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  Polar Climates, How Are they Changing?


Allan Miller
Allen Miller 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
Mike Dunn 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
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 staff training.

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 SparrowDr. 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 inquiries.

Paula Keener-Chavis
Paula Keener-Chavis 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, http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03arctic/welcome.html, http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/04arctic/welcome.html, and http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/05arctic/welcome.html), scientists 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
Frank Niepold 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 webseminars@nsta.org

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