Relevance of Climate Change for the Arctic Marine Biological System

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions This Web Seminar took place on December 3, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Rolf Gradinger polar ecologist at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Dr. Gradinger talked the unique properties of the Arctic marine food web and the implications of Arctic warming on its structure.

This is the first, of four, Web Seminars sponsored by NASA, NOAA, and NSF as an extension of the last IPY. In this program, Dr. Gradinger discussed scenarios outlining the relevance of sea ice changes, temperature increases and altered precipitation patterns. He gave a broad overview covering a very wide range of taxa and processes including phytoplankton, zooplankton, and life at the sea floor as well as marine mammals. Dr. Gradinger also discussed the implications of increased ship traffic, resource exploration, as well as implications of Arctic warming for the connectivity between Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.


Forty-six (46) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. One participant joined from countries outside of the United States: Qatar.


Seminar participants received a one year subscription to one of NSTA’s SciGuides and a certificate of attendance was deposited into their My Transcript area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I was not aware of the abiotic/biotic factors and changes occurring in this region of Earth.”


  • “Impact of web food cycle due to climate change.”


  • “I always wondered how climate change was affecting the arctic. Some people commented it was cyclical and that everything adjusts, but I wasn't confident in those answers. This really gave perspective of what is happening and what the downsides are to it. “


  • "As a certified Biology/Environmental Science Teacher, and an informal educator at Mingo Creek Park Observatory, I need to stay abreast of information related to Climate Change.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


Web Seminar Archives on additional IPY topics.



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