Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic is an important focal point for the study of climate change. These are sensitive systems, yet the mechanisms responsible for those sensitivities remain poorly understood and inadequately represented in Earth System Models. The NGEE Arctic project seeks to reduce uncertainty in climate prediction by better understanding critical land-atmosphere feedbacks in terrestrial ecosystems of Alaska.
Monday, July 1, 2013
North Slope students experience science first hand…
Alessio Gusmeroli has a passion for science, and this week
he gets to put that boundless enthusiasm into practice as he interacts with
students on the North Slope of Alaska. I have worked with Alessio now for
several years as part of the NGEE Arctic project and he is not your typical
quiet scientist, he is full of energy and ready to talk to anyone about
the Arctic. Alessio has the experience necessary to discuss the snow science,
glaciology, permafrost dynamics in a changing world, and just about anything
else that just happens to exist at temperatures below the freezing point.
Alessio is a post-doctoral research associate at the
International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska
Fairbanks. This week he is working in collaboration with the local community college in Barrow (Ilisagvik College) as they host a summer
camp for North Slope Residents, 7th-8th graders. The camp has 10 kids,
from different villages across the North Slope; including Barrow, Point Hope,
Point Lay, Wainwright and White Mountain. The camp is called Nuna, which is the
Inupiat word for Earth. Alessio and others involved in the camp will do
numerous activities in the coming days focused on the Earth as a whole, from
mountains to sea, from glaciers to permafrost, from people to animals and
plants. Day 1 was, according to Alessio, fun and everyone enjoyed
celebrating their success on the gravel beaches of Barrow.