Polar Climates, How Are they Changing?
A 1985 graduate of Dartmouth College, Allan Miller has spent the past 20 years as
an educator in Alaska. His first position was teaching all science subjects for
grades 7-12 in the remote Tlingit village of Yakutat. In 1988 he spent a year as
Reagan/Gorbachev Exchange Fellow teaching English in Rostov on the Don, USSR. Following
Russia, he returned to Alaska where he spent the next seven years teaching Russian
and Science at Skyview High School on the Kenai Peninsula.
In 1996 he spent two years earning his MS in Exercise Physiology from Ithaca College.
In 1998 he returned to the Kenai Peninsula, where he has worked for the past 8 years
as a middle school science teacher, high school administrator, and most recently
as a 6th grade teacher. Allan has had a lifelong passion for aviation and space,
is a licensed pilot, and in 2003 he was a finalist for selection to become an Educator
Astronaut with NASA. He volunteers as an Aerospace Education Officer with the Kenai
Civil Air Patrol, as Team Leader of the NASA Explorer School program, as a Challenger
Center flight director, and also as a Solar System Educator with NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. In 2005 he was the Challenger Center Teacher of the Year, and recently
was named the Alaska Air Force Association Teacher of the Year for 2006.
Mike Dunn is the Coordinator of Teacher Education at the North Carolina Museum of
Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina. The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is
the largest natural history museum in the southeast with annual attendance of approximately
700,000 visitors. Mike is responsible for developing and leading educator workshops
across North Carolina on topics ranging from creating butterfly gardens on school
grounds to black bear ecology. He is also part of a team that leads the Museum's
Educators of Excellence Institutes to outstanding natural areas around the world
including Belize, Yellowstone National Park, and the coast of Maine. Mike was part
of a two person team from the Museum that were on board the Russian ice breaker,
Kapitan Dranitsyn, for the Arctic K-12 Expedition and NABOS research cruise for
30 days in August and September, 2006. During the expedition he sent back a daily
log to the Museum web site (see http://naturalsciences.org/education/arctic/) and brought
back several thousand images documenting the scientific research of the cruise.
The Museum is working on developing educational outreach programs and teacher education
opportunities in conjunction with International Polar Year (IPY) events.
Dr. Doug Williams
Douglas F. Williams, aka "Dr Doug", Carolina Trustee Professor of Marine and Geological
Sciences and former Associate Dean of the South Carolina Honors College at the University
of South Carolina, has been active in the research, teaching and administrative
affairs of the University since 1977. At the Honors College Dr Doug was instrumental
in developing Research-Based Learning (RBL) and Learning Through Experiential Outreach
(LEO), two approaches to enhancing the undergraduate learning experience by engaging
both major and non-science majors in authentic research and scholarship. In May
2006, Dr Doug joined the staff of the EdVenture Children's Museum as its first Scientist-in-Residence
where he is involved in professional development programming for teachers, and museum
Dr Doug is an oceanographer who received his bachelor's degree in geology-biology
from Brown University and his PhD in oceanography from the Graduate School of Oceanography
of the University of Rhode Island. Dr Doug's research involves using marine and
lake sediments to reconstruct the history of the earth's climate. In 1989 he organized
the Baikal Drilling Project (BDP), a decade-long Russian-American-Japanese project
to study the history of the world's deepest and oldest lake, Lake Baikal. As part
of his professional research, Dr Doug has taken over 50 undergraduates on experiential
learning trips around the world and the nation. In the summer of 2003, Dr Doug took
eight USC students to the Laptev Sea of the Russian Arctic via a 3,700 km journey
through the heart of Siberia on the Lena River, one of the world's longest and mightiest
rivers. In 2004 Dr Doug received a U.S. National Science Foundation grant to create
Go Polar! Cool Science in the Arctic at EdVenture, an informal science education
program about Arctic and Global Change research for children and families.
Dr Doug has published nearly 200 scientific papers, received numerous research grants
from the U.S. National Science Foundation, and won awards at USC for outstanding
teaching and mentoring of undergraduates.
Dr. Elena Bautista Sparrow
Dr. Elena Bautista Sparrow is Director of Education Outreach at the International
Arctic Research Center and the Center for Global Change at the University of Alaska
Fairbanks (UAF). She is also a Research Associate Professor of Soil Microbiology
at the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, also at UAF. Her research
interests are climate change, microbial ecology, nutrient cycling and science education.
Elena has over 25 years research and more than 18 years teaching experience including
science education for K-12 teachers. She is also the Director of the University
of the Arctic IPY Education Coordination Office and the Alaska Global Learning and
Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program that brings together scientists,
pre-college teachers and their students in studying the Earth. Elena is the principal
investigator of the NSF funded GLOBE Seasons and Biomes project that is an IPY Earth
system science education project engaging students from all over the world in conducting
local science investigations on their biomes while connecting globally. Additionally,
she leads other science education programs in Alaska such as the Long Term Ecological
Research Schoolyard Project, the Alaska Rural Research Partnership Education Outreach
program of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and
the GK-12 Teaching Alaskans Sharing Knowledge program.
Recently, Elena led a summer school aboard a Russian icebreaker for an Arctic Expedition
on the Arctic Ocean for fourteen K-12 teachers from Canada, France, Germany, Sweden,
Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States to help prepare pre-college teachers
for the International Polar Year. During the 26-day expedition, the pre-college
teachers were involved in scientific research alongside scientists in the fields
of atmospheric science and physical oceanography, measuring various parameters e.g.
air temperature, precipitation, wind speed, water conductivity, salinity, pH, density,
oxygen concentrations and carbon dioxide concentrations, ice thickness and ice extent.
Elena also taught the teachers the research protocols in the GLOBE program that
they could teach their students in order to conduct environmental/climate change
Paula Keener-Chavis is Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
(NOAA's) Ocean Exploration's Education Program. Paula is a marine biologist and
ocean science educator who received her Bachelor's Degree in Marine Biology from
the College of Charleston and her Master of Science Degree in Marine Biology from
the University of Charleston. She conducted extensive larval and adult fish research
off the Southeastern coast of the U.S. and was a research team member in the Smithsonian
Institution's National Museum of Natural History Western Atlantic Mangrove Program
off Belize, Central America. She now works closely with scientists and educators
to reach out in new ways to educators, students, and the general public through
NOAA ocean exploration expeditions to enhance ocean sciences literacy through the
development of educational products and design of professional development opportunities
for educators at the national level.
Paula served as a member of The President's Panel on Ocean Exploration and as a
member of the National Academies Committee on Exploration of the Seas. She is a
Past-President of the National Marine Educators Association and the South Carolina
Marine Educators Association. She served as a member of the National Science Foundation's
Steering Workshop Committee and Implementation Committee for the Centers for Ocean
Science Education Excellence (COSEE) and serves on the National COSEE Advisory Council.
She served as a member of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural
History's Ocean Hall Statement of Purpose Team, is a member of the Ocean Hall's
Web Portal Prototype Core Team, the NOAA Education Council, and served as a member
of the National Science and Technology Council Education and Workforce Subcommittee
on Human Capacity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Working
Group. She serves as a writer and editor for scientific and technical papers, publications
targeted to business and the general public, and environmental radio scripts aired
at the international level.
The NOAA Ocean Exploration Program has sponsored numerous ocean exploration expeditions
to the Arctic Ocean's Canada Basin. During these expeditions to the most unexplored
ocean on the planet, (see http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/02arctic/welcome.html,
and divers, with the aid of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) specially designed
to operate under ice and at great depth, examined the hidden world of life in the
extreme Arctic conditions. From intricate microscopic organisms found in the brine
channels that run through the ice to the creatures that make the sea bottom their
home, the science team studied the relationships between pelagic (deep-water) and
benthic (bottom-dwelling) communities. For many of these expeditions, Paula has
worked with scientists and educators to develop inquiry- and National Science Education
Standards-based lessons for teachers of Grades 5-12 that correlate specifically
to the exploration and science behind these Hidden Ocean Expeditions.
Frank Niepold is currently a Climate Education Fellow at NOAA's Climate Program Office in Silver Spring Maryland and a
GLOBE Program Master Trainer. At NOAA, he develops and implements NOAA's Climate goal education and outreach efforts
that specifically relate to NOAA's Environmental Literacy cross cutting priority. As a GLOBE Trainer, he trains teachers
in intensive field and laboratory settings throughout the United States and Internationally, most recently in Phuket Thailand.
Mr. Niepold has spent seven years developing remote sensing educational materials for the Landsat Educational Outreach team.
He has spent 10 years working as a Middle/High School Earth Systems Science Teacher. As a teacher, he developed an
international school collaboration series of projects using the scientist/teacher/student partnership model to monitor
climate change. Projects include: Coral reef monitoring in the Caribbean, Red, and Arabian Seas; Global monitoring and
validation of Aerosols; Glacial retreat among others.
His collaboration on a paper about International GLOBE Program collaborations, Scientist-Teacher-Student Partnerships
For Aerosol Optical Thickness Measurements In Support Of Ground Validation Programs For Remote Sensing Spacecraft, was
selected by International Astronautical Federation for their 53th International Astronautical Congress. Mr. Niepold and
four of his student's paper, Assessing Satellite-Based Aerosol Retrievals And Ground Truth Validation For Terra's MODIS
Sensor Over Urban Areas Using The Globe Program's Handheld Sun Photometers, was one of the ten projects selected to be
presented at the 2003 Global Learning Exhibition, by the GLOBE program in Sibenck, Croatia. This work was highlighted in
several articles, one was featured on a NASA news web site, The Globe Program: Science in the Sunshine.
Mr. Niepold is happily married with three boys and resides in Olney, MD, USA. He received his MSEd in Earth Space
Science Education (2006) from John's Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD with areas of concentration in Earth Observing
Systems, Scientist/Teacher/Student Collaboration and Earth Systems science education focused on climate. He earned a BA
in Human Ecology (1994) from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME and B.F.A. in Photography and Video (1989) from
Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. An interview of Frank Niepold is available at the NASA Laboratory
for Terrestrial Physics Education and Outreach Web Site:
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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Underwritten in part by NSF, NASA, and NOAA.