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Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists


What's it like to be a research scientist working in the Arctic or Antarctica? In celebration of the International Polar Year, the Exploratorium gave polar scientists cameras and blogging tools and asked them to document their fieldwork. The result is a groundbreaking Web-based project, Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists, where you can follow along, ask questions, and share in scientific discoveries. The site was nominated for a 2008 Webby Award for Best Events and Live Broadcasts in the Online Film and Video category.

Last winter, Ice Stories focused on Antarctica; this summer, the focus shifted to the Arctic, where we're working with a whole new group of scientists. Follow along with an archeologist who's recovering and studying ancient artifacts and human remains near Barrow, Alaska, before erosion causes them to be washed out to sea. Meet a researcher from Brown University who is part of a team hoping to reconstruct the last 8,000 years of climate change in Greenland by examining fossilized algae in lake sediments. And look over the shoulder of a scientist who's "reading snowflakes" for clues about changes in polar ice caps over time. You'll also meet several other researchers who are deeply involved in Arctic-based studies including polar biology, geology, and the human impact on climate change.

The Ice Stories site has stunning new photos and videos, plus succinct background information on topics including climate change, polar bears, Arctic whales, and greenhouse gases. And this coming winter, we'll return to Antarctica to bring you more science from the bottom of the world.