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Follow Marge and her students to Alaska: http://www.somers.k12.ct.us/shs/shs_home.html

I have been a teacher in Northern Connecticut for 24 years and, at various times during those two decades, I have taught biology, environmental science, and freshman (earth) science. My most rewarding teaching experiences have come as a result of working with small groups of students on various research projects or in programs that have had a research focus. These include two DEP grant-funded Long Island Sound projects, parcticipation in NOAAs High School Aquanaut Program, development of the Roseland Lake Watershed Study, and involvement in UConns Chemical Ecology Program for educators.

In 1994 I was selected to be a TEA parcticipant and I was teamed with Dr. Martin Jeffries from The University of Alaska in Fairbanks. We worked aboard an icebreaker (The Nathaniel B. Palmer) and studied the development and structure of sea ice. I have tried to replicate some of this research in my classes by growing ice under different conditions and by observing the corresponding effects on its crystalline structure.

I was given a sabbatical in 1999, and worked on a second Masters Degree, this time in Environmental Education. The highlight of my year was working with Dr. Jeffries again, but this time in Alaska. I traveled to the frozen north during November,January, and March and collected data that provided us with information about heat transfer between lakes and the atmosphere.

When I'm not coring ice I enjoy other outdoor activities like running & biking.

I will be travelling to Alaska again this winter in order to work with Dr. Martin Jeffries form the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Dr. Jeffries is a research professor of geophysics and has been collecting data on polar ice for many years. In 1994 I had the opportunity to study Antarctic sea ice (in the Ross & Amundsen Seas) with Martin aboard the icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer.

The purpose of my work in Alaska will be to research ice growth and the flow of heat from the water to the atmosphere during the course of the winter. I will be taking regular measurements of air temperature, snow depth, density, & temperature, and ice thickness & temperature. The air temperature and snow depth will be used as inputs to a numerical model* to simulate ice thickness on the computer. The ice thickness data will be used to validate the model's simulated ice growth curve. The snow depth, temperature, and density data will be used to estimate the conductive heat flux through the snow cover. This is a representation of the heat flow from the lake to the atmosphere. These data will also be compared to conductive heat fluxes simulated by the numerical model and will be used as a measure of the performance of the model.

This project represents a valuable opportunity to test the performance of a scientific model while giving me (and other teachers & students) the chance to learn first-hand about scientific research through parcticipation in data acquisition and analysis and the comparison of real and simulated data.

* model developed by Dr. Tingjun Zhang at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Polar Classroom Activity:

Snow on Sea Ice

In 1994 Marge parcticipated as a research team member during a cruise to the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Read about her Antarctic research experience!

22 February, 2003:


19 February, 2003:


18 February, 2003:


17 February, 2003:


16 February, 2003:


20 March, 2002:

Of Ice and Men

19 March, 2002:

Whining About Mining

18 March, 2002:

Lunch Launch

17 March, 2002:

Friends of Phenology

17 March, 2001:

Going to the dogs!

16 March, 2001:

Moose for dessert!

15 March, 2001:

Teachers "Fluxing" Their Muscles

14 March, 2001:

Baked Alaska anyone?

13 March, 2001:

"Walking On Water"

12 March, 2001:

Back in the "Thick" of It

31 March, 2000:


24 March, 2000:

Getting to the CORE of the matter.

22 March, 2000:

Working in the Greenhouse? (a.k.a. "Quick...before it melts!")

21 March, 2000:

Lake Ice (from a different angle)

17 March, 2000:

The Great "Ice Thickness" Challenge!

12 January, 2000:

The "Long and Lat" of It

10 January, 2000:

The Northern Goddess of Dawn: Aurora Borealis

9 January, 2000:

The Other Northern Lights

19 November, 1999:

Another Episode of "Magnum G.I."

18 November, 1999:

Out-standing in the Field

17 November, 1999:

Data from the Ice...that's nice!

16 November, 1999:

Meanwhile, Back on Campus...

15 November, 1999:

Taking a Gamble at Poker Flat (65 degrees north latitude, 147 degrees west
14 November, 1999:

A Preview of Coming Attractions

11 November, 1999:

Playing with a full deck at Poker Flat?

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