Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 3:25 PM
THE WILDERNESS RESEARCH FOUNDATION MODEL TO BRING SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES FROM PRIVATELY-SUPPORTED FIELD EXPEDITIONS INTO THE CLASSROOM
The Wilderness Research Foundation (http://wildernessresearch.org/) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports multi-disciplinary field investigations to polar regions through a privately-financed donation-based model. Their first expedition sent three researchers to King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula to study the “buried carbon hypothesis” and climate change. Two educational resource modules were developed based on the findings of this investigation. One module fosters understanding of how organic matter previously buried beneath glacier is now becoming exposed as climate changes, the potential impact on the carbon budget as these decompose, and why such information may be essential in developing plans to mitigate or adapt to future climates. The second examines methods used by researchers to engage in new discoveries, particularly in such remote locations as Antarctica. These are suitable for middle school, high school, or undergraduate courses in Earth or environmental science, biology, chemistry, or general science. We will discuss the effectiveness of this model for developing and disseminating these educational resources through a variety of strategies, including science education conferences, online resources, and informal science venues.