Smoky Hill High School physics teacher, Mark Paricio, is taking science to the extreme this summer – to extreme northern Siberia to be exact. From June 26th through July 29th, Paricio will accompany 32 scientists and college students of the Polaris Project to take part in a study of the Siberian Arctic systems.
The Polaris Project research team will travel 18 time zones from Denver to Moscow, then on to the Northeast Science Station in Cherskiy, Russia, north of the Arctic Circle. Once at Cherskiy the research team will be living and working primarily on a barge on the Kolyma River, one of the most remote rivers in the world. The barge provides a unique dormitory but also serves as a mobile lab, allowing the team to tow the barge to various locations on the river for different studies. Researchers will travel along a 100 km stretch of the Kolyma leading to its outlet into the Arctic Ocean.
Paricio travels to Siberia through the PolarTREC program. Funded by the National Science Foundation, PolarTREC matches classroom teachers with researchers in the Arctic and Antarctic regions through a highly competitive selection process. The program benefits classroom teachers by giving them an experience participating in field research that they can share with their students and colleagues. Researchers benefit by the teacher providing an avenue to help publicize their work and to help educate the public on cutting edge issues in science.
Paricio will be keeping an online journal during this trip to allow his students and the educational community to follow him at http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/siberian-arctic-systems-study.