Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
ANDRILL Lake Coring Outreach VEnture (ALCOVE): Bringing Sediment Core Research into Middle and High School Classrooms
Two sediment cores (each >1100 m) have been retrieved by ANDRILL(ANtarctic geologic DRILLing, www.andrill.org) from the floor of McMurdo Sound beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. These sediment cores provide evidence for the timing of development of the Antarctic ice sheets, and allow us to better understand how they have responded to and recorded climate change over the past 20 million years. In order to capitalize on the excitement and adventure associated with this very topical research, the process of sediment coring, analysis, and interpretation was brought to life for middle and high school students and their teachers through a hands-on, authentic science research project, ANDRILL Lake Coring Outreach VEnture (ALCOVE). In the Upper Midwest, the surface waters of most lakes freeze during the winter. This surface effectively replicates the ice shelf, with lake-floor sediment replicating sedimentary horizons on the floor of McMurdo Sound. Rudimentary lake-coring equipment (piston, line, core-barrels, drive-rods) was rented from the Limnological Research Center (LRC) at the University of Minnesota so that student groups, under the guidance of an ANDRILL Science Educator, could retrieve lake sediment cores for analysis and interpretation in their classrooms.. Facilities at the LRC Lake Core Repository (LacCore, http://lrc.geo.umn.edu/LacCore/laccore.html) were used to document and process the core, and act as a permanent repository for the archived cores. On-lake,' the students were engaged in core-collection responsibilities including (1) acquisition and recording of latitude and longitude via GPS; (2) determination of lake depth at the selected location, and (3) calculations associated with set-up of the core barrel, piston, and drive rods. Students also participated in physical assembly of the coring equipment. Students are currently describing and interpreting the sediment cores, many of which provide a record of the impact of human settlement and local development, as well as possible periods of drought.