Lake County Educator Chosen for NASA’s Operation IceBridge

The mission of Operation IceBridge is to collect data on changing polar land and sea ice and maintain continuity of measurements between ICESat missions.  At the southern end of the planet, IceBridge will use a Gulfstream G-V aircraft, owned by the National Science Foundation to make scientific flights over Antarctica. The plane will carry the Laser Vegetation Imaging Sensor (LVIS), a laser altimeter that can map large areas of sea and land ice from a high altitude, and another DMS.

The base of operations for the Antarctic campaign will once again be Punta Arenas, Chile. IceBridge has more than 18 scheduled flights over Antarctica, which will cover rapidly changing areas, such as Smith glacier in the Amundsen Sea and the southwest corner of the Antarctic Peninsula. The field campaign will collect measurements of sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas.

Along with lead scientists and engineers, NASA has selected one American educator to join them over Antarctica.  Through a cooperation with the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States’ (ARCUS) PolarTREC program, interested teachers are selected and paired with scientists for a field experience and subsequent outreach work. The one educator who was chosen is LCSD’s own Maggie Kane, dean of 7th-8th grades at Lake County High School, who will be joining the team next fall.  Having participated in a climate science project with scientists through PolarTREC in 2006 in Svalbard near the north pole, Maggie is enthusiastic to get a chance to see the other pole!  In the months ahead and during the field work, Maggie will work to connect NASA researchers with the students and citizens of Lake County, bringing current, vital scientific data back home.  Through the PolarTREC platform, Maggie will communicate regularly through a blog, through scheduled webinars, and SKYPE sessions with classrooms.  She will also work with teachers to build connectivity to their material next year.  Stay tuned as we get closer to find out more ways to connect with this astonishing project!

For more about Operation IceBridge and to follow this year’s campaign, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/icebridge

antarctica   Images of Antarctica’s ice shelf

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