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  Impact of Polar Climate Change on Living Systems

Role of Sea Ice in Polar Ecosystems!
The first of two web seminars on the topic of Impact of Polar Climate Change on Living Systems was held on Thursday, May 17, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter was Dr. Rolf Gradinger, polar ecologist at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Dr. Gradinger talked about the role of sea ice in polar ecosystems.

The presenter used this slide to talk about icebergs and icebergs formation. He also used it to talk glaciers and ice shelves in Antarctica. Forty-seven (47) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. One participant attended from Puerto Rico, another from Canada and a third one from Luxemburg.

In this web seminar Dr. Gradinger talked about the difference in ice types comparing the ice found on land with the ice found in the ocean. He also talked about the unique properties of sea ice and highlighted the differences between the Arctic and Antarctic regions. In addition, Dr. Gradinger described the organisms that live within the sea ice and below it. All participants received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide titled Living in the Weather, grades 5-8.

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

  • "I have little background in arctic life, and this seminar provided information that will be very relevant to my science courses this fall."
  • "I am developing a unit on ocean science so what was presented today will be useful."
  • "I am preparing a program on Astrobiology for the science center where I work. The examples of organism that live in these extreme environments are great examples as possible types of organisms that may be found in the cold solar system environments."

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


For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org

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