The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica: Harshest Place on Earth or a Polar Oasis?
Antarctic Dry valleys image by John Priscu

This Web Seminar took place on May 13, 2010 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Michael Gooseff and Dr. J.E. "Jeb" Barrett and Dr. Cristina Takacs-Vesbach who presented about the McMurdo dry valleys of Antarctica and talked about their hydrology, habitats, and soil ecology.

This is the second of four Web Seminars sponsored by NASA, NOAA, and NSF as an extension of the last IPY. In this program, Dr. Vesbach gave an overview of the ‘dry valleys’ and talked about the seasonal changes they experience. She also provided information on the habitat of these ecologically unique regions. Dr. Michael Gooseff who talked about the hydrology of this area and the specifics of the hydrologic cycle that affects it. Lastly, Dr. Jeb Barrett discussed the soil environments and how they are a model for places like Mars. He also talked about the impact and evidence of climate change on the region.

Thirty-three (33) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginal and Wisconsin.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates 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:

  • “Beyond anything I could expect!!”

  • “I don't really know yet . . . a little bit of sensory overload. There was so much presented in here that I could easily use it in many of my units in both life science and earth science.”

  • “I learned about an environment that I knew nothing about.”

  • “Wow! Lots of great information presented! Glad I can go back and study the slides more and absorb all of the information from tonight!.”

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


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