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. In this seminar, Dr. Gradinger talked about 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 (International Polar Year). In this program, Dr. Gradinger discussed the relevance of sea ice changes, temperature increases, and altered precipitation patterns. He gave an overview of a 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 and resource exploration, as well as the impact of Arctic warming on the connectivity between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.


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 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:

  • “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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