an update on the progress of the Canadian IPY program at the midway mark of IPY 2007-2008. An electronic copy is available from our website on contact us if you would like to receive a paper copy.

People at the Poles' Polar Day: Sept 24, 2008

On September 24th the international IPY community will celebrate the human dimensions of IPY. This is the first IPY to include the human health, social, political, and economic aspects of the polar regions and to fully engage polar communities in research development, implementation and dissemination.

Canada is leading the organization and development of the September Polar Day activities.

There are numerous ways you can get involved:

  • educational activity that will build stronger relationships with our ‘neighbours’ by connecting Arctic and non-Arctic schools in an exchange of ideas and experiences about where they live, what issues affect their everyday lives (socio-economic, health, environment, etc.) and the vision they have for their communities.
  • live radio events in three time zones featuring discussions of health, social, and economic research projects as well as highlights the cultural strengths in the polar regions
  • Sharing media stories with regional or national journalists
  • Organizing your own regional Polar Day activities around the People IPY theme

For more information please visit the International Polar Day section of the International Program Office website. Also, if you have any questions about how to get involved in 'People' Polar Day feel free to contact Karen Edwards ( or Krisit Skebo (

Beacons of the North - Research Infrastructure in Canada's Arctic and Subarctic

On 26 June 2008, the Canadian Polar Commission released the report Beacons of the North - Research Infrastructure in Canada's Arctic and Subarctic which presents a 25-year plan for research infrastructure – terrestrial and marine -- that covers renewal, operation, construction, replacement, and decommissioning. Its recommendations will help the Government plan its new arctic research station. It’s also an essential building block for constructing a national polar science policy.

IPY Legacy

The Canadian National Committee is currently undertaking discussions of the legacy of the Canadian IPY program by identifying key national components, networks and programs and the possible organizations and institutions that may be able to incorporate these aspects into their exisiting programs. If you have observations or comments on the legacy of the Canadian IPY program please feel free to pass those comments along to the Canadian IPY Secretariat at

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'People' Polar Day September 24, 2008,

From Karen Edwards

Hi everyone!

As part of the upcoming 'People' Polar Day September 24, 2008, we are trying to secure teacher/classroom/school interest in participating in the 'People at the Poles' Polar Day educational activity.

The activity is still being developed but the concept is to engage Arctic and non-Arctic classrooms in a global discussion of the changes (climatic, socio-economic, environmental, health, etc.) being observed in the Arctic regions. All classrooms would represent their discussions by submitting a video, poem, paper, song, etc and post it to a web interface. Web postings and discussions would begin with Arctic classroom submissions, the week before Polar Day, and the week of Polar Day the non-Arctic classrooms would download the Arctic postings and use those as the foundation for their discussions and post the impressions and reactions back to the web interface. This of course could seed a sustainable conversation well beyond the Polar Day.

Again, this is all still draft BUT it provides you with an outline to talk to teachers and schools in your region. More details will develop in the coming weeks but by then many of the schools may be closed. Securing schools now is only meant to guarantee participation on the Polar Day and does NOT preclude other schools from participating at that time. Further details will be available at the end of this month and will be circulated through all of these networks. .

If you know any schools/teachers in your region who are champions and you feel may be interested in being key participants for this coming September, please feel free to circulate this email to them and get them to contact me directly.

Thank you for your help in engaging global classrooms in this discussion. We are very excited to see the outcomes of 'People at the Poles' Polar Day.


Karen Edwards


Canadian IPY Secretariat


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Canadian Geographic IPY Lesson Plans

The following email describes and provides access to lesson plans that have been developed by the Royal Canadian Geographic Society as a contribution to the International Polar Year. When you click onto the web site you will see you can sort plans according to general subject, grade level and provincial / territorial jurisdiction where the lesson plan has been checked to be incompliance with existing curriculum requirements. I haven’t looked through them all but I note that they are laid out with a Lesson overview which includes objectives including linkages to the National Standards for Geography, learning outcomes, resources , links, student worksheets , assessment criteria etc.

he IPY National Committee has been eagerly looking forward to this product. From the early days of IPY planning we had high hopes but few resources to support this effort and I have to commend the RCGS for taking this on.

While I know with summer break just hours away this is probably the last thing students or teachers are thinking about but there is always next year! Please pass on to schools and others in the education business. It might be also worth sending out a reminder next fall.

Ian Church, Senior Science Advisor, Government of Yukon

From: Mary Jane Starr Subject: IPY lesson plans

I am writing on behalf of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to bring to your attention a new educational resource created to mark International Polar Year (IPY). The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in collaboration with the Canadian Council for Geographic Education and the Canadian Polar Commission, has developed a set of bilingual lesson plans on Canada's North for elementary, intermediate and secondary schools in Canada.

In support of IPY’s aim to engender the next generation of polar scientists, these lesson plans are certain to kindle an interest in the study of the Canadian North - its human and physical geography, and its past, present and future challenges. They offer teachers and students intriguing opportunities to explore and discover Northern issues from climate change and resource industries to transportation and Inuit settlement.

The lesson plans are freely available for viewing and downloading in word document or PDF formats at

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Polar Venture

Polar Venture: In March 2008, a team of two attempted to ski 200km across the Penny ice cap, unaided and with temperatures reaching as low as -60°C whilst inspiring young people into exploration and climate change through education. The expedition has successfully returned. See expedition links below: Expedition Blog Expedition Photographs MAP: Large map of entire planned route MAP: Detailed map of covered section SPONSOR US"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Upcoming IPY activites....

Here are some upcoming IPY related activities that you might be interested in learning more about: 1. International Polar Year Focus Day - 18 June 2008 2. PolarTREC Teachers in the Arctic starting June 1 3. Summer Course for K-12 Teachers on Climate June 25-27, 2008 4. Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists website *************************************************************************** 1. Celebrate the International Polar Year by joining others across the globe on June 18, 2008. The focus will be on Land and Life in the Polar Regions. There will be several live events and opportunities to talk with polar researchers. For more information about the various events, check out Be sure to sign up for the North American Live from IPY event on June 18! More info about the event and to register at 2. Starting June 1, teachers will be traveling with researchers to various locations in the Arctic. Follow them on their expeditions as they work along side researchers and learn about polar research. Anyone can read the journals, view photos, and ask the team questions online at the PolarTREC website, Be sure to join a Live from IPY event and hear about the research first-hand! 3. Understanding the Role of Permafrost in a Rapidly Warming Climate is a K-12 teacher workshop, June 25-27, 2008, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Contact Tohru Saito or visit the website for more information <>. 4. Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists - a website with blogs and webcasts from scientists in the Arctic and Antarctica. Check it all out at:

Friday, May 23, 2008

IPY lesson plans from Canadian Geographic

I am writing on behalf of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to bring to your attention a new educational resource created to mark International Polar Year (IPY). The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in collaboration with the Canadian Council for Geographic Education and the Canadian Polar Commission, has developed a set of bilingual lesson plans on Canada's North for elementary, intermediate and secondary schools in Canada.

In support of IPY’s aim to engender the next generation of polar scientists, these lesson plans are certain to kindle an interest in the study of the Canadian North - its human and physical geography, and its past, present and future challenges. They offer teachers and students intriguing opportunities to explore and discover Northern issues from climate change and resource industries to transportation and Inuit settlement.

The lesson plans are freely available for viewing and downloading in word document or PDF formats at

Yours sincerely,

MJ Starr

Friday, May 16, 2008

IPY Initial List of Communications and Training Projects

International Polar Year

InITIAL list of Communications and Training Projects

The Government of Canada has allocated $5.2 million to fund communications and training and outreach projects, as part of its International Polar Year program. After a national call for proposals and rigorous review process, a diverse range of applicants from across Canada – including community organizations, educational groups, government departments and agencies – has been chosen to carry out creative and innovative projects that will become part of Canada's IPY program.

These projects will help raise awareness about the Canadian Arctic and its peoples, promote IPY and polar science and research, and foster greater understanding of the importance of the polar regions among Canadians and other countries. Specific activities will encourage youth, particularly in the North, to learn about polar science and research. Others will provide experience and training for Northerners to carry out northern-based research and monitoring during and after IPY.

Below are some of the projects that have been selected for funding. Other selected projects will be announced pending further approvals.

Communications Projects

Making northern science accessible: Popularizing northern scholarly articles

Arctic Institute of North America

This project will rewrite technical articles in academic journals about northern science and IPY research, and make the information more accessible to the general public, and Northerners in particular. They will then distribute these articles to the media and other outlets.

2008 Alianait! Arts Festival – Premiere performance of Oatiaroi (Wait)

Iqaluit Music Society and Alianait Arts Festival

Nunavut’s Artcirq will perform Oatiaroi (Wait), a 60-minute theatre production portraying global warming and its impact on the Arctic from an Inuit perspective. The performance incorporates theatre, circus arts and traditional Inuit storytelling.

Arctic Seabirds as Insiders on Climate Change

Meltwater Media

Seabirds have become harbingers of environmental change in the Arctic. This film will document the work by IPY researchers to study these important Arctic birds, as well as the insights of Inuit seabird hunters.

Formation of Labrador: Two Windows on the Planet

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Formation of Labrador: Two Windows on the Planet is a project to create a book for children aged 9 to 12, telling the fascinating story of the creation of the polar regions through the world of geology and traditional folklore, with an emphasis on Labrador.

Arctic Odyssey – Journey to the Top of the World

Science North

Science North is creating Arctic Odyssey – Journey to the Top of the World, an IMAX film that will feature the impacts of climate change on the Arctic. It will also show how Canadians are carrying out world-class science during IPY. It is a celebration of the North as it exists today, reminding us all of the importance of Canada’s polar regions.

Gwich’in Settlement Regional Atlas: Mapping a Path through Change

Gwich’in Land Use Planning Board

Gwich’in Settlement Regional Atlas: Mapping a Path through Change will be a regional atlas, a hardcover book that will include important geographic information about the Gwich’in region. It will feature maps, photos, easy to understand scientific information and traditional knowledge.

Polar Perspectives: Canadian IPY Speaker Series and Youth Forums

Canadian Museum of Nature

This is a national speaker series to be hosted at museums across Canada, featuring a wide variety of dynamic speakers on important issues and intriguing topics involving Canada’s Arctic. Scientific research being funded by International Polar Year will also be highlighted and explained.

Aquatic Ecology of the Canadian Arctic

Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Aquatic Ecology of the Canadian Arctic will be a comprehensive book, with an accompanying website, that describes the fascinating and important field of Arctic freshwater and marine ecosystems, including the species that inhabit them and the research methods used to study them.

Long Ago Person Found (Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi) Symposium and Publication

Kwaday Dan Ts’inchi Management Committee / Royal BC Museum

This project will highlight the results of the discovery of ancient human remains at the edge of a melting glacier in British Columbia’s Tatshenshini-Alsek Park. The general public and scientific communities will hear the results of nine years of research, partly funded by IPY, involving experts at eight universities and cultural institutions in Canada and five other countries.

Arctic Shadows: The Arctic Journeys of RM Anderson

Greyhound Information Services

This documentary film will capture the early 19th century Arctic journeys of Dr. R.M. Anderson, a former chief biologist with the National Museum of Canada and a world renowned expert on mammals of the North. Long overshadowed by his dramatic colleague Vilhajalmur Stefansson, Dr. Anderson’s story is another exciting glimpse into Arctic history.

Dempster Highway Natural History Event Series

Friends of Dempster Country Society

The Friends of Dempster Country Society in the Yukon will host six events along the Dempster Highway, Canada’s northernmost highway. Each event will focus on a different aspect of the area’s natural history, connecting this to current IPY scientific research and environmental concerns.

Training Projects

Students on Ice – IPY Arctic Youth Expeditions 2008-2010

Students on Ice Foundation

IPY is funding 10 students per year for three years to take part in the highly successful Students on Ice program. The program provides youth aged 14 to 17 with a greater understanding and appreciation for the Arctic, while inspiring them to continue their studies of the polar regions.

Yukon College Field Course to North Slope

Renewable Resources Management Program, Yukon College

This is a 14-day field course for Yukon College students to visit an IPY research project investigating the impacts of climate change on birds and mammals on the Yukon North Slope. The students will help collect data for this project.

Crowley Lake Studies

Yukon Department of Education

This project involves a field study program for high school students in the Yukon. It will engage students in a scientific monitoring project on Crowley Lake near Whitehorse.

Northern Village Data Collection System

Nunavik Research Centre, Makivik Corp.

The Northern Village Data Collection System will bring together representatives from 15 communities in Nunavik for training on a web-based data collection system. This will allow users to record their plant and animal species-related observations and improve data management in the region.

Organization of the Nunavik Research Centre

Nunavik Research Centre, Makivik Corp

The Nunavik Research Centre holds a wealth of important research materials related to the Nunavik region; however, work is needed to organize the collection so it can be used more effectively. This project will involve training staff and organizing the research centre’s resources.

Contrasts between the Poles

Geological Survey of Canada

This project will involve two northern students traveling to the Antarctic to participate in the collection of ice cores. They will be working with world-renowned glaciologist Roy Koerner, learning about ice coring, ice thickness measurement and sampling for contaminant studies. They will also be involved in the analysis of the data collected.

Education webpages for IPY Land and Life Day June 18

Dear all, Firstly, a quick introduction! My name is Nicola Munro and I work in the International Programme Office (IPO), based in Cambridge with Rhian Salmon and Dave Carlson. My role within IPY has recently changed and I will now be working more closely with this teachers group and the Education Working Group. I will be the main point of contact to the IPO and will be helping with the educational activities that relate to the upcoming Polar Days, the next one being the Land and Life Day on the 18th of June. To this end, I just wanted to let you know that the Education webpages for the Land and Life Day are now ready which you can find at: You will see that I have now uploaded the activity flyer and summary for this Day and these have been translated into 15 different languages so far so thank you to the volunteers (I know some were from this group) for your help with these. Please do get involved in this day by trying out the activity in your classrooms, launching a virtual balloon and taking part in the various live events we will have taking place throughout the week. You can find more information about these at the above link. If you can recommend any resources you think would be useful for this day, please send them to me ( ) so that I can add them to the links and resource page. At the moment this is looking a little bare so would be great if you could send me some suggestions! If you have any other comments about the Land and Life Education Page, please let me know! Please note, these pages are currently being developed and will go live next week so please send us any feedback. I look forward to working with all of you! Best wishes Nicola Nicola Munro Office Manager and Education Liaison International Programme Office